WETHERSPOONS boss Tim Martin has told staff to go work at Tesco if they don't want to wait until the end of April to be paid.

After being forced to close hundred of pubs over the weekend to battle the spread of Covid-19, Martin sent a video to staff members claiming that he would be relying on a government grant to pay workers.

However the grant will not be available for well over a month and Martin, who is reportedly worth over £40 million, will not be covering staff wages until then.

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More than 40,000 workers have been left without a future pay date, unsure how they will be able to afford rent, bills or groceries.

Local Berkshire: A letter from members of Wetherspoons staffA letter from members of Wetherspoons staff

Other companies, such as Costa Coffee, have guaranteed that staff will be paid for the next eight weeks despite also shutting their doors.

The move came shortly after Martin claimed the global pandemic was nothing more than a "health scare" and that the closing pubs would be an "over the top" reaction.

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In the video sent to staff, in which Martin appears holding a mug, he stated that the need to close "puts everyone in a terrible position".

"And I know you're all sitting there wondering what the hell is happening and over the weekend I had lots of phone calls with different people and we're trying to sort it out as best we can in this highly unusual situation."

The Wetherspoons boss then encourages staff to go work at Tesco.

He said: "I know that all our trade now has gone to supermarkets. Not only our trade, but the trade from cafés, leisure centres, restaurants etc.

"So we have had lots of calls from supermarkets, Tesco alone want 20,000 people to join them. That's half the amount of people who work in our pubs."

Martin then says staff member have the option to leave rather than waiting for payments to begin - but there's no guarantee they would get their job back at a future date.

He said: "If I'm honest, I could say you can get the furlough payments and stay at home.

"If you're offered a job at a supermarket, many of you will want to do that. If you think it's a good idea, do it.

"I can completely understand it. If you've worked for us before I promise we will give you first preference if you want to come back.

"I completely understand if you don't want to wait around for us to reopen but deeply appreciate your work."