Fact Service March 2021

Issue 9

Employer 'bullies staff into lending it money'

General union the GMB has accused the Tomahawk restaurant chain of bullying furloughed staff into lending it money to pay for their pensions.

According to the union, Tomahawk called an online meeting for all staff and asked to borrow money from their wages to pay for national insurance and pension contributions.

In the meeting, staff were allegedly told to “f**k off somewhere else if you don’t like it” and, if they didn’t sign, the company would “review whether you are suitable for your role”.

The GMB says that workers then received a letter, which included a loan agreement, saying “the company has a short-term cash flow issue and it now requires your help and support,” and “we respectfully ask, in these difficult times, for you to support us by agreeing to pay your own Employer’s NIC/Pension Contributions by way of a voluntary ‘loan’ to the company, whilst we are in lockdown”.

Neil Derrick, GMB regional secretary, said: “This is an outrageous abuse of the furlough scheme and a legal loophole that must be closed.”