Tens of thousands of West Yorkshire pub staff not to work over Christmas

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Tens of thousands of pub staff in West Yorkshire will not be able to work over the festive period as the area enters new Tier 3 restrictions and businesses are forced to close, analysis suggests.

The closures will lead to tens of millions of pounds in lost turnover, according to research by the British Beer and Pub Association.

The trade body warns of “carnage” across the industry in England unless the Government acts immediately to provide more help.

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Tens of thousands of West Yorkshire pub staff not to work over ChristmasTens of thousands of West Yorkshire pub staff not to work over Christmas
Tens of thousands of West Yorkshire pub staff not to work over Christmas

The BBPA estimates that 22,324 pub staff in West Yorkshire will be affected in December as around 1,600 venues in the area shut their doors.

Under Tier 3 “Very High Alert” restrictions, which come into force today (December 2), pubs and bars have to close except for takeaway and delivery services.

The BBPA says that West Yorkshire pubs stand to lose £76.1 million in turnover over December, based on estimates of usual takings for the month.

Across England, an estimated 30,400 pubs will have to close during December – 16,500 in Tier 3 areas and a further 13,900 in Tier 2, where pubs and bars can only serve alcohol on the premises with a “substantial meal”.

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Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “With 99% of the country under tighter Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions, there will be carnage unless the Government acts immediately.

“We need the Government to recognise the impact of these restrictions and urgently provide more financial support.

“We cannot overstate how serious the situation is currently facing our staff, communities and businesses.

“The future of hundreds of breweries, thousands of pubs and tens of thousands of jobs hangs in the balance.”

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The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a one-off £1,000 "Christmas grant" to support pubs in Tier 2 and 3 that predominantly serve alcohol rather than food.

Ms McClarkin said this was a "meagre amount" to cover the loss of business pubs will face over the festive period.

A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesman said: "We understand the pressure businesses are currently under, particularly the hospitality industry. These restrictions, which are reviewed every 14 days, are essential so we can control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives."

He added that the £1,000 grant for pubs accompanied a "wide-ranging package of financial support", including the extended furlough scheme, other business grants, loan schemes and business rates holidays.