Belfast Telegraph

Wetherspoon staff to keep perks despite living wage

By Ravender Sembhy

Tim Martin, the Northern Irish-boss of pub company JD Wetherspoon, has vowed to maintain staff perks and bonuses despite having to fork out extra money for the national living wage.

Campbell College past-pupil Mr Martin said JD Wetherspoon, which has nine pubs here, would keep bonuses and perks for the group's 37,000 staff because it is a "groovy company".

"About 40% of our profits go to staff in bonuses and free shares, and there are no plans for that to change," he added.

Retailers such as Caffe Nero have come under fire for withdrawing perks in order to fund the new wage hike.

Mr Martin cautioned that while the implementation of the pay hike was still in its first stage, the living wage could yet have repercussions.

The firm, which runs 954 pubs, said pre-tax-profits slipped 3.9% to £36m in the first half of the year following two pay increases.

Mr Martin, who is pro-Brexit, also said that his company would not be affected if Britain voted to leave the EU in June.

Only 5% of staff in its last 100 new pubs were non-British - which was typical of the company. He also said that he "wouldn't send anybody home", instead favouring the status quo immigration system with the EU before introducing a points-based system.

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