A ROW is continuing between a Glasgow cafe owner and five staff who were made redundant and claim they are still owed a week’s notice pay.

Five members of staff lost their jobs after Coia’s in Dennistoun took the decision not to continue furlough saying the business will not require the same level of staff as it begins to recover after lockdown.

Cafe owner Alfredo Coia claims staff were paid what they are due and says he “reluctantly” had no option but to lose some workers after suffering “serious and significant” losses during the pandemic. 

Mr Coia said he is hopeful of being able to retain 37 of his 42 employees, the majority of which are still on furlough.  

However the workers who were made redundant are continuing to fight for pay they claim they are owed with the support of workers’ rights group Better than Zero.

READ MORE: More than 8.7million workers furloughed in pandemic 

In an email seen by the Glasgow Times Mr Alfredo writes: “As your employment is less than two years we reserve the right not to exhaust internal processes and to bring your employment to an end with one week’s notice.

“Utilisation of the furlough scheme is not a mandatory requirement for any employer and is based on the assumption that there will be a requirement for the same level of work at the end of the furlough period.

“I will not discuss why some have remained in our employment and you have not.”

The group claim in the case of one employee, Nicola Emslie-Stewart, the business declared to HMRC that it had paid her an amount that includes the week’s notice and she found this out when she applied for Universal Credit and was offered a reduced benefit.

She has now been told by Coia’s that it is looking into it.

Jonathan Heggie of Better than Zero said: “In her case, Coia’s have declared to HMRC that they’ve paid her £550.29. Nicole has only been paid £337.22.”

The staff have also accused Coia’s of a lack of transparency for refusing to disclose why they were selected and claim they were contacted by another worker who did three trial shifts and was not paid.

READ MORE: Glasgow City Council workers won't be asked to volunteer for redundancy under new reforms 

The cafe, which has been running for almost 90 years on Duke Street, has been operating a takeaway service since May with a pool of 16.

In response Alfredo Coia said he would not answer specific questions put to him by the Glasgow Times about the employees who were made redundant and claimed staff had been paid the correct amount.

He said: “As an organisation we have had to make some very difficult decisions in regard to a small number of staff and we have done so reluctantly. 

“We do not act without the benefit of legal advice and I confirm that all staff have been duly paid the correct monies as owed to them.”

Research suggests a third of Scotland’s workforce has been furloughed or made unemployed by the Covid-19 outbreak.

A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) estimated  900,000 Scots in total could be furloughed or out of work.