Lloyds to cut hundreds of UK jobs as it revives restructuring plans

a green sign hanging off the side of a building: Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

More than 1,200 staff at restaurant chain Pizza Hut and high street lender Lloyds Banking Group are facing redundancy, adding to a torrent of job cuts announced amid the pandemic.

Pizza Hut is considering closing up to 29 of its 244 UK outlets with the potential loss of 450 jobs.

The main UK franchisee of the US-owned business is also seeking to cut rents, asking landlords to base payment demands on turnoverat each outlet, under a restructuring deal called a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

The deal does not affect the Pizza Hut delivery business, which is separately owned.

High street lockdowns, social distancing rules and fears of the virus have hit trade at restaurant groups that were struggling even before lockdown restrictions, forcing them to make cutbacks.

The planned closures and redundancies follow similar moves at fellow Italian specialists Pizza Express and Azzurri Group, the owner of Ask Italian and Zizzi, while Carluccio’s and Casual Dining Group, owner of Bella Italia, Café Rouge, and Las Iguanas, have also shrunk dramatically.

a green sign hanging off the side of a building: Lloyds Banking Group says it ‘will seek to redeploy wherever possible’.

© Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA
Lloyds Banking Group says it ‘will seek to redeploy wherever possible’.

Details of the CVA by Pizza Hut Restaurants, which operates 245 outlets employing 5,000 people, could be announced as early as Wednesday evening, according to Sky News, which first reported the plan.

Separately, Lloyds Banking Group is to cut 865 jobs across the UK as the high street lender revives restructuring proposals.

The bank said it had decided to push ahead with plans to simplify parts of its business, adding that affected staff would leave in November at the earliest. It will also create 226 new roles, which means the net reduction amounts to 639 jobs, out of a total workforce of 65,000 people.

Related: Lloyds reviews use of office space amid homeworking trend

The majority of the roles are back-office posts that do not involve interaction with customers, mainly in the bank’s insurance and wealth management divisions, after it set up a personal wealth venture with Schroders.

A Lloyds spokesperson said: “We will seek to redeploy wherever possible, with all colleagues given access to a package of training and support designed to help them secure their next position, whether within or outside of the group.”

Lloyds said the Accord and Unite trade unions had been consulted.

Unite’s Rob MacGregor said: “Unite is adamant that it is totally unacceptable that LBG persists in putting undue pressure on those who remain working for the bank by making hundreds more of their fellow workers redundant on a regular basis.

“The pandemic has demonstrated the amazing resilience and flexibility of this workforce. The employer should not focus solely on cutting jobs and costs but instead the bank should invest in a workforce that has only shown loyalty, dedication and hard work through the good times and the bad.”

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