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Coronavirus Kent: Directors at Shepherd Neame take pay cut and suspend rent receipts for licensees due to 'volatile trading'

Directors at brewery giant Shepherd Neame will take a temporary 20% pay cut and suspend rent receipts to help licensees during difficult trading caused by coronavirus.

The measures are just some of a number being put in place by the Kent brewery to help protect employees, licensees and the company amid the outbreak and subsequent government advice to avoid pubs and hospitality venues.

Shepherd Neame's Old Brewery Store
Shepherd Neame's Old Brewery Store

The company, which owns and operates 322 pubs across the county and South East, will also cancel the shareholder dividend, cease all non-contractual capital expenditure and minimise all spending to the lowest level possible.

Chief executive Jonathan Neame says the business had seen some "volatility in trading" towards the end of the last week.

"After the Government’s announcement, the hospitality industry’s situation has changed materially," he said.

"In light of these changed circumstances, we are now implementing a number of precautionary measures to protect our employees, licensees and the company, which we will review on a weekly basis.

"As announced earlier this week, we have already taken extensive measures to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.

Chief executive of Shepherd Neame Jonathan Neame
Chief executive of Shepherd Neame Jonathan Neame

"Starting today, all office staff have moved to home working.

"The brewery is continuing to produce beer under new and strict access and hygiene controls including deep cleans between shifts, workplace distancing measures and monitoring the temperature of employees at the beginning and end of each shift.

"The managed pub estate also has extensive precautionary measures in place to ensure hygiene best practice, and operational advice has been provided to the tenanted estate."

Anyone with any concerns is asked to email comms@shepherdneame.co.uk

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