Grosvenor Casinos Guarantees Job Interviews for P&O Workers Impacted by Sudden Layoffs

  • Grosvenor talent acquisition manager Symonds took to LinkedIn on Thursday to share the offer
  • She urged P&O staff to apply if they have transferable skills and want a customer-facing role
  • P&O bosses fired almost a quarter of their staff in just one day this week via a video message
  • Grosvenor owner Rank recently returned to profit after struggling with pandemic restrictions
A P&O ferry
UK firm Grosvenor Casinos has provided a lifeline to recently fired P&O workers by offering interviews to those affected by the sudden dismissals. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Grosvenor offers a lifeline

In the UK, P&O Ferries is facing a backlash after the firm fired 800 of its staff on the spot. The Rail, Maritime, and Transport (RMT) trade union labeled the sudden layoffs “a dark day” in the shipping industry, while MPs described the move as “callous” and “disgraceful.”

provided those laid-off workers with some semblance of hope

An unlikely source has just provided those laid-off workers with some semblance of hope, however. The Rank Group-owned gambling firm Grosvenor Casinos has guaranteed job interviews for those affected by the dismissals.

Nicki Symonds, the company’s talent acquisition manager, took to LinkedIn to confirm the news Thursday:

Established in 1970, Grosvenor Casinos owns and operates 53 properties across the UK, including casinos in Birmingham, Liverpool, and Newcastle. Symonds urged P&O workers to get in touch if they have transferable skills and would like a customer-facing role working for the casino company.

A dark day indeed

As reported by the BBC, P&O fired nearly a quarter of its staff on Thursday via a video message. The company said it had taken the “tough” decision because it would “not be a viable business” without making the dismissals. P&O execs noted a £100m ($131.4m) loss year-on-year.

Opponents to the move, including sacked employees and RMT trade union representatives, plan to protest on Friday. They are also seeking legal advice from CM Murray. Beth Hale, partner of the employment law firm, said that she believes P&O may have breached employment law.

One worker told the BBC he felt “utter dismay” losing his job after working for the ferry company for 22 years. “It’s how our families have grown up, knowing that this is what we do, and it’s just been turned on its head within a matter of hours,” sacked P&O employee Andrew Smith explained.

Grosvenor’s pandemic troubles

Although it is offering to help out suffering P&O employees, Grosvenor has had some issues of its own throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Like the rest of the UK casino industry, the company had to close its properties for almost five months from March 2020 due to government-imposed lockdowns.

a significant decrease of 59% from pre-COVID figures

As a result of this turbulence, Grosvenor parent company Rank only just returned to profitability in the six months ended December 31, 2021. Profit grew by 295% year-on-year to a total of £103m ($138m) for the period. However, that still marked a significant decrease of 59% from pre-COVID figures.

The Rank Group CEO John O’Reilly pointed to the spread of the Omicron variant and return of restrictions as reasons for difficulty returning to pre-pandemic heights.