The Chawke Pub Group, one of Ireland’s largest pub groups, has laid off up to 300 staff as a result of the ongoing lockdown measures in Dublin and changes to the wage subsidy scheme.
There are nine gastropubs under the Chawke Group umbrella, including well-known pubs such as The Bank Bar on College Green and The Oval. Around 400 people are employed in the group, the majority of which are based in Dublin and have been furloughed since late March.
Bill Chawke’s Bar and Aunty Lena’s Bar in Adare are continuing to trade as normal and are unaffected by the layoffs.
David Chawke, who runs The Bank Bar, told Independent.ie that he hopes the layoffs to be temporary: “The biggest issue is we used to get paid or reimbursed under the wage subsidy scheme five days later, so we paid staff and got the money back days later. Now it takes four to six weeks to get that money and they can’t give us an answer as to why that changed.”
The Licensed Vintners’ Association (LVA) has warned that 90% of pub jobs in Dublin are now gone, many of which may not be reinstated in the future.
Recent changes to the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) now mean that anybody earning less than €151.20 per week will not receive the subsidy. As a result many bars have let go part time staff who typically work two or three shifts a week.