National Time Out should extend to March 2021, Hospitality Union leader tells Chancellor Rishi Sunak

The Staff Canteen

Hospitality Union leader Jonathan Downey has sent a revised version of the National Time Out policy proposal to the uk government, whereby rents on hospitality businesses would be frozen for a total of nine months and phased back to their previous levels by March 2021. 

The industry representative criticised the government's code of conduct issued to businesses and landlords to elucidate matters of rent, saying it looked like "a meaningless waste of time."

Instead, he said, businesses unable to open as a result of the coronavirus - because, as they are currently, they are banned from doing so, or because preventative measures such as travel bans and physical distancing prevent them from being viable - should be given a nine month rent-free period, followed by two months of payments based on revenue. 

Thereafter, businesses would either contribute 10% of their turnover to rent or a reduced percentage of rent in the region of 25% of their original value.

Jonathan Downey Tweeted that the implication made by the government, which is that landlords shouldn't be made to bear the brunt of the losses made because of the pandemic, represents a "high level of ignorance," as, he added, "Hospitality operators support a pyramid of profit and we've had to bear the full burden of a Government-ordered closure with 100% loss of revenues."

He then shared a graphic showing how most landlords, banks and financiers could continue to turn profits despite a nine month debt repayment break. 



If government were to heed his advice, it would also extend a rent moratorium preventing landlords from evicting its business tenants, currently set to cut off at the end of June.

Photo credit: Greg Funnell

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th June 2020

National Time Out should extend to March 2021, Hospitality Union leader tells Chancellor Rishi Sunak