The Walt Disney Company has said it is placing all non-essential staff on furlough as it rides out the coronavirus pandemic with its theme parks closed indefinitely and its tentpoles on hold while cinemas remain dark across the world.
Earlier this week the company implemented pay-cuts. CEO Bob Chapek is taking half his salary, executive chairman Bob Iger has foregone his salary for the remainder of the year, and corporate executives at vice-president level and above will get pay cuts ranging from 20%-30% depending on status.
The company put out a statement on Thursday (April 2) that appears below.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on our world with untold suffering and loss, and has required all of us to make sacrifices. Over the last few weeks, mandatory decrees from government officials have shut down a majority of our businesses.
Disney employees have received full pay and benefits during this time, and we’ve committed to paying them through April 18, for a total of five additional weeks of compensation. However, with no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses, we’re forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time.
The furlough process will begin on April 19, and all impacted workers will remain Disney employees through the duration of the furlough period. They will receive full healthcare benefits, plus the cost of employee and company premiums will be paid by Disney, and those enrolled in Disney Aspire will have continued access to the education program.
Additionally, employees with available paid time off can elect to use some or all of it at the start of the furlough period and, once furloughed, they are eligible to receive an extra $600 per week in federal compensation through the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, as well as state unemployment insurance.