Leisure Centre operator GLL has emailed staff to inform them of impending redundancies.
In the email, which has been seen by belfastmedia.com, GLL Chief Executive Officer Mark Sesnan said that “inevitably, there will be job losses in the months ahead.”
“These will be across head office and regional teams, but will also impact on leisure services, as we change business and working practices to adapt to the new environment we have to operate in,” he wrote.
“The Government's support of the economy is welcome, but the ending of the Job Retention Scheme means that businesses like ours will not be able to sustain the number of jobs that currently exist. We are looking at a range of initiatives to minimise redundancies, reduce costs whilst trying to protect jobs in the longer term.”
Mr Sesnan told staff that GLL would also offer an “unpaid career break until at least April 2021” for permanent staff.
“This would come with the offer to be re-employed at the end of your break in a comparable role, and at your salary,” he added.
He also issued a call for “agility” due to changing roles and responsibilities and urged staff to “muck in” to make the business work.
@MattCollinspbp @GerryCarrollPBP fair play PBP 👏👏 calling out @Better_NI for the job cuts and job changes that will take place in Leisure Centres under the guise of COVID-19.— Jlm D (@dube_jim) August 28, 2020
COVID-19 is the excuse they needed.
People Before Profit councillor Matt Collins said he was “alarmed” about the potential for “further job cuts and attacks on workers’ conditions”.
“If true this must be resisted,” he said.
“The outsourcing of leisure services in Belfast was a disastrous move for workers and service users alike. PBP are appealing for cross-party support to begin the process of taking leisure back into full public control. If Covid has taught us anything, it’s that frontline services and workers need to be protected and invested in, not managed on a for-profit basis.
“GLL has been heavily subsidised by public money and neither service users, ratepayers nor leisure workers should be forced to shoulder the economic burden of this crisis.”
Great to welcome Lord Mayor @frankmccoubrey, elite swimmer @Jackmac121 and lots of excited swimmers to Andersonstown this morning. It's great to have 6 of our pools open now and help get everyone active pic.twitter.com/6JqH26ZOFN— Better Belfast (@Better_NI) August 6, 2020
People Before Profit has also spoken out against a 2.7 per cent price rise for leisure service facilities.
GLL did not respond to our request for comment.