On Sunday evening, hotel director Mikael Forselius at Britannia confirms that 292 employees will not have to go into Christmas as laid-off workers.
The reason is that the government will launch a more flexible wage support scheme the same evening, the hotel director informs E24.
– The adjustment that is coming now is that you can use October and November two years ago as a reference. This means that we withdraw the redundancy notice for 292 employees, says Forselius.
– That is the best thing that could happen. Now we can use the time as long as the restrictions last, of course with reduced operation in the bars and restaurant, for training and education and the course, to increase the competence of all the employees, says the hotel director.
The scheme from the government means that companies can choose whether they want to take the starting point two years back or in October and November 2021 when they calculate their turnover fall, as a basis for applying for wage support, it says in a statement from the Ministry of Finance Sunday night.
– We have been concerned with making it a little less difficult for companies and employees in the coming months. We have listened to the parties and input we have received in recent days, says Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum in the message.
The government proposes a more flexible wage support scheme
– Been really tough
Hotel director Mikael Forselius emphasizes that this will now be possible entirely due to the government’s adjustment in the wage support scheme.
– We have worked very well with them over the weekend and said what we mean. The Minister of Finance has himself been involved, as well as Fellesforbundet and NHO, says Forselius.
– All parties have worked very hard. It has been absolutely superb.
The venerable Trondheim hotel has lost 120 employees during the pandemic, says Forselius. When the hotel carried out a major renovation in 2019, all of them went through a six-week training program, and with them a lot of expertise disappeared.
– It has been very tough. We had a wonderful summer and autumn with a lot of guests, and we have hired many hundreds of new ones. They have of course received training along the way, but while we have had full houses. And then this comes.
– So the most challenging thing has been to be afraid that we will lose competent people again. This scheme allows us to keep them in work and be even more prepared when we open again, says Forselius.
Right: Vedum may have misinformed
On Saturday, Vedum stated to Dagsrevyen that the government has no more to give to chefs, waiters and others in the service industry due to the EEA agreement. Esa has denied this to NTB on Sunday night.
Wage support is given to companies that can document a fall in turnover of at least 20 per cent due to strict infection control rules. But a ceiling of 30,000 kroner has been set in support of each employee.
However, it is the government itself that has decided that ceiling, points out communications manager Jarle Hetland in Esa, which is the supervisory body of the EEA, to NTB.
This information has made both the Conservatives, the Green Party, the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise and Virke react the same evening. Then came the adjustment from the government.
– It seems that the Minister of Finance may have misinformed the Storting. We have to clarify this, says fiscal policy spokesperson for the Conservative Party Tina Bru to NTB.
The LO leader: – Extremely important
LO leader Peggy Hessen Følsvik asks the rest of Hotell-Norge to do as Britannia.
She also asks the government to put the wage subsidy at the level allowed by ESA.
– It is extremely important that all companies covered by the scheme do as Britannia and withdraw notice of redundancy, she says to E24 / VG.
She says that what they see in Trondheim is exactly what they want:
– That employers choose to keep people in jobs rather than lay off.
She further says that the government must use the room for maneuver ESA has now confirmed in order to increase wage support.
– We at LO want the wage support to be as good as possible – and it is important that you use the leeway you have under the EEA agreement.