880 Hays Travel staff to go on zero-hours contracts as company loses £400,000 a day

The owners of Sunderland based Hays Travel say almost a quarter of their 4,000 staff will move to zero-hours contracts.

John and Irene Hays say the company is facing the worst financial and business crisis in its 40-year history.

On Thursday 12 March 2020, the company asked staff to take voluntary leave or reduce their hours as thousands of people cancel holiday plans due to fears of catching or spreading the virus.

In October 2019, they took on 2000 extra staff and bought hundreds of Thomas Cook stores after the company collapsed.

John and Irene Hays, owners of Hays Travel, spoke to ITV News Tyne Tees about the ongoing Coronavirus crisis and the impact on their travel business.

They discussed staff redundancies, the economic fallout and not regretting their acquisition of Thomas Cook.

Our company has been running at minus £400,000 per day.

John and Irene Hays

We've never had to make anyone redundant in 40 years.

John and Irene Hays

We don't regret it (the Thomas Cook acquisition) at all. When we took on those staff the business gained some amazingly passionate, talented people so we don't regret it at all.

John and Irene Hays

Despite doing everything in our power to protect the business and retain jobs we have regrettably had to reduce working hours to zero for 880 colleagues, and reduced hours for everyone else for the next four weeks.

John and Irene Hays