Jobs likely to go at Specsavers

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SPECSAVERS in Guernsey could be forced to shed some 20 jobs as the company today announced more measures being brought in as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Specsavers' headquarters at La Villiaze. Many staff are having their hours reduced while there is a chance that some will face redundancy. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 27809192)

Staff were told yesterday that quarterly bonus payments will not be paid, there will be no profit share and the annual pay rise, due in June, will not happen.

An employee who did not wish to be named said that CEO John Perkins informed staff at about 8am about the overall changes, and one-to-one meetings are now taking place for individuals to discuss their own situations.

Despite the threat of job losses, the employee thought the company was doing all it could to minimise the impact of the measures: 'I'm optimistic as to the general welfare of support staff,' they said. 'They're looking to take away the peripheral extras and trying to keep as many people employed as possible.'

More than 40% of the company's 571 staff have been asked to continue working their usual hours, while the remainder will continue working from home to help the company, the largest private employer in the island.

Temporary changes to the working hours of many of its La Villiaze support staff have been made.

But CEO John Perkins said that while everything has been done to minimise redundancies, it was likely that about 5% of the company's roles will be at risk.

‘It is with an extremely heavy heart that we have had to come to this decision, but no business can survive long-term without customers and an income stream,' he said.

'We have a clear need to respond and take remedial action to address our costs as quickly as we can in order to protect our business.


‘We are grateful that the Guernsey Government is doing all that it can to support businesses and their employees and that we can offer further financial assistance to help mitigate some of the impact these changes will have on our colleagues.’

The changes followed the company closing stores across the world, or having them open only for essential and urgent care, and this has had a significant impact on the company's sales and revenue.

Specsavers in Guernsey remains operational and the staff who will remain at work may have to change their activities due to current priorities.

‘These are incredibly tough times,' said Mr Perkins.


'The circumstances we face are unprecedented and clearly require us to act in order to protect the future of Specsavers.

'However, in doing this, we have done everything we can to manage the impact in the best way possible, treating people with fairness and in the way that we would want to be treated ourselves.'

Consultations with staff about the changes are under way.


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