Factbox: Layoffs in corporate Australia and New Zealand due to coronavirus

Qantas aircraft are seen on the tarmac at Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne
FILE PHOTO: Qantas aircraft are seen on the tarmac at Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Australia, November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble

March 26, 2020

(Reuters) – The coronavirus outbreak has virtually shut down corporate Australia and New Zealand, forcing companies to throw out plans and resulting in thousands of layoffs or staff suspensions.

Listed companies in both the countries have already laid off or began considering laying off at least 104,055 people, temporarily or permanently, highlighting the toll on livelihoods as virtual lockdowns take hold.

Ultimately, economists forecast the crisis will more than double unemployment to more than 11%, the highest in three decades.

AIRLINES

** Qantas Airways <QAN.AX> to place 20,000 workers on leave until at least the end of May.

** Virgin Australia <VAH.AX> to stand down 8,000 employees until the end of May.

CASINOS

** Star Entertainment Group <SGR.AX> says 90% of its workforce, or 9,000 people, will be placed on leave due to mandated casino closures.

** Crown Resorts <CWN.AX> is assessing what its casino closures mean for its 18,500 staff.

** SkyCity Entertainment Group <SKC.NZ> is looking at implications for about 5,000 staff employed in Australia and New Zealand.

RETAIL

** Premier Investments <PMV.AX>, owner of Smiggle, Just Jeans and chains, is standing down 9,000 employees, most without pay

** Jeweller Michael Hill International <MHJ.AX> is putting staff on leave in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The company employs about 2,500.

** Fashion retailer Mosaic Brands <MOZ.AX> is standing down 6,800 due to store closures.

** Footware retailer Accent Group <AX1.AX> stands down all its retail employees and most support staff for four weeks without pay. The company reportedly employs 5,700.

HOSPITALITY

** Pub and hotel operator Redcape Hotel Group <RDC.AX> will cut most permanent staff. It employs 800.

** ALH Group, the pubs and hotels group majority-owned by Woolworths <WOW.AX>, will stand down about 8,000 staff.

TRAVEL AGENTS

** Flight Centre <FLT.AX> is cutting or putting on leave a third of its 20,000 staff.

** Helloworld Travel <HLO.AX> lays off 275 people and temporarily stands two-thirds of its 1,800 workforce until the end of May.

HEALTH AND EXERCISE

** Viva Leisure <VVA.AX> lays off more than 90% of its 2,200 workforce.

HIRING:

On the other hand, some companies are hiring under the new circumstances.

** Australia’s biggest telecom company Telstra <TLS.AX> will freeze a 6,000-employee cull and hire 1,000 due to growing volumes at call centers.

** BHP Group <BHP.AX>, the world’s biggest miner, says it will hire 1,500 temporary workers, some to be offered permanent roles after six months.

(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan and Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Byron Kaye and Shounak Dasgupta)