Hays Travel ‘devastated’ as announces 878 job cuts


John and Irene Hays Image copyright John and Irene Hays

The firm which bought Thomas Cook shops has said up to 878 employees out of 4,500 may lose their jobs due to new coronavirus travel restrictions.

Hays Travel took on more than 2,000 former Thomas Cook employees when it went bust in October last year.

Owners John and Irene Hays said Spanish travel restrictions meant hundreds of thousands of holidays were cancelled.

They were “devastated” staff would lose jobs “through no fault of their own,” the couple said.

In a joint statement, the Hays said they had “made every possible effort” to protect the jobs of all its staff “including those who were employed when Hays Travel took on the Thomas Cook shops last October.”

The Sunderland-based company said it was now consulting with 344 staff training as travel consultants and the 534 who work in the foreign exchange division.

The firm said its experienced travel sales staff, apprentices and other head office staff were not affected by the cuts.

‘No choice’

“We are devastated that after all of our efforts and the huge investment we’ve made we now face losing some of our valued employees, through no fault of their own.

“Following the decision to ban travel to Spain and the changes in furlough conditions coming at the same time, we have had no choice,” it added.

In July the government brought back a 14-day quarantine for travellers returning to the UK from Spain after a spike in coronavirus cases.

The Foreign Office later updated its advice against all non-essential to Spain to include the Balearic and Canary Islands as well as the mainland.

Image copyright Hays Travel

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