Glass full: Wetherspoons chef Tim Martin has received his salary
Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin has been paid in full again after a pandemic pay cut – despite the pub chain crashing to its first annual loss since 1984.
The pub group’s founder and chairman halved his salary from £ 324,000 a year in March, but his salary quietly rose again in August, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. Chief executive John Hutson and the rest of the Wetherspoons board of directors also join a host of crisis-affected executives who paid back their pay after accepting lower salaries in March.
Last week’s MoS revealed that the bosses of struggling easyJet and the Intercontinental hotel group were among those who cut back to full pay. Martin’s pay rise could prove controversial as the hospitality industry is hammered by the second wave of lockdowns taking effect in Britain this winter.
Rival pub group Marston’s announced 2150 job cuts on Thursday and joined bosses at Greene King, Fuller’s, Young’s and Mitchells & Butlers to warn that many pubs will become ‘unviable’ due to restrictions preventing millions of households from interfering.
Pubs and restaurants were among the last businesses to be allowed to reopen after the initial lockdown, on July 4, and are struggling to cope because of social remoteness – including only offering table service, the 6pm rule, and a 10pm curfew. hours – have limited trading.
Wetherspoons, which has nearly 900 pubs, revealed on Friday that it had plunged into the red last financial year and collapsed to a loss of £ 105.4m from a profit of £ 95.4m the year before.
Revenues evaporated as pubs were forced to close, and the company said strong sales growth following the reopening was hampered by the introduction of a curfew.
Martin, who founded the company in 1979, used the results to paralyze the government’s approach to lockdown, arriving at an “ever-changing series of ill-thought-out regulations.” Eager Brexiteer has made headlines several times since the virus outbreak – accused of trying to keep its pubs open against government contracts, failing to pay staff for completed work and telling staff to work at Tesco – all claims he denies .
The pub chef’s pay rise could anger his 43,000 employees after 108 staff were fired from headquarters, and 450 who work in six of the UK’s airport bars are at risk of losing their jobs.
It may also be revealed that real estate giant British Land and manufacturer Johnson Matthey are among those who have seen executives roll back on their pay cuts.
Directors of £ 3 billion landlord British Land cut their salaries by 20 percent from April to July to contribute to the company’s charity fund. The commercial real estate company has faced a collapse in office usage, and many retailer tenants refused to pay rent. The bosses of Johnson Matthey, the FTSE100 catalyst maker, took a 20 percent discount from April to June to pay to a science education fund.
In June, the automotive supplier unveiled plans to cut 2,500 jobs worldwide in three years to deal with the effects of the pandemic. Lucy Powell MP, Shadow Secretary for Business and Consumers, said: “ Reports of rising executive wages will be a bitter pill to swallow for many low-paid key officials who have played a vital role in this coronavirus crisis, and for the many people who have their jobs. lost. ‘
She added: ‘We are in the midst of a deep recession and an unemployment crisis. The government must do the right thing – provide the right support to save jobs and ensure that those with low incomes who have worked so hard to keep our country going get the wages they deserve. ‘
Sarah Wilson, chief executive of corporate governance consulting firm Minerva Analytics, said: “ Investors are already challenging investee companies to use Covid-19 as an opportunity to rethink their thinking on a range of environmental, social and governance issues, and reward is one part of it. from that. All too often, compensation has focused on purely financial measures, without considering the wider impact on stakeholders, staff, suppliers and the climate.
“What Covid-19 shows us is that there is no such thing as normal now. What happened in the past has little effect on what happens next. Companies that don’t see Covid-19 as an opportunity to focus on a values-based approach to strategy and reward will not make it in the long run. ‘
The British Beer and Pub Association claims that 290,000 jobs are at stake in an industry where 43 percent of workers are under 25. It is estimated that more than a quarter of Britain’s 39,700 pubs will not survive the pandemic.
About 14,000 locations are owned by large groups with multiple pubs, including Wetherspoons. The remainder is run by small chains and single landlords and is seen as the most likely to close soon.
Wetherspoons raised £ 141 million through a stock placement in June to bolster its balance sheet amid the virus crisis.
Martin declined to comment on his pay.
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