Forced to reduce workforce
Australia’s Crown Resorts is laying off 95% of its staff following a March government order to close all gambling venues in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The casino operator released a statement on Thursday explaining that it had been “forced to substantially reduce its workforce” either on a full or partial basis. 11,500 of its employees will be standing down. Only those roles in “business-critical functions” will remain active.
Two weeks’ pay to employees
Crown CEO Ken Barton said the company’s move to stand down the majority of its staff was a “tough but necessary decision.” He added: “We are continuing to investigate ways in which we can support our employees on an ongoing basis.”
One way will be to provide an ex gratia payment of a two-week salary to full- and part-time employees who were made redundant, excluding senior management. Eligible casual workers will also get a lump sum of AU$1,000 ($630).
Barton and other senior management personnel have taken a 20% reduction in fixed remuneration
According to the statement, Barton and other senior management personnel have taken a 20% reduction in fixed remuneration until June 30. Crown’s chair and board of directors are also taking 20% cuts for the same amount of time.
Enough money to weather the storm
As a result of the suspension of its gaming and other non-essential business activities, Crown Resorts projects that its underlying operating cash costs will drop to between AU$20m and AU$30m ($12-18m) per month.
Crown has around AU$500m ($314m) cash on hand but is able to get an extra AU$1bn ($630m) in debt facilities. Barton stated that the company is
well placed to withstand an extended period of closure.”
Crown Resorts lends a hand
In a bid to do its part amid the coronavirus pandemic, Crown Resorts has provided around 950 hotel rooms in Melbourne and 600 units in Perth to accommodate those who need to self-isolate on their return from overseas.
It is also working with the Australian government to provide safe accommodation for those who are currently experiencing domestic violence.