Shepherd Neame has announced a temporary change to its staffing structure and salary levels as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to unfold.
In an aim to protect jobs for the long term, none of its staff are being made redundant, and all will remain employed “in the hope that the teams will be reunited” and resume normal work on full pay “as soon as possible”.
As well as using the government’s new furlough measures, Shepherd Neame will also fund the wages of all those affected earning above £30k per annum so that they continue to receive 80% of their normal pay.
Meanwhile, all hourly paid staff in Shepherd Neame’s pub estate will have their pay settled for March in full and paid on the normal date.
The group is also requesting that around 85% of its employees “step aside” on a temporary basis, which will affect some 1,300 people across the managed pub estate and head office.
For employees that remain in active work, Shepherd Neame will ask higher paid employees to “support the collective effort” by implementing a temporary salary reduction of between 10% and 15%.
The group had previously announced that all directors have volunteered to take a 20% reduction in salary amid the ongoing crisis.
The brewery confirmed that these measures will be implemented in a phased approach beginning on 29 March. They will apply until the end of April, but be kept under regular review according to developments.
Chief executive Jonathan Neame said: “I am incredibly proud of our people, who have shown great spirit, great dedication to the company and have been a great support to each other in these challenging times, as we all adapt our lives to support the national effort.
“Our focus is to protect our people, our teams and the company for the long term. To do this, we have to take the difficult decision today to ask members of our team to stand aside on a temporary basis whilst our operational focus is restricted to producing beer for the supermarkets.”
He added: “As soon as the situation improves we will focus our efforts on resuming normal activity and look forward to welcoming our team members back at that time.”