Coronavirus: UK high street blow as Pizza Hut and Lloyds announce 1,300 jobs at risk

Pizza Hut and Lloyds Bank have announced major restructuring plans. Credit: AP/ PA

More than 1,300 UK workers could lose their jobs as high street stalwarts Lloyds Bank and Pizza Hut announced major restructuring plans in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lloyds Bank is to axe 865 jobs from its workforce while Pizza Hut said there could be as many as 450 job losses.

The bank announced it had restarted moves to shed hundreds of roles after it put redundancy plans on hold due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The roles are mainly in its insurance, wealth and retail teams. The cuts will see a net reduction of 639 in Lloyds' headcount, as the bank has also created 226 jobs.

Lloyds Bank has announced plan restart its restructuring programme. Credit: PA

Unite union national officer Rob MacGregor said he was worried about the prospects of the workers who are being let go in a chaotic jobs market.

"While the creation of 220 jobs is to be welcomed, this will be no comfort to those members of staff who will from today face an uncertain future," Mr MacGregor said.

Shortly after the pandemic hit the bank paused plans to slash its headcount by 780 roles.

In a statement, Lloyds said: "This included continuing to pay colleagues in full regardless of their working circumstances and pledging that anyone placed on notice of redundancy would not leave the group before October, both of which we remain fully committed to.

"Following changes announced today, we can confirm a net reduction of 639 roles. These changes primarily reflect our existing plans to simplify parts of our businesses, which were in place prior to Covid-19."

No one will leave the company before November, Lloyds added.

Up to 29 of Pizza Hut's 244 restaurants could be closed by the restructuring programme. Credit: PA

Meanwhile, 29 of Pizza Hut's 244 UK restaurants will close as part of the firm's restructuring.

It said it is negotiating a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) restructuring deal after it faced “significant disruption” from the pandemic.

The Pizza Hut Restaurants group said it has put forward the proposals as “sales are not expected to fully bounce back until well into 2021” despite a quick and safe reopening of sites.

The measures aim to protect about 5,000 jobs across its remaining restaurants as well as the “longevity” of the business, it said.

Pizza Hut has become the latest in a raft of restaurant chains to announce closures and job losses following the pandemic.

1,315

Combined possible job losses announced by Pizza Hut and Lloyds Bank on Wednesday

Pizza Hut added that the move will not affect operations or jobs at Pizza Hut Delivery or related franchises.

A spokeswoman said: “We are committed to doing the right thing and, in order to secure as many jobs as possible and continue serving our communities, we are working to reach an agreement with our creditors.

“We understand this is a difficult time for everyone involved.

“We appreciate the support of our business partners and are doing everything we can to help our team members during this process, including speaking with those affected by the consultation.”

Rival Pizza Express confirmed on Monday that it will shut 73 restaurants with 1,100 job losses after its own CVA deal was approved by creditors.

And new data released this week shows that more than 300,000 jobs were put at risk of redundancy in June and July - nearly seven times higher than last year's levels.