United Kingdom

Gordon Ramsay sparks fury for 'using taxpayer-funded scheme to pay notice period of up to 500 staff'

Hundreds of workers at Gordon Ramsay's restaurants are being paid to work their notice periods via the government's taxpayer-funded furlough scheme. 

In March the celebrity chef's companies sacked 500 workers as the hospitality industry closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Today The Sun on Sunday has revealed some of those workers are being paid via the furlough scheme that is estimated to cost the government around £80bn of taxpayers' money. 

Gordon Ramsay announced one of his restaurants had reopened this week - but a leaked email shows sacked staff are being paid via the government's furlough scheme 

 An email seen by the paper from Gordon Ramsay Restaurants' HR Director Sarah Anderson to a London-based worker read: 'Should you not wish to apply for a new role, you will remain on the furlough scheme for the duration of your notice.' 

A source told The Sun: 'The furlough scheme is called the job retention scheme - but that is not what he seems to be using it for. They are sacking people anyway.'

The same source went on to claim senior members of staff in Mr Ramsay's restaurants were being offered lower-paid jobs, including telling a supervisor to become a bartender. 

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in West London is just one of the celebrity chef's eateries in the capital

Mr Ramsay, who is thought to be worth close to £200million, has restaurants across London, inlcuding in Mayfair and The Strand.

Alec Shelbrooke said there were questions over whether Mr Ramsay had exploited taxpayers, adding: 'It will have to be carefully looked at whether the scheme was used to increase the profits of the company.'

MailOnline has approached Gordon Ramsay Restaurants for a comment. 

The celebrity chef, 53, announced on Thursday evening that The Narrow in Limehouse, London, is returning as a takeaway BBQ restaurant.

Rishi's in-laws furlough three per cent of staff 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's billionaire father-in-law's company has deployed the government's furlough scheme for three per cent of its UK staff.

Software and consulting giant Infosys, which is based in India, was set up by Mr Sunak's father in law Narayan Murthy in 1981. Now an honorary chairman of the company, Mr Murthy has a fortune worth around £1.7bn, according to Forbes.

The company did not tell The Times how many people it employed in the UK, but the paper suggests it is around 10,000 - meaning around 300 workers have been furloughed. 

A company spokesman said: 'In light of the current situation, Infosys has furloughed 3% of its UK workforce. We are reviewing this on a weekly basis.'

He told Instagram followers: 'I've got some really exciting news.

'I know this lockdown has been an absolute nightmare for all of us but tomorrow at midday we're going to open for an amazing barbecue down on The Thames at The Narrow.

The lockdown led Ramsay, to lay off 500 employees in March, with no guarantee their jobs would be safe in the future. 

Chefs, waiters and other staff were called to a meeting and told their contracts were being terminated - rather than being furloughed on 80 per cent pay.

It triggered a wave of anger, including from chef Anca Torpuc who at the time branded the celebrity chef a 'piece of 's***' for his decision. 

Ramsay, 53, has grabbed headlines throughout the lockdown after he had his wrist  slapped for flouting lockdown rules.

The coastguard reportedly issued the father-of-five with an official warning after he was seen in Rock, Fowey, Port Isaac and Newquay – some distance from his £4million home in Trebetherick.    

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