Mitchells and Butlers wants the government to provide extra support to pubs.

Leaders in the hospitality sector are taking legal action over new restrictions.

Greene King, JD Wetherspoon and Whitbread have also announced job cuts.

Harvester and All Bar One owner Mitchells & Butlers has opened talks with its staff over redundancies, blaming the uncertainty created by government restrictions on the hospitality sector.

The pub and restaurant chain did not cite the exact number of employees it would be letting go, but called the decision 'very difficult and regrettable.'

It has vowed to 'redeploy affected staff wherever possible' and accused the government of singling out the pub industry for taking the 'full brunt' of restrictions that have been imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mitchells & Butlers is the parent company of popular family restaurant chain Harvester

'While we have worked incredibly hard to makes sites Covid-19 secure and keep staff and customers safe,' remarked the firm, 'we are facing significant difficulties from the recently introduced 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants, newly enforced closures and tapering government support that doesn't go far enough.'

Mitchells and Butlers received a boost from the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme in August

Mitchells & Butlers called on the government to provide extra support to theĀ  hospitality sector, which it described was operating in 'exceptionally challenging and uncertain circumstances.

Last month, the Birmingham-based business released results showing like-for-like sales in July dropped by about a third. It attributed social distancing rules and consumer caution for the massive downturn.

Night-Time Industry Association boss Mike Kill said the government's new restrictions and meagre financial support 'will have a catastrophic impact on late-night businesses'

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme helped turnover recover in August, though after it ended, sales declined 6.4 per cent in the first three weeks of September.

Since then, additional regulations have been imposed on hospitality venues. In England, they must close at 10pm, and in some areas of the country, people from different household are banned from meeting up in licensed premises.

Scotland has implemented even harsher restrictions, shutting all establishments in the 'Central Belt' areas, while banning eating and drinking indoors from 6pm to 10pm at all other cafes, restaurants and bars in the country.

Under a new three-tier system of local lockdown rules that was announced yesterday by the government, places in the 'Very High' tier would be forced to close their pubs.

Yesterday also saw leaders in the hospitality sector declare they were launching a legal challenge to make any new rules which affect the industry subject to judicial review.

Trade body the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) supports the action, believing the government's measures lack scientific evidence and will cause thousands of businesses to go under.

Pub operators JW Lees and Joseph Holt also back the action, which is being spearheaded by Parklife festival co-founder and night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, Sacha Lord.

Michael Kill, NTIA's chief executive, stated: 'These new measures will have a catastrophic impact on late-night businesses, and are exacerbated further by an insufficient financial support package presented by the Chancellor in an attempt to sustain businesses through this period.

'We have, therefore, been left with little choice but to escalate the matter further.'

Some of Britain's biggest pub and restaurant groups have been forced to carry out large-scale job cuts as a result of demand plummeting this year.

Frankie & Benny's owner, The Restaurant Group, announced in June that it would lay off 3,000 workers. On September 22, JD Wetherspoon and Beefeaters parent company Whitbread revealed they would slash around 6,400 jobs between them.

And last week, Greene King revealed plans to cut about 800 jobs while pub groups Young's, Fuller's and City Pub Group have also said they are planning redundancies.

Emma McClarkin, the head of the British Beer and Pub Association wrote that if the government wants to impose stiff new restrictions, 'then a far stronger financial package of support is going to be needed than what the Chancellor already announced.

'The cash grants for businesses forced to close will not cover high fixed costs and write-off costs for and are lower when compared to the grant support given during the national lockdown.

'Likewise, grants and the additional job retention support should be available to those pubs facing the middle tier of restrictions and the inevitable further decline in their revenue they face.'

Shares in Mitchells and Butlers closed down 2.7 per cent to 137p on Tuesday.

This article is republished from Daily Mail Online. Read the original article.

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