Restaurant chain that asked staff to loan wages or face sack returns 500 workers’ pay

A restaurant chain that asked furloughed staff to loan back part of their wages to the company to cover National Insurance and pension contributions or face the sack has repaid the money.

Tomahawk Steakhouse restaurant chain

Tomahawk Steakhouse came under fire after allegedly asking furloughed members of staff to loan back 10% of their wages to the business or face the sack.

Now, though, the business has paid back some 500 workers, who all apparently agreed to the loan, the BBC reports.

In a letter cited by the BBC, the restaurant, which has locations in the North of England and London, told staff it had a “short-term cash flow issue and it requires your help and support”.

GMB Union said at the time that staff who refused were advised that “suitability for the role will have to be reviewed”, a claim that Tomahawk denies.

The business says that staff have now all been paid back in full, plus an extra 20%, something GMB called a “massive win” for workers.

A spokeswoman for Tomahawk Steakhouse said:

“As part of the voluntary agreement signed by all of our staff, we promised that any monies loaned would be returned as soon as we were financially able.

“Following the budget announcement last week, we are delighted to have been able to swiftly honour that promise this week.

“All staff have now received the loaned amount, along with an additional 20%, as a thank you for supporting the business at this critical time.”

Neil Derrick, GMB regional secretary, said:

“This was always an outrageous exploitation of both the furlough scheme and low paid, young workers.

“The cash should never have been taken in the first place as no employee can afford a further reduction in their take home pay – especially when it’s to cover their employer’s own obligations.

“Tomahawk’s bullying behaviour was rightly condemned across the board. Their U-turn is a massive win for workers.”

You can read our original story on the loan request here.

H/T: BBC News.

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