GMB tells Firmdale Hotels that reinstating employees was the "right thing to do."

Download as PDF

"A company whose accounts show £8 million in the bank could have covered the pay bill", says GMB Union

GMB, Britain’s General Union, today praised Firmdale Hotels after they reversed their decision to lay off 200 employees as a result of the Coronavirus. 

Instead the company re-employed them, taking to take advantage of the Government’s financial support package for furloughed workers.  

GMB had raised the issue with the company after being approached by members who had been given a letter telling them their services were no longer required - despite the Government having already announced its support package.  

Following GMB pressure, staff were told the company had agreed to furlough staff meaning that they will get 80% of their salary moving forwards. 
Andy Prendergast, GMB Senior Organiser, said: “By agreeing to furlough staff as opposed to sacking them, Firmdale have made the right decision.  

“There was no reason why a company whose accounts show nearly £8 million in the bank couldn’t have covered the pay bill until the funding came in and we are pleased they have changed their minds.  

“We are not going to pretend that our members won’t really struggle on 80% and considering the decision to pay shareholders almost £10 million in dividends last year, we think that they could pay more. 

“But from our members point of view, 80% is a lot better than nothing.” 

Media enquiries: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at


Notes to Editors:

Firmdale Hotels own properties in London and New York. Within London they own the following establishments: 
Number 16 
Dorset Square Hotel 
Knightsbridge Hotel 
The Soho Hotel 
Charlotte Street Hotel 
Covent Garden Hotel 
Haymarket Hotel 
Ham Yard Hotel 
One Dunham Place Apartments 
The company's cash reserves of £7,910,000 and the share holder dividends of £9,269,000 are both covered in the companies most recent published accounts.