Bookies’ staff jobs shocker

PUBLISHED: 11:06 08 October 2010 | UPDATED: 11:16 08 October 2010

STAFF at a Great Yarmouth bookmakers have described how they have had to put their lives on hold after being suddenly made redundant.

The five employees at Firstbet, in St George’s Road, were told on September 24 their shop would be closing down, but were not told why.

The news came as a complete shock to Tony Spychalski, 40, of Colomb Road, Gorleston, who had just returned from holiday when he received a phone call from the shop’s owner inviting him to a redundancy meeting with the other staff members.

He has had to stop building work at his home due to his uncertain economic circumstances.

He said he was now relying on his girlfriend Jayne Hewett, 44, who works as a secretary at Northgate Hospital, Yarmouth, to pay the bills, and was struggling to pay for his two children from a previous relationship.

To make matters worse, he was unable to claim benefits at the Job Centre because he had not been given a formal redundancy letter.

He said: “Obviously I wasn’t given any warning. It was just so sudden. Literally I had just come back from holiday and I got a phone call saying ‘you are no longer in a job.’

“I was sorting a new boiler out when I got the phone call. I have had to stop the building work on my house. I have called the builder and said sorry I can’t get the work done because I don’t get the money,” Mr Spychalski said.

He added the staff – who also included Steve Cook, Simon Barnard, Ricci Kitchen and Sam Alexander – were virtually told to leave on the spot, with the shop’s televisions and other monitors still switched on.

He said staff at another Firstbet shop in Lowestoft had also been made redundant.

Nobody from Firstbet was available for comment.

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