Union calls for restaurant compensation: full fixed costs including staff salaries

The Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa says the money the government has estimated it will need to support restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs isn't going to be nearly enough.

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File picture of restaurant buffet line / Credit: iStock

The Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa is calling on the government to fully compensate business owners in the sector for their fixes costs, including staff salaries, while they’re forcibly closed.

On Monday prime minister Sanna Marin announced a state of emergency and three week shutdown of restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs in parts of the country with high levels of coronavirus. Public health officials, doctors and scientists are worried that a weeks-long increase in Covid-19 cases, including a high proportion of new, fast-spreading strains, will put significant pressure on hospitals, especially intensive care beds.

While the government’s Finance Committee estimates €50 million is needed to cover the costs of business owners during the shutdown, MaRa says the figure is more like €140 million when staff salary costs are taken into consideration.

File picture of lunch buffet / Credit: News Now Finland

“The coronavirus crisis has plagued restaurants and their employees for almost a year. The amount [of estimated compensation] is significantly lower than the compensation paid for last year, even though the companies are in much worse shape” explains Timo Lappi, MaRa’s CEO.

“If the compensation is only €50 million, the losses of restaurants during the closure period could increase by almost €90 million. That money can’t be found anywhere. The restaurant companies’ own funds are running out and as many loans have been taken out as possible” he adds.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment TEM says it is “preparing a support model for the reasonable compensation of businesses affected by the closure” as a matter of urgency.

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