Grand Opera House says 120 jobs at risk

Almost 120 jobs are at risk at the Grand Opera House in Belfast during a major 10 month refurbishment
Almost 120 jobs are at risk at the Grand Opera House in Belfast during a major 10 month refurbishment
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The Grand Opera House in Belfast has announced that the jobs of almost 120 employees are at risk as it undergoes a ten month refurbishment process.

The trust employees a total of 148 people and said that it has identified 119 roles at risk of redundancy with a total of 108 employees potentially impacted, some workers holding dual roles.

A spokeswoman for the Grand Opera House Trust said much needed restoration, with the aid of a £4.8m National Lottery Fund grant, will start in January 2020, the building’s 125th anniversary.

This will result in ten months closure, she added.

“After detailed consideration of all possible options, the Grand Opera House Trust has concluded that there is a risk it will be unable to provide work for all employees during this period of temporary closure,” she said.

Throughout consultation over three months with employees and their representatives, it has worked to minimise the impact of the temporary closure, she added.

“As a result of these consultations we have offered a period of extended unpaid leave or voluntary redundancy with enhanced payment terms of 30% above statutory entitlements as some of the ways to avoid compulsory redundancies.”

Around 40 roles will be retained during the closure period for operational reasons, and to deliver its outreach and engagement programme.

The News Letter asked the Grand Opera House if many of those made redundant would be re-employed after the refurbishments were complete. A spokeswoman said they were unable to comment during staff consultations.