The initiative was agreed during the early stages of the pandemic and will be available from next week to those who meet the necessary criteria.
Castle Rock managing director Colin Wilde said: “It’s been possible thanks to various factors, from the early pay sacrifices of the senior management team and directors and the operation of a sound business model.”
Protecting the family
Wilde continued: “The Covid-19 pandemic will have a huge and lasting impact on how businesses operate in the future.
“We’ve learned lessons and have had ideas that we intend to apply indefinitely and that includes this hardship fund, meaning eligible members of the Castle Rock family will always have access to a small pot of money should they need it in an emergency.
“We can expand on this as matters arise, but I sincerely hope it becomes a permanent fixture in how we look after our colleagues.”
Back to normal
The Castle Rock Hardship Fund also includes a commitment to suppliers of goods and services.
Wilde added: “Once received, we will pay them on time, and in full, in recognition that we’re not on our own. Our suppliers will be vital as things get back to normal, an impossibility if they aren’t there.”
The brewer and pub group also intends to pay all staff and suppliers in March and will also be able to cover the 80% pay rate in April – even if the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant has not been received by then.
Not out the woods yet
Wilde added: “We’re certainly not out of the woods. There remains a lot of uncertainty ahead, and we’re still expecting to have to make some difficult decisions.
“However, we’re doing what we said we’d do from the start, which is to look after the Castle Rock family as best we can, try to keep the economy going, and support our suppliers and peers. And not least to do our utmost to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Finally, it almost goes without saying that we acknowledge the work of others to protect our industry and our people – the Government, campaign groups and our local and national politicians lobbying for support.”