Kuoni parent company vows to support staff and customers through COVID-19 crisis
Virtual call centre set up today
Staff support through government furlough scheme
Core team of workers appointed
All staff let go last week re-appointed
In a letter to staff last night, Kuoni parent company DER Touristik UK, said it would use government intervention to support all staff through the COVID-19 crisis by utilising the furloughed worker scheme and immediately act to save jobs.
A new virtual call centre will be set up today to support customers, which will be operated by a core group of Kuoni’s retail staff, working from home.
A core operational and support team made up of only those staff needed to maintain the smooth operational running of the business over the coming weeks and months has also been established.
Apart from the core team, all other staff will be furloughed from 1 April, which Derek 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.
CEO Derek Jones confirmed that all valued staff who left the business last week would immediately be brought back into the business and then furloughed.
Derek 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 company continues to keep its voluntary redundancy offer on the table.
Kuoni leadership team remain in place having volunteered to take pay cuts to steer the business through the crisis and plan ahead to strengthen the brand and the business as it looks to the future.
Kuoni Travel UK is part of DER Touristik, one of Europe’s leading travel groups. Kuoni has continued to set the pace in luxury worldwide travel in the UK market for the past 55 years and is regularly voted one of the best holiday companies in the country by readers of national newspapers and travel industry titles. The company excels in creating tailor-made holidays and honeymoons to more than 90 destinations around the world. Since 2008 Kuoni has grown its retail network across the UK and can be found in 48 locations on premium high streets and in selected John Lewis department stores. Each store is unique in design and showcases Kuoni’s Personal Travel Experts and personalised customer service.