Hotel Staff Sacked And Immediately Evicted After Coronavirus Outbreak
Workers at a hotel in the Scottish Highlands received a letter to say they were being made homeless and jobless yesterday.
Amidst the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Coylumbridge Hotel near Aviemore issued letters to staff, asking them to "vacate the premises immediately", but have since insisted the letter was an "admin error".
The letter, handed out on Thursday 19th March, was headed "services no longer required" and read: "Taking the latest government advice, this letter is to confirm that with effect from 19 March 2020 your employment has been terminated as your services are no longer required.
"Your final payslip will include all hours worked up to and including your final day, together with any accrued holidays not already taken and one week's pay in lieu of notice.
"Please understand that if you have taken more holidays this year than you had currently built up an allowance for, then, this amount will be deducted from your final salary, as per the term and conditions of your contract of employment.
"You are asked to vacate the hotel accommodations immediately, returning any company property to John Macfarlance, hotel controller before leaving the hotel.
"I would like to take this opportunity to wish you every success in securing future employment and thank you for your time at Britannia Hotels."
Aviemore Coylumbridge Hotel sent this letter to staff today. Not just fired but chucked out of their accommodation with no notice and no redundancy pay! @BritanniaLtd Britannia Hotels should be ashamed of themselves. Certainly no "room at the inn" here, disgusting. pic.twitter.com/p6ZB2IYfoK
- John G. Burns (@ScaryHighlander) March 19, 2020
The BBC report that one worker, Alvarito Garcia from Madrid, who has been employed at the hotel for almost two years, has said his only option now is to live in a tent until his food and supplies run out.
Alvarito - who said the letter was given to at least 13 members of staff - told BBC's Good Morning Scotland: "I don't know what to do. They gave me the letter and they said I had to leave immediately. They didn't give me any notice. Even in my rota, they didn't put anything different."
"I don't know why. They didn't say anything. I don't have words to say. I feel useless, I feel bad."
Alvarito says he is unsure whether he will be able to return to Spain with the ongoing situation there as well as the travel bans now in place.
However, today the hotel has said the letter was sent out by mistake. In a statement, Britannia Hotels said: "With regards to the current situation regarding staff at our Coylumbridge Hotel and being asked to vacate their staff accommodation.
"Unfortunately, the communication sent to these employees was an administrative error.
"We have approximately 25 live in staff who did not receive this communication. Unfortunately, Mr Garcia and a few other members of staff received the incorrect correspondence, due to this administration error.
"All affected employees are being immediately contacted. We apologise for any upset caused."
Prior to the statement, Macdonald Hotels stepped forward to offer help to Coylumbridge employees who have been left jobless and homeless.
"The entire hospitality industry is being hit really hard, with temporary closures and lay-offs across the board," said a spokeswoman.
"However, when we heard of the situation at Coylumbridge Hotel, we immediately contacted the management there to offer their employees access to our staff accommodation at the nearby Macdonald Aviemore Resort to ensure they wouldn't be put out on the street.
"Any workers from Coylumbridge Hotel who require accommodation should get in touch with Macdonald Aviemore Resort and we'll be pleased to help them."
"This is not reflective of the approach of any business we know, or our members and all have come out to condemn the deplorable actions of this company." -@MCrothall- ST Alliance (@st_alliance) March 20, 2020
The STA responds to Britannia Hotels announcement: https://t.co/uilslbS9Dd
Meanwhile, the Scottish Tourism Alliance condemned the letter. They said: "The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) has been in touch with tourism businesses all over Scotland throughout the night regarding the decision Britannia Hotels took yesterday to shed all staff from their jobs and accommodation in Aviemore by way of letter and its decision to close three hotels.
"This is not reflective of the approach of any business we know, or our members and all have come out to condemn the deplorable actions of this company.
"Aside from the approach, the letter sent to employees lacked any compassion or humanity in tone; it was cold, brutal and shocking. We have never encountered anything like this.
"This is the most difficult time that Scotland's tourism industry will ever face; the crisis has hit every business, family and community. We have seen nothing but compassion and respect across the sector, in the most dire of circumstances which is testament to the spirit and strength of the people who work in Scottish tourism."
Featured Image Credit: Britannia Hotels