Union urges government to support William Hill workers

5 July 2019

Community, the trade union that represents betting shop workers, has called on the government to support William Hill staff who could lose their jobs as a result of the bookmaker closing 700 of its betting shops across the UK.

Yesterday (July 4), William Hill announced that it had entered into a consultation process over the plans, with around 4,500 people set to be at risk of redundancy.

The bookmaker has cited the government’s decision to cut the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) as the main reason behind the move, saying that it is having to rearrange its business as a result.

Community’s operations director Tom Blenkinsop is urging the government to offer help and guidance to those impacted by the closures, saying the change in law is ultimately the main reason why they could lose their jobs.

“Betting shops provide an important source of local employment and many of our members have served the company loyally for years,” he said. “Workers don’t deserve to be the victims of the changes happening in the industry as a result of either government policy or the significant shift towards online gambling.

“The government has a role to play and must look at what support they can offer to workers whose jobs are threatened as a consequence of changes to the law around FOBTs.”

Blenkinsop also called on William Hill to work with Community so that the union can use its own resources to support workers.

“William Hill should immediately engage with Community, so that their staff get additional support and advice during the consultation and all measures can be taken to minimise redundancies and find alternatives,” Blenkinsop said.

“We will be advising our members through the consultation process.”