Disney announces furloughs amid coronavirus closures

    Disney has announced that the company will start to furlough employees whose jobs are not necessary at this time due to the parks being closed.

    The company said the “devastating” pandemic has shut down a majority of its businesses.

    “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 said in a statement.

    The furlough process will begin on April 19, and all impacted workers will remain Disney employees through the duration of the furlough period, the company said. 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,” the company said.

    “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,“ Disney said in a statement.

    Disney, which employs a total of 223,000 people, announced its outgoing chairman Bob Iger will forgo his salary during the pandemic.