A SCOTTISH hotel group which employs around 500 people has won praise for making no redundancies after deciding to suspend trading.

Manorview Hotels, whose estate includes The Busby Hotel, The Torrance Hotel in East Kilbride and Boclair House in Bearsden, will closer the doors of its venues at noon today to combat the “uncertainty” brought by the Covid-19 coronavirus and to protect staff and others.

The company said no staff will be made redundant as a result of the decision, and noted that all colleagues, including directors, will receive 50 per cent of their average weekly gross earnings until further notice. It will continue to maintain an administration team, and plans to introduce a take-out and delivery service from some venues next week.

A range of hospitality industry and other business figures have praised the company for its stance on social media.

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Gordon McIntyre, associate dean of hospitality and tourism at City of Glasgow College, said described the move as "very honourable" amid "awful times", and praised the firm for looking after the well-being of staff. Former Gleneagles chef Willie McCurrach, curriculum head for food at City of Glasgow College, said it was a "brilliant gesture" by Manorview.

Manorview said in a statement: “It is with great regret that we have made the decision to suspend trading as from 12noon on 18thMarch 2020. We are uncertain when we will be in a position to reopen and trade as normal.

“While we have not been advised to suspend our business, we have decided to take this action and all our venues will be closed. 

“We have taken this decision to try to remove some of the uncertainty that surrounds us. We are taking this action to look after the health and safety of others, while also looking ahead to the sustainability of our business and ways to support our team and our commitment to not making any redundancies.

 “We believe it is the right thing to do, to protect our teams and customers, to look ahead to the future, and hopefully we can all come back from this stronger. 

“We regret we are having to make this decision, but the safety and welfare of people is paramount.

 “We are living in unprecedented times.”

The move came amid continuing uncertainty in the wider hospitality industry over whether to continue trading.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson angered the sector on Monday when he advised people to stop visiting pubs and theatres but stopped short of making this a Government order.

Industry figures said unless they were ordered to close their premises, they would be unable to make insurance claims for loss of trade.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak moved to allay those fears last night when he said those with policies could make claims under the Government advice, however industry insiders say more detail is still needed from ministers.

They say the detail of operators’ individual policies will determine whether claims can be made.