The crippling coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the long-term sustainability of New Zealand-based casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group. So major in fact, that the group has had to close down all five of its gaming venues, 4 of which are located in New Zealand, and 1 in Adelaide in Australia. The result has been that literally hundreds of people have now lost their jobs.
SkyCity CEO Graeme Stephens issued a statement providing details regarding the layoffs, as well as the unprecedented circumstances to have led to thousands of employees now being without a fixed monthly income. The group has had no other option but to close the doors to all of its casinos across the board so as to comply with regional guidelines aimed at slowing and hopefully eventually completely drawing to a halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
No Income – Ongoing Payments
According to the statement issued by Stephens, the casino company isn’t able to keep paying its workforce as despite it now generating no income since the closure of its 5 gaming halls, it remains responsible for various ongoing expenses. The company started the redundant-making process in Australia and has already completed the process among at least 90% of its Aussie-based employees. SkyCity has furthermore implemented major salary cuts among permanent senior members of staff so as to create an employee aid fund for those affected by the mass layoffs.
Waged staff across the board have been requested to cut down to up to 80% of their usual monthly income. If this request isn’t agreed to by employees and their respective unions, the group has said that it will have no alternative choice but to cancel at least 700 more vacancies within its ranks.
Directors’ Pay Cut By 50%
The casino group’s executive leadership team has agreed to salary cuts of up to 40% per person per month, which cuts will apply for the remainder of the current financial year in order to make the remedy a viable one.
SkyCity Entertainment’s board of directors have in turn volunteered to have their remuneration cut by 50%. The executive cuts will without a doubt go a long way toward creating a NZ$1 million-strong Employee Hardship Fund that will provide much-needed emergency funds to members of staff now having to cope with layoffs and having been made redundant.