The chain has entered consultation with some members of staff and it is hoped that the reduction of hours will “minimise the risk” of job losses as the outlook for trading “remains uncertain”.
The high street bakers also revealed that sales are beginning to recover following the Covid-19 lockdown – which saw Greggs close almost all of their stores from the end of March until the middle of May.
It is understood that around half of Greggs stores have staffing levels which are too high for the current customer demand, with chief executive Roger Whiteside has said there is “no chance” the company will be able to sufficiently reduce staff hours to avoid the need for redundancies.
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He commented: “Some stores have staff hours which are just off what’s needed for current demand, but others are a long way off and will need significant change.
“Some shops are well down and, unsurprisingly, these are the city centre stores or public transport sites.”
The Newcastle-based business admitted that it suffered a “challenging month” in August due to the closure of seated areas, meaning that it was unable to benefit from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Greggs said: “The outlook for trading remains uncertain, with rising Covid-19 infection rates leading to increasing risks of supply chain interruption and further restrictions on customer activities out of the home.
The decision to cut staff hours comes as the Government’s furlough scheme, which aimed to protect jobs throughout the coronavirus crisis, ends next month.
Greggs currently has “under 5,000” staff on furlough, with the company saying only a small number would potentially move on to the Chancellor’s new Jobs Support Scheme.
The new scheme starts on November 1 and will only top up employees salaries providing they work at least one-third of their contracted hours.