A LEADING trade union has slammed two Glasgow hospitality giants for “refusing” to re-furlough workers.

According to Unite the Union, both West Brewery and The Ivy have asked hospitality staff to take annual leave entitlement or be temporarily laid off throughout the Scottish Government’s 16-day lockdown of pubs and restaurants.

Staff at the Calton-based West Brewery found out on Friday, October 9 that the company would either be offering shifts in their warehouse and brewery or asking staff to use annual leave to cover the period.

A source at West Brewery, who has asked not to be named, claimed that workers didn’t have enough holidays accrued to cover the period. He also claimed workers were offered just eight hours of work per week – even if they’d previously worked full-time hours.

West Brewery was approached for comment but was unavailable.

However, the Glasgow Times has seen WhatsApp messages that appear to confirm workers had been asked to take holidays or work shifts in the warehouse or brewery attached to the business.

Glasgow Times: West Brewery West Brewery

Meanwhile, The Ivy on Buchanan Street advised workers in an e-mail on Friday, October 9 that they will be laid off for the duration of the lockdown period.

Workers at the upmarket eatery were instead offered payments totalling £150 to cover the 16-day lockdown or they could submit an annual leave request.

An employee at The Ivy, who asked not to be named, said: “I’m a student, I have a house and I live on my own so I’m a bit worried. There are people who have children that might need time off for the school holidays or Christmas. It’s basically get paid now or don’t get paid later. It’s a lose-lose situation.”

A spokeswoman for The Ivy Collection said: “The decision is not one we take lightly at all.With the rules constantly changing across the country, we are following all the government’s guidelines and as a result of this are proactively engaging with our staff who are affected and are offering our support during this uncertain time.

“Our holiday procedure is a company-wide policy which is detailed in all employee contracts and handbooks and strictly adheres to government guidance and employment laws.The health and safety of our guests and staff remain our ultimate priority as we navigate this very difficult time for our industry.”

Bryan Simpson, who organises hospitality workers on behalf of Unite said: “For two Glasgow Hospitality institutions to be treating their loyal workforce like this in the middle of a pandemic is simply deplorable. Both companies can and should be re-furloughing their staff under the rules of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.”

Under UK Government rules, affected workers could be placed back on furlough .

A spokeswoman for the UK Government said: “To enable the introduction of flexible furloughing, and support those already furloughed back to work, claims from July onwards are restricted to employers who have used the scheme before and previously furloughed employees.”