Crown Resorts has stood down 95% of its workforce, as coronavirus shutdowns wipe out its business

Crown Casino Melbourne. Image: Getty.
  • Crown Resorts has stood down around 95% of its workforce – around 11,500 staff – due to coronavirus-related shutdowns.
  • Crown is offering full-time and part-time workers who have been stood down two weeks’ pay.
  • “Eligible” casual workers will receive a $1,000 payment.
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The federal government’s forced closure of venues such as pubs, clubs, cinemas and casinos in March has hit Crown Resorts hard.

The company has now stood down around 95% of its workforce, which equates to more than 11,500 of its employees. Only those with “business critical functions” remain on.

Crown, however, will provide full-time and part-time staff – other than senior managers – two weeks’ pay on top of their existing entitlements. “Eligible” casual workers will get a $1,000 payment.

Employees will also be able to access their annual or long service leave entitlements.

“We have taken the tough but necessary decision to stand down a large number of our employees,” Crown CEO Ken Barton said in a statement.”I have a deep gratitude to our employees for their understanding and commitment during this painful and highly uncertain time.”

Barton, as well as some other senior managers will be taking a 20% pay cut until June 30 2020. Crown’s chair and executive director fees have also been slashed by 20% until that date.

Crown has signed up for the government’s JobKeeper program, which gives businesses heavily impacted by the coronavirus funding to be able to pay their employees $1,500 a fortnight.

With its gaming and other “non-essential” services being halted, Crown expects its operating costs to drop to between $20 to $30 million a month. However, the company has secured more than $1 billion in debt funding which Barton said will “enable us to weather the storm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Crown has been involved with accommodating people who were forced to self-isolate when they came back to Australia from overseas through its Crown Metropol and Crown Promenade hotels. It is also working with the Victorian government to create a pilot program to give free accommodation to those experiencing domestic violence.

Crown will still go ahead with the construction of Crown Sydney. “In the lead up to the full opening of Crown Sydney Crown expects to recruit over 2,000 people to work in the Hotel Resort,” the company said in a statement.