Coronavirus

Britannia closes Ashley Hotel in Hale and makes all staff redundant

By David Prior at

The Ashley Hotel in Hale has closed and made all staff redundant in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The hotel, run by Britannia Hotels, informed all staff that it would be closing its doors at 11am yesterday.

An employee told us that only staff who had been with the company for over two years were entitled to receive redundancy pay.

A notice in the hotel reception read: “It is our regret to inform all guests that as of tomorrow (19/03/2020) the hotel will unfortunately be closed until further notice.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this time and would like to point out that our sister hotel The Britannia Country House Hotel and The Britannia Airport Hotel are still open during this time if you wish to stay there.”

The company, which in January reported soaring sales to £115.4m with founder Alex Langsam worth £220m according to the Sunday Times Rich List, has more than 60 hotels across the UK.

It has been widely condemned for the way in which it announced the closure of another of its hotels, the Aviemore Coylumbridge Hotel.

A letter told live-in employees to vacate the Scottish Highlands hotel “immediately”.

It read: “Taking the latest Government advice, this letter is to confirm that with effect from 19th 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.

“You are asked to vacate the Hotel accommodations immediately, returning any company property to John Macfarlane, 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.”

Shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, called the “brutal” move “unacceptable behaviour”, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that “no one should be treated like that”.