The York hotel where Britain’s first coronavirus victims fell ill is set to make 20 redundancies

Staycity Aparthotel. Photograph: Richard McDougall
30 Jul 2020 @ 7.07 pm
| Business

Staycity York has told its staff that as many as 20 of them could be made redundant in a cost-cutting drive.

The aparthotel on Paragon Street became the centre of national attention when two guests were taken ill on 29 January, who were later confirmed to be the first people in the UK diagnosed with coronavirus.

Staff were called to a meeting on 29 July where they were told the company was implementing a redundancy programme due to the downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

YorkMix has seen an email sent to employees, which states: “The company is set to make significant loses during 2021/2022. Therefore, the business cannot sustain the number of employees currently employed by Staycity.

“Although we have not yet finalised proposals, we anticipate that it may be necessary to make approximately 20 redundancies in Staycity Aparthotels York.”

‘Work longer and alone’

Flashback to January: Two women wearing face masks leave the Staycity in Paragon Street, York, where the family had stayed. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Many members of staff have been furloughed during the lockdown.

A source told YorkMix: “In the months leading up to the Covid outbreak they were treated poorly with full-time contracts trampled on and hours/jobs cut with no notice whatsoever.

“Currently the hotel is being occupied by homeless people which the council are paying for.

“Now some furloughed staff are being asked to return to work longer and alone.”

Even before the lockdown, the hotel was laying off staff.

We reported in March that Staycity York had made some workers redundant and cut the hours of other employees.

A spokeswoman for Staycity said: “Sorry, but Staycity will not be making any comment at this time.”