NEW Look is offering thousands of workers unpaid leave as it prepares to close hundreds of stores around the country in the wake of the coronavirus, it was reported.
The company has offered its 13,000 strong workforce the option of unpaid voluntary leave, voluntary reduced hours or the chance to use their holiday allowance for the foreseeable future.
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The moves comes as retailers Gap, Oasis, Selfridges and several UK restaurant chains closed their doors to the public until further notice this week due to the coronavirus.
"To help ease the impact of coronavirus on the business, we have asked if colleagues would consider voluntarily taking unpaid leave for up to 4 weeks or to work reduced hours temporarily," a spokeswoman told Mirror Money.
The decision by New Look comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed a package that will see the government pay up to 80 per cent of wages – or up to £2,500 a month – for people who are not working but kept on payroll.
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The move will see the government set-up a coronavirus job retention scheme.
It is also upping the Universal Credit standard allowance, deferring VAT for three months and encouraging businesses to take out loans to keep employees in work.
He said: "The economic intervention that I am announcing today is unprecedented in the history of the British state."
"Today I can announce that for the first time in our history the government is going to step in and pay people's wages."
Any employer in the country charitable or non profit will be eligible for the scheme.
It's feared up to to 800,000 in the UK business could go bust due to the virus.
Already 170,000 self employed who work in the film industry have lost their jobs after productions have been shut down due to the virus.
Earlier this week Laura Ashley announced it was going into administration putting 2,700 jobs at risk.
Virgin Atlantic has asked staff to take unpaid leave, while Tui today confirmed that it will be cutting staff hours and wages.
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