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Executives agree pay cuts as thousand more staff suspended

Frankie & Benny's restaurant in a shopping centre

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Frankie & Benny

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The Restaurant Group’s chains include Frankie & Benny’s, Wagamama, Coast to Coast and Chiquito

More company bosses have agreed to take pay cuts, as firms continue to suspend thousands of staff and slash wages.

Restaurant Group, whose chains include Wagamama and Garfunkel’s, said boss Andy Hornby would take a 40% pay cut.

The firm has laid off the vast majority of its 21,500 workers closed all of its more than 650 casual dining venues, sending its share price into freefall.

And Daily Mirror publisher Reach has cut the wages of all staff by 10%, while executives will see a 20% cut.

Reach, which also runs the Express titles and a raft of local papers, said it had seen advertising, circulation and events affected by the virus.

It said the company’s board, along with some members of its most senior editorial and management team, will take their 20% cut immediately.

Meanwhile, bosses of retail chain Sports Direct, part of the Frasers Group, will have their salaries cut to £40,000.

Mike Ashley, the chief executive, owns 62% of the company and does not take a salary. But the decision represents a significant pay cut for his finance chief Chris Wootton who stood to earn £150,000 this year, according to The Times.

Arcadia, which owns brands including Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins has suspended more than 90% of its 16,000 employees and asked its top executives to take a pay cut of up to 50%.

‘Safeguard business’

Restaurant Group’s Mr Hornby, whose base salary is £630,000, “wholeheartedly” thanked the firm’s employees for their “extraordinary understanding and commitment”.

“These are unprecedented times for our business and our sector,” he said in a statement.

Whereas Mr Hornby is taking a 40% cut, the firm’s finance director, Kirk Davis, volunteered to take a smaller 20% pay cut reflecting the “exceptional workload” involved in his job.

The 20% pay cut mirrors the reduction taken by workers who are furloughed and paid through the government’s job coronavirus job retention scheme.

Meanwhile, senior executives at Stobart Group, which owns London Southend Airport and Carlisle Lake District Airport, will also see a 20% pay cut. The firm has suspended about half of its more than 1,500 staff.

“The challenges presented by the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus have been significant,” said Stobart Group boss, Warwick Brady.

“We have acted at pace to put in place steps to safeguard our business in the immediate term, and our people have consistently understood and supported the actions we have taken.”

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