Coronavirus: House of Travel proposes cutting staff hours by 20 percent

Coronavirus: House of Travel proposes cutting staff hours by 20 percent.
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House of Travel, the largest privately owned travel company in New Zealand, is proposing cutting staff hours by a fifth as it deals with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company employs around 1300 Kiwis and from April 1 will reduce full-time workers to four-day weeks and reduce part-time employees' hours by 20 percent, if the proposal goes ahead.

The announcement follows that of its Australian-owned rival Flight Centre last week, which revealed it was looking at closing as many as 100 shops.

House of Travel chief executive Mark O'Donnell says the company has been "vastly impacted" by the pandemic.

"To protect the long-term health of our businesses, our team and our customers, we need to be able to act quickly and put measures in place until the travel industry has had time to recover," says O'Donnell.

"I'm incredibly proud of the way our team has handled the last few weeks, putting customers first and foremost and offering guidance and advice for customers and non-customers alike, and supporting our leisure, government and business travellers. 

"It's an unprecedented time and we are working with our team across the country on a future-focused plan. This is a short-term step and we are confident about the future when the recovery comes."

The proposed changes would affect everyone who works for the House of Travel Group.

The company owns House of Travel, Orbit World Travel, Global Travel Network, Travel Advocates, Discover Travel, Adventure Travel, House of Travel Holdings and HOT Ltd.