UK brand Primark, the fashion retailer owned by AB Foods does not plan to leverage the British government scheme, eschewing a bonus of about $38 million, to pay employers for bringing back staff from furlough. The company removed employees from government employment support schemes in the UK and Europe in line with the reopening of majority stores. The company believes it should not be necessary therefore, to apply for payment under the Bonus scheme on current circumstances.
The bonus scheme, which could cost up to £9 billion if employers brought back all nine million people who have been on furlough, also applies retroactively. The retailer had closed all its stores in March when the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe intensified, costing it about £650 million in net sales a month. It paid 68,000 of its staff members who were furloughed from government aid. It has since reopened stores, including sites in Britain last month, where around 30,000 employees were furloughed.