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Published on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Kuoni reinstates 70 staff who were made redundant

Around 70 Kuoni staff who lost their jobs last week are now being brought back into the business.

Kuoni parent DER Touristik UK said it will take advantage of the UK government's furloughed worker scheme to save their jobs and also to support all staff through the COVID19 crisis.

CEO Derek Jones confirmed that all staff who left the business last week would immediately be brought back into the business and then furloughed.

Jones said: "Today we've set out a number of initiatives which we believe present the best course of action for the coming weeks and months. These measures are designed to retain the integrity of our team whilst running the business in a streamlined way. By taking these actions we can see ourselves through this crisis whilst maintaining the opportunity to rebound strongly when the Covid19 crisis is behind us.

"The decision to let valued members of staff go last week was a very difficult one but at the time I believed we were left with little option. We immediately took the opportunity alongside ABTA and a number of other businesses to lobby the government for additional support to avoid the need for job losses.

"The Chancellor's lifeline on Friday has meant we can now protect as many of our team as possible. There has not been much to cheer about recently but we can at least be happy that these staff have a little less to worry about for the next few months."

The operator is setting up a new virtual call centre operated by a core group of Kuoni's retail staff, working from home.

This will be backed up by a core operational and support team.

Apart from the core team, all other staff will be furloughed from April 1, which Jones described as being a bit like hibernation.

Those staff will not be required to work and will be paid 80% of their salary with all other contractual terms intact.

The company continues to keep its voluntary redundancy offer on the table.

It said the Kuoni leadership team remains in place having volunteered to take pay cuts to steer the business through the crisis.

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