The Cineworld Group has reversed redundancy plans for staff who were set to lose their jobs after the widespread closure of cinemas due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The multiplex company which has cinemas across Scotland and operates the Cineworld and boutique Picturehouse chains – has pledged to offer hourly-paid employees a lifeline under the Government's furlough option, which covers 80% of staff salaries up to £2,500 per month.

It comes nine days after major chains including Odeon, Cineworld and Picturehouse announced plans to close their doors for the foreseeable future, following updated guidance on the Covid-19 outbreak.

HeraldScotland:

Cineworld, which operates 102 venues in the UK and Ireland, and Picturehouse, which operates 25 neighbourhbood cinemas, shut all UK outlets starting from April 18.

An email sent to staff from Cineworld chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: “Thank you for your continued patience while we have been waiting for further guidance from Government regarding the people measures. I know it is a very worrying time for many, and for this reason I would like to share with you the following.

”All of our hourly paid people across Cineworld and Picturehouse will be offered the furloughed option. There is still much unknown detail as we wait further guidance from Government. And so we will be in touch with further updates, including how pay is calculated under the Government scheme. Your salary will be paid in the usual way in March.

”For now, I hope this brings peace of mind. Also, as noted before, if you were previously given a deadline by which time you needed to reply to us, you can now ignore this and as I say, I will be in touch again as soon as we know more. Have a restful evening, Mooky.”

The Cineworld Action Group  formed by employees at the company and supported by entertainment union Bectu were delighted.

"We are awaiting confirmation for what this means for all staff and redundancies but hope this is the first step towards our victory," the said.