Shocking number of clubs’ employees out of work
Clubs are urging punters to come back and support them as the industry reveals the devastating impact the pandemic has had on jobs.
Exclusive industry figures from a survey of clubs showed about 16,000 employees were still stood down when clubs re-opened their doors after the shutdown.
Of the 28,000 full-time and part-time workers who returned to work, about 90 per cent are being supported funded by JobKeeper.
With the changes to JobKeeper requiring clubs to show a 30 per cent drop in revenue quarter on quarter, the industry warns more staff could be stood down.
While some sectors of the industry might be generating revenue such as gaming, other areas of the business such as food and beverage were down significantly.
And the impact is not only on staff - ClubsNSW has revealed how its ClubGRANTS scheme, where a slice of profits are donated to community sporting clubs and other local organisations, will be down by $20 million this year due to weaker revenues.
The ClubsNSW figures were released to The Sunday Telegraph after it last week revealed gaming revenue had soared in licensed venues in June compared with the same month last year despite only half of machines being operational.
However, while gaming revenue was up 8 per cent across the entire hospitality industry, for clubs it was just 1 per cent.
The industry attributed the spike to clubs in border areas abutting states that still had shutdowns doing well as punters crossed over from the ACT, Victoria and Queensland in to NSW venues.
Now that border restrictions are back in force, the industry believes revenues in those clubs would be down significantly.
Gambling profits aside, the figures show total club revenue for June was down 22 per cent for the month of June, compared with the same time last year.
With looming changes to JobKeeper, the industry estimates about 18,000 club staff currently receiving the support payment will not be eligible from next month.
With weak trading and tax and loan deferrals falling due over the next one to two years, the industry has serious concerns about the viability of staff jobs.
ClubsNSW chief executive officer Josh Landis urged the community to get behind their local club.
"The club industry is proud of the role it plays in providing jobs for 44,000 people across the state, but we're deeply concerned about the employment outlook for many of our people," he said.
Mittagong RSL Club general manager Craig Madsen stood his management team and all club staff down during the shutdown, including himself. When staff returned, 118 of the 148 employees were placed on JobKeeper.
"We really do need people to come back. We are doing our best to keep everyone safe," he said.