Edwardian Hotels in the Firing Line over Holiday Dispute

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GMB London have concerns with the Edwardian Mayfair Hotel in Mayfair Central London over staff told to take holiday during furlough.

The GMB, the union for hotel and catering workers has been told by their members employed by Edwardian Hotels, that whilst being paid by the government furlough scheme their employer has told them they must take their accrued holidays by the end of October ... when the furlough scheme ends. This means the hotel will not need to pay all the holiday pay from their own funds.


A demonstration will take place at the Edwardian Mayfair Hotel Stratton St, Mayfair, London W1J 8LT at 12.00 noon on Thursday the 29th of October


Many staff have also been told to accept a 50% reduction in hours of work or they face dismissal if they do not accept this drastic change. The new contract has a lay-off clause and does not guarantee paid work.


The GMB, the union for workers in catering and the hospitality sector who represent members in the Edwardian, say loyal staff, many of them migrant workers who use their holidays to see family in their home countries are being told to take their holiday during lockdown which means if they go abroad, which could means lockdown in their home countries and isolating when they return. Or sit at home, which they are doing under furlough with their wages being subsidies by the government furlough scheme.


The law allows employers to determine when an employee can take holidays, this a sensible measure to stop all staff from taking holiday at the same time. However, as the staff are not in work this is not the reason for demanding that they take their holidays when being paid furlough cash.


The GMB feel that the Edwardian are using the furlough money, paid for by taxpayers, to offset the holiday pay they would need to pay staff if they went on holiday after the furlough ended.


Many decent employers are doing their best to help staff who have been loyal to them, instead the Edwardian, owned by Jasminder Singh who is listed on the 2019 Sunday Times Rich List as having a net worth of £1.1 billion, is cashing in on the government furlough scheme to save paying holiday pay with their own money. Mr Singh, who has an OBE, will no doubt be pleased that his organisation is saving money by making their workers take holiday whilst on furlough.


If staff are made redundant, they will have less holiday pay accrued to look forward to when they face the dole queue. This has caused London Region GMB to organise and demonstrate outside the functioning Edwardian Hotels and to draw attention to this shabby attempt to grab the last penny from the taxpayers.


Michael Dooley, GMB London Region Officer said:


“We feel that Jasminder Singh’s organisation is acting in a grubby manner, any honourable man would do the right thing and cancel this instruction and allow his staff to use the new law to carry holidays over for the next two years. Decent employers have not resorted to this level and are playing fair with their staff; however, we know sadly, not all employers do play fair.”


He added “we are in hard times and in hard times we pull together and do not take advantage of a tragic situation, some employers like the Edwardians of this world do not seem to have that pulling together sentiment”. 



For photos (Gratis) and more information Michael Dooley of the GMB can be contacted on 07773061798

Edwardian Mike O’Connor Operations Director- mike.o'

Human Resources Director - Caroline Marais