//Travel agencies furlough staff

Travel agencies furlough staff

A number of travel agencies, including Hays Travel, are taking advantage of the government’s Job Retention Scheme last week.

The travel agency, which is the UK’s largest, has furloughed the majority of its workforce following.

The company took on 2,300 former Thomas Cook staff after taking over the leases to all 553 of its shops following the travel giant’s collapse last September.

It also recruited 200 additional staff for its head office in Sunderland. Of its 5,700 staff, 2,500 work in retail across 650 branches in the UK.

The company said it had taken “all measures available to protect our industry and jobs”.

Kuoni parent company Der Touristik UK will retain its staff during the Coronavirus pandemic, including the 70 workers it made redundant on Friday. Derek Jones, chief executive, said “all valued staff who left the business last week would immediately be brought back into the business and then furloughed”.

“The chancellor’s lifeline on Friday has meant we can now protect as many of our team as possible,” he said. “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.”

Premier Travel has furloughed the majority of its shop staff with a core team now working from home. The agency, which has 25 high-street branches across East Anglia, has furloughed 67 of its 100 agency staff.

Barrhead Travel president Jacqueline Dobson said the agency was “liaising with the government for access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme” as it operates with a “reduced team”.