Due to the temporary closure of all of their physical stores, UK retailer GAME has taken the step to furlough all of its staff with full pay through the month of April 2020.
GAME has been forced to close their stores due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) countermeasures put in place by the UK government. This means that a huge number of staff were in limbo until last night, unsure about the future of their jobs.
However, Eurogamer confirmed that GAME’s parent company, Fraser Group, sent an email to staff last night detailing the next month. In the email they explained to staff that they would be paid from the 26th of March through to the 30th of April.
Unfortunately the email came with the caveat that the company could not confirm what the situation regarding pay, or indeed the security of jobs, would be past the 30th of April. Following the 30th of April, staff will be put on furlough, with the UK government paying 80 percent of their wage up to the value of £2,500 per month. This will only happen if the staff member’s job still exists, meaning some retail employees could be at risk of having no pay from the end of April.
It looks like the full pay that employees are entitled to from the government will be based on average monthly income, as opposed to contracted hours. This should benefit those staff members who work much more than their contract dictates.
Since last week, GAME has been operating in an online capacity only. The UK government ordered the closure of all non-essential stores, and there’s no way that GAME could be considered essential.
In the US, GameStop fought as hard as they could to keep their stores open, describing the escapism that their products provide as essential. However, after mounting pressure from both employees, and local government officials, all stores in the US have now been closed. The only exception is that curbside pickup for orders is still available.
Should the lockdown in the UK progress further than the end of April, some GAME employees could find themselves in a very scary position, losing their jobs through no fault of their own.