Cameron Mackintosh has made over 850 of his employees redundant, following an extensive consultation period.
Redundancy proceedings began in June and now this has been completed, a large number of theatre workers across Cameron Mackintosh Ltd and Delfont Mackintosh Theatres are now without jobs.
Cameron Mackintosh has been criticised for the lack of care shown towards his staff during this difficult time, with the head of Bectu, Philippa Childs saying: “The situation has definitely been forced upon the industry by both the pandemic and a government unwilling to understand the disastrous predicament of theatres unable to reopen safely or viably with social distancing restrictions. The entire industry has been shocked by Cameron Mackintosh’s unwillingness to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in full or deploy resources beyond the furlough months to support his backstage and front-of-house staff.”
"Other West End employers have done their utmost to find creative ways to safeguard the livelihoods of their staff and pursue the bigger mission of saving the world-class skills and talents critical to the success of theatres up and down the country.”
The news (Office for National Statistics August labour market overview) that the arts, entertainment and recreation industry has seen the largest quarterly percentage decline in vacancies of any sector is very worrying.
“The arts and culture sector was growing twice as fast as the overall economy before the crisis, but now this sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. The sector is on its knees, with huge numbers of job losses, tens of thousands of freelancers with no support, and large swathes of the sector still in the dark about when they can reopen.
The news that vacancies are down so dramatically only further underlines that our cultural workforce needs ongoing support until the sector can stabilise.
The government’s cultural recovery fund is welcome, but we are concerned that the focus is on helping institutions to survive, rather than on protecting the staff and freelancers who are the backbone of the sector. Ministers need to look again at the scheme or risk permanently damaging our world beating culture sector”, added ms Childs.