Scots superchef Gordon Ramsay has been criticised for laying off hundreds of staff members amid the coronavirus crisis.

As the UK enters a lockdown, the former Rangers star turned celebrity chef has laid off more than 500 staff after being forced to briefly shut down a string of his restaurants.

The 53-year-old summoned his staff to a meeting where they learned their contracts would be terminated – reportedly leaving many in tears.

They were later sent an email explaining they would be paid up to April 17, giving them the option to appeal the decision.

But the father-of-five, thought to be worth around £140million – was reportedly unable to guarantee they would retain their jobs when the restrictions lift.

Chef Anca Torpuc criticised the decision on Twitter saying: "Such a shame to see how the company that you worked for and gave everything you had for 2 years throw you away like you are nothing but a little piece of s***, specially in difficult times like this even though they have absolutely nothing to lose by keeping you.

"And I'm not taking about one person here, over 500 people lost their jobs yesterday so all I can say is thank you... I hope you sleep well at night knowing that so many people doesn't have a job in this difficult time because of you."

Mr Ramsay said on Instagram, "As the situation changes daily our focus has to be on the health and safety of our employees, guests and community and to do our part in slowing the spread of the virus, from Saturday 21st March 2020, all our London restaurants will temporarily close," his post said on March 19.

"Whilst we don't know when we will re-open, what we do know is by supporting each other through this terribly challenging time, we will come through this stronger than ever!"

He added: "Huge love and thanks to our amazing staff across the restaurants for all their passion and support. I truly hope we are all back together very soon. Gordon."

A spokesman for Gordon Ramsay Restaurants added: "Gordon Ramsay Restaurants is continuing to work tirelessly in exceptional, unprecedented, global circumstances to ensure that as many employees as possible are being retained by the business.

"We are no different from any other restaurant/retail business large and small in the UK and around the world responding to the current crisis.

"We welcome greatly and fully support all the initiatives introduced by Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak in particular the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which is still being refined.

"We continue to work closely with our landlords, government agencies and all third party suppliers associated with the business through these very challenging times."