Staff at an Erskine hotel are demanding urgent action from the UK Government to fix a mistake that has cost them thousands of pounds each – with no end in sight.

Over 70 staff at the Erskine Bridge Hotel have been left without pay since the middle of March after bungling by the tax authorities meant they’ve been declared ineligible for the furlough scheme, which would have paid 80% of salary during the coronavirus crisis.

A simple change in payroll after the hotel changed owners that should take 5 days took nearly one month to sort – with the result that HMRC now claim the staff aren’t eligible for furlough payments after missing their own deadline, despite paperwork making the change submitted weeks before the cut-off for furlough.

However local MP Gavin Newlands has confirmed he has taken on the HMRC and government ministers for justice for the Erskine Bridge workforce.

Gavin told Renfrewshire News: “It is completely unacceptable that over 70 staff have been left with no income entirely due to HMRC’s own mistakes.

“My office has attempted numerous times to resolve this issue with HMRC as a matter of urgency, yet I am still waiting for so much as a reply from the bureaucracy. This is a preposterous way for any Government agency to behave.

“The Job Retention Scheme is meant to support workers through the coronavirus crisis, but yet again more people are falling through this supposed safety net and left with no income through absolutely no fault of their own.

“The one Government minister who – to his credit – tried to take this case up has now resigned from the Government in protest at the Dominic Cummings scandal. His former colleagues may think defending Cummings is an appropriate use of their time, but maybe if they spent less time sucking up to their boss and more time paying attention to what is happening on their watch, my constituents wouldn’t be in this position.

“I will not stop pursuing this with the UK Government until every member of staff at the Erskine Bridge receives what they are entitled to and receives a full apology from HMRC for the stress and anxiety their bungling has caused the employees and their families at a time when they could least have wanted it.”

Main image credit: Google maps