‘We have been left with no option’ – 50 jobs expected to go at luxury Scottish hotel group

© GoogleMacdonald Hotels' HQ,, Bathgate.
Macdonald Hotels' HQ,, Bathgate.

One of Scotland’s biggest luxury hotel groups is planning to shed up to 50 jobs – citing “economic and political uncertainty” for spiralling costs.

Macdonald Hotels is to make dozens of staff at its Bathgate HQ redundant because of “unsustainably high” costs.

In a letter to staff they claimed “above inflation” rises in their “already significant” business rates, cost increases due to increases in minimum wage and uplifts in energy and utility costs had caused difficulties for the business.

They further blamed increased apprenticeship levies and pension obligations for the move.

© DC Thomson
The Macdonald Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews is one of the resorts run by the firm.

Now the firm – which operates the Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews as well as other upmarket resorts in Edinburgh, Aviemore, Aberdeen and elsewhere across Scotland and England – has entered into a consultation with staff.

They plan to “reduce group headcount” by around 50.

It is understood that some staff will be redeployed within the business where possible.

But it is understood the redundancies will come from back office staff working in areas such as marketing, conferencing, IT, accounting and payroll.

A spokesman for the firm declined to comment.

One former staff member, who asked not to be named, said: “It is a real sickener for the staff starting a new year with this hanging over them.

“There has been a lot of worry within the company about how Brexit might impact on them – the hospitality industry could well be susceptible to problems retaining European staff and a downturn in income if the economy takes a downturn.

“The company are not blaming Brexit – but the political uncertainty has been cited as a factor in the rising costs.”

The firm had undertaken a review of costs before taking the decision to consult with staff on redundancies.

The letter to staff states: “One of the findings from the review was that our operating costs are unsustainably high and we require to focus on reducing these as a priority for this year.

“As a result of these various factors we have been left with no option but to consider implementing a number of redundancies, as part of a wider cost reduction programme which will also target non-essential overheads and non-staff costs, but regrettably, one of the first steps we have been forced to consider is reducing our group headcount by around 50.”

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