JD Wetherspoon has told its suppliers it will not pay them until the chain's pubs reopen after the coronavirus lockdown.
The pub group confirmed that it had told firms supplying food, drinks and other services that they would not be paid until its 874 pubs were allowed to reopen.
Founder and chairman, Tim Martin has come under fire for downplaying the risks of people gathering in pubs during the crisis before he was forced to close the chain last weekend.
Martin has also courted controversy when he insisted his company could not afford to pay them during the Covid-19 crisis until the group was reimbursed for their wages by the government.
He had advised the 43,000 staff to seek work in Tesco, which is hiring staff to help it meet the country’s need for food delivery and distribution, if they needed employment in the meantime.
Howveer, Martin has now reversed the decision to withhold pay until the government rescue package kicks in, following a major backlash from the public, which included 'Pay Your Staff' graffitied on the front of a Wetherspoon's pub in Crystal Palace.