Heineken tight-lipped on UK job cuts

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Job losses: Heineken is cutting some 8,000 job across its international operations, with fewer than 100 losses in the UK
Job losses: Heineken is cutting some 8,000 job across its international operations, with fewer than 100 losses in the UK

Related tags: lockdown, Heineken, Beer, Star pubs & bars, coronavirus, Public house, Jobs

Brewing giant Heineken has confirmed the loss of under 100 jobs at its UK operation.

It is cutting 8,000 jobs in total, with some from the head office in Amsterdam. 

Staff in the UK were informed of a restructure in October 2020, after which a consultation occurred and has now completed.

The company was not keen to comment on what jobs were being cut in the UK or how its pub arm Star Pubs and Bars would be affected.

Job cuts would fall across the business, according to the BBC​.

A spokesperson for Heineken UK added: “Throughout the pandemic, our focus has been on the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues who have shown great resilience in supporting our customers through the most challenging trading conditions we’ve seen in generations."

Sales hit

Sale volumes of beer and cider were hit by the closure of pubs during the first lockdown and subsequent restrictions. 

The company experienced an increase in volumes in the off-trade but this "in no way made up" for the loss of on-trade volumes.

"Despite this we have been able to increase market share in both channels and, pleasingly, we have seen an outperformance of our low and non-alcoholic portfolio where Heineken 0.0 is now clearly the number one beer brand in this category," the spokesperson added.

“To date, we’ve invested over £44m in rent reductions for our Star Pubs & Bars licensees and implemented a number of support measures to help our pubs open safely and viably when they’ve been allowed to do so. Alongside our industry colleagues, we continue to urgently ask the Government for continued financial support including an extension of business rates relief and a cut in VAT to support a sustainable recovery for the pub sector.

“The NHS vaccination programme is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we look forward to welcoming back consumers to pubs across the country as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Sales declined in Europe, Mexico, South Africa and Indonesia with restrictions on licensed venues remaining in many countries.

Sector calls for support

The news comes as the hospitality sector has been pressing Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend support measures ahead of the Budget on 3 March.

Some 660,000 hospitality jobs were lost in 2020 according to figures from sector software provider Fourth.

More than 300 staff were made redundant across JD Wetherspoon's airport sites and head office while operator Whitbread confirmed 1,500 job losses in its latest trading update. 

What's more, pub companies Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) and Greene King have announced the closure of a number of sites.

A financial package of support worth £35bn is needed to safeguard 500,000 hospitality jobs, one business group said.

The Independent Business Network called on the Chancellor to halve alcohol taxes, which it estimated would cost £1.8bn, include alcohol in the VAT cut (£750m) and extend the VAT reduction for the rest of this year (£6.3bn).

Related topics: Star Pubs & Bars

Related news

Show more