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Foster Refrigerator reduce workers as second lockdown compounds challenges

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A large West Norfolk employer has had to decrease its use of agency staff as the second lockdown continues to present big challenges for the hospitality sector.

Foster Refrigerator has had to reduce these workers in accordance with demand.

A spokesman for the company said: "Like many companies in Norfolk, Foster uses temporary staff employed by an external agency. Numbers vary throughout the year to manage seasonal changes in demand, which often drops-off in December.

Foster has had to decrease its agency staff due to the challenges presented by the second lockdown. Picture: SUBMITTED
Foster has had to decrease its agency staff due to the challenges presented by the second lockdown. Picture: SUBMITTED

"It is widely recognised that the hospitality sector, our main customer for refrigeration equipment, has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

"The second lockdown imposed by the government has compounded this trend, meaning orders from restaurants, pubs and bars have been affected."

Foster has stated recruiting organisation Staffline has offered alternative jobs to all the workers concerned.

Staffline is also discussing options with each individual affected with regards to their redeployment or eligibility for the government’s furlough scheme. Foster is not a part of these talks.

The Foster spokesman added: "Despite the uncertain future for the hospitality and catering sector, we are actively trying to sustain employment, and following the end of the first lockdown, we are pleased to report that by working with Staffline, we managed to return over 70 per cent of our agency colleagues back into the business.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff, distributors, suppliers and customers who have been working so hard throughout these recent turbulent months to support our industry and keep society moving."

The Lynn News was contacted by a former employee who worked at Foster for four years.

He said: "I was totally left in shock. Me and my fellow workers are left with no support, no money and no information. We have been totally left in the dark and the worst thing is I can not get universal credit until Staffline gives us our p45 so we can prove that we are not working.

"I have no idea what is going on at Foster and at Staffline, their agency."

Have you been affected by this move at Foster? What do you think?

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