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Casual workers at the Emirates ‘not paid’ since Premier League shut down

06 April, 2020

CASUAL catering and hospitality staff who work at the Emirates Stadium for an agency subcontracted by Arsenal say they have been told they will “not get paid” during the coronavirus crisis.

Two weeks ago, Arsenal confirmed they would pay all casual workers employed by the club until the end of April.

But the club’s gesture doesn’t extend to workers employed by sub-contracted agencies like Delaware North, who are employed by Arsenal and other football clubs to provide catering and hospitality staff.

Thousands of workers on zero-hours and casual contracts with Delaware North have not been paid or furloughed since the Premier League ground to a halt last month.

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And now, according to the Guardian, Delaware North’s casual employees have received emails explaining the company will not be using the government’s furlough scheme to pay casual workers, which could have entitled workers to some money.

According to the government website part-time, agency, flexible and zero-hours workers are covered by the furlough criteria.

Arsenal have said the employees affected are not employed by the club, and reiterated its commitment to paying its own causal workers until the end of April, when the situation will be reviewed.

In a statement, Delaware North said it was still trying to verify who meets the criteria for the government scheme.

A statement said: “The spread of COVID-19 has forced the closure of nearly every one of Delaware North’s more than 200 operating locations globally, and our entire UK business is currently suspended. The company, along with many others in the hospitality industry, is absorbing large ongoing financial losses.

 “Because of the uncertainty over when the crisis will subside, Delaware North’s leaders have made the agonising but unavoidable decision to place nearly all of our salaried and guaranteed hours employees on furlough leave, retaining only a small task force who remain on reduced pay.

 “The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been welcomed by Delaware North and industry across the UK. But there has been understandable ambiguity, given the speed at which it was launched, and details were still being clarified on the government’s website over the weekend. The hospitality industry have been seeking clarification on who meets the criteria to be furloughed.

 “Delaware North UK has a wide range of casual workers. We are happy to now be able to determine those who we believe are eligible for the scheme – the casual workers who have worked with us a significant number of weeks in the last year or work with us consistently over a number of years – and will be reaching out to them in the coming days.”

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