WILLIAM HILL has permanently closed 119 shops due to a drop in footfall following the coronavirus crisis.
Around 200 jobs will be affected but the majority of employees at risk have been “redeployed” to other stores nearby that remain open.
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Twelve workers will be made redundant in areas where they cannot be moved to another store.
William Hill runs more than 1,500 betting shops in the UK and employs around 7,000 staff.
The branches that are affected have already closed down as they never reopened following the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown.
The latest round of stores is on top of the 700 branch closures announced last year, which put 4,500 jobs at risk.
What are my redundancy rights?
BEFORE making you unemployed, your employer should still carry out a fair redundancy process.
You are entitled to be consulted on the redundancy lay-off first and to receive a statutory redundancy payment, as long as you’ve been working somewhere for at least two years.
How much you’re entitled to depends on your age and length of service, although this is capped at 20 years. You’ll get:
- Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22,
- One week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41,
- One and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older.
Sadly, you won’t be entitled to a payout if you’ve been working for your employer for fewer than two years.
There should be a period of collective consultation as well as time for individual ones if your employer wants to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days or each other.
You are also entitled to appeal the decision by claiming unfair dismissal within three months of being let go.
But despite the closures, the chain said it was encouraged by the progress seen over the past few months since betting stores were allowed to reopen.
Online, the business said that it had done well since mainstream sports started up again.
Pre-tax profit hit £141 million in the first six months of 2020, a swing from a loss of £63 million the same time last year.
Revenue was £554 million, down by a 32 per cent, which it put down to the temporary ban on sporting events during lockdown and the three-month closure of its shops.
But it added that because the retailer has bounced back so promisingly, it will repay the £24.5million it took from the government to pay furloughed staff.
Chief executive Ulrik Bengtsson said: “I am delighted with William Hill’s performance in these extraordinary times.
“Our team has been remarkable, supporting each other and our customers throughout the pandemic, and I would like to thank them for their continuing efforts.”
He added: “The furlough scheme provided welcome and timely support, and meant we could protect the jobs of our 7,000 UK retail colleagues.
“Therefore, given the strength of our recovery post-lockdown, we have decided to repay the furlough funds.”
Yesterday, Pizza Express warned that it may close 67 UK restaurants putting 1,100 jobs at risk.
Currys PC World plans to cut 800 jobs as part of a shake-up of its store management structure, it said on Tuesday.
Earlier this week, Hays Travel announced that it would make 878 staff redundant due to the impact of the pandemic on the travel industry.