Latest restrictions – Impact for employers

The Scottish Government announced last week its latest measures to limit the current increase in Covid-19 cases.

The UK Government has now announced the details of a new 3-tier system to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in England. The Scottish Government has indicated that that the 3-tier model is likely to be broadly followed in Scotland.

The restrictions imposed last week by the Scottish Government on various activities include the closure from 6pm on Friday 9th October of all licensed premises in 5 Health Board areas (taking in the Central Belt) for a period of 16 days. Outwith the 5 restricted areas pubs and restaurants can open from 6am until 6pm. No alcohol can be served indoors.

The impact of these restrictions on the beleaguered hospitality industry will be significant and those businesses which have survived this far will be anxiously awaiting the results of the consultation on distribution and limits of the promised £40million support package.

The further reduction in potential revenue added to the impending closure of the Government furlough scheme at the end of this month is likely to take many businesses to the point where they are no longer commercially viable. The standard concept of long term planning has vanished for the present time and the aim is simply to survive for the next weeks and months until circumstances change.

The First Minister has acknowledged the need to mitigate the impact of the end of the furlough scheme and financial burden of the Job Support Scheme. A figure of £40 million was mentioned by the First Minister as being the amount of support available to hospitality businesses in difficulty. In order to assess the impact of the assistance package further detail is needed.

Employers in many sectors, including hospitality, are formulating strategies to reduce costs. One focus for employers is the potential for minimising staff costs. The process for reducing headcount can be achieved relatively quickly, depending upon the number of employees. Similarly there may now be a more pressing need to restructure the business or revisit property lease arrangements. One thing is clear: the time for taking action is now.

If you would like further information regarding the topics discussed in this blog, please contact:

Stuart Robertson by email: or by phone: 07793 821  523 / 0141 433 7752

Graham Millar by email: or by phone: 07841 920 102 / 0141 530 2023

You can also visit our Employment Law Team page by clicking here

The information and opinions contained in this blog are for information only. They are not intended to constitute advice and should not be relied upon or considered as a replacement for advice. Before acting on any of the information contained in this blog, please seek specific advice from Gilson Gray.


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