Kettering Labour party condemns local hotels that sacked staff instead of furloughing them

Rushton Hall and Barton Hall told staff to sign on at the job centre

Rushton Hall
Rushton Hall

Members of Kettering's Labour Party have spoken out to criticise the owners of two upmarket hotels in the borough that sacked staff instead of offering them access to the Government's coronavirus furlough scheme.

Earlier this week, the Northants Telegraph revealed that the Hazelton Group had told staff they should apply for benefits after rejecting their please to be put on furlough.

Now Kettering Labour Party has said it condemns their actions 'in the strongest possible terms'.

A statement said: "Barton Hall Hotel and Rushton Hall Hotel and Spa employ residents in local areas and provide a range of hospitality services within our communities. They benefit from the patronage of residents and visitors alike.

"The government set up the furlough scheme to provide employees and employers a way through this national pandemic and Hazelton Group’s refusal to use the scheme shows a callous disregard for their employees.

"Furthermore, Kettering Labour understands that some members of staff were notified of their release by being messaged through a WhatsApp group.

"We are troubled that such news was broken in such an insensitive and impersonal way.

"It is understood that the government’s furlough scheme will come to an end at some point, and there may be changes to the scheme ahead. However, Hazelton Group could have used the scheme in order to support staff that have supported their business to date."

The story prompted widespread outrage on social media, with many local people threatening to boycott the hotels when they reopen.