Another month – and indeed year – passes and we still don’t seem to be any closer to finding out what exactly will be happening on 29th March. Hopefully our future trading relationship with the European Union (EU) will be a lot clearer by the time you read this (a week not only being a long time in politics, but also the time it takes to print and distribute this magazine), but at the time of writing Theresa’s May’s proposed withdrawal bill has had to be withdrawn itself after suffering a record-breaking defeat in the Commons.
Regardless of which side of the debate they come down on, a lot of business owners appear to be at least as perturbed by the lack of clarity at this late stage, as much as by which route we will ultimately take. Therefore, it was nice to see Carluccio’s recently becoming the first large restaurant brand to offer to pay for its non-British EU employees (all 1,550 of them) to apply for settled-status in the UK following Brexit.
The application, which is available to workers who have lived in the UK for five years or more, costs £65 each, but CEO Mark Jones asserted that he was happy to foot the bill, saying: “It’s what Antonio would have wanted. We are passionate about the value that they bring to our business and it is something we are keen to protect.”
Bravo to the Italian chain for taking responsibility and providing some stability during this time of uncertainty. And when you consider the less than ideal 2018 Carluccio’s enjoyed financially, this clear commitment to putting principles before profits is even more impressive.