Waterstones says paying furloughed staff minimum wage 'would not be prudent'

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Book chain says it is ‘sympathetic’ to petition signed by more than 100 staff in support of employees facing acute uncertainty on scheme

Waterstones has told staff that furloughed workers will not receive any increase to their wages until shops can reopen, after a petition was launched calling on the book chain to help workers who are being paid below minimum wage on the scheme.

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A petition on Organise signed by more than 1,500 people, including more than 100 Waterstones workers and backed by names including author Philip Pullman, has been sent to Waterstones managing director James Daunt, and chief operating officer Kate Skipper. It says that the majority of Waterstones staff are employed either on or very close to the minimum wage, and that upon being furloughed, they find themselves “plunged beneath this line and into financial uncertainty”.

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