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  1. ITV Report

Thomas Cook workers 'relieved' as Hays Travel gives their jobs back

Thomas Cook staff have been given their jobs back as Hays takes over their shops

Former Thomas Cook staff are back at work just weeks after the travel company collapsed.

All 555 of Thomas Cook’s travel agencies in the UK were acquired on short-term leases by Hays Travel. The company has now re-hired many former employees.

Richard Ashford, Regional Manager for Hays in South Wales, told ITV Wales that around 150 staff from his former Thomas Cook team were given the opportunity to return to their roles - with some offered promotions.

We were let down really quickly... however the last two weeks have been a really quick turnaround by Hays. It shows what a great set up they've got to make this happen so quickly.

– Richard Ashford, the Regional Manager for Hays

This comes after Thomas Cook's chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, gave evidence in the House of Commons on Tuesday. MPs urged Thomas Cook's "high-paid executives" to give their bonuses to the collapsed firm's pension fund.

Former Thomas Cook staff have been re-hired by travel agency Hays

Mr Ashford said although there is still Thomas Cook branding in the stores "it's more important we open our stores and get our customers back in".

Thomas Cook branding will remain in place for the time-being

Sales Consultant Charlotte Feeney said she was "heart-broken" when she lost her job with Thomas Cook but now thinks Hays has given them "an amazing opportunity."

She said it was "massive relief" and that "it was like a light at the end of the tunnel" when Hays took over the shops.

Charlotte was re-hired by Hays after being out of work for a few weeks

We couldn't reach out to any of our customers which was probably the hardest thing... Now we have been given the opportunity to go back to do what we love and be able to reach out to everyone and get everyone back to book with us... and look forward to the future really.

– Charlotte Feeney, Sales Consultant

Charlotte said she's looking forward to getting back to work and making her customers "dreams come true."

Hays Travel is proposing to re-open the stores with immediate effect where possible and to take on up to 2,500 people.

Over 100 new jobs will be based at the company’s Sunderland headquarters with the rest in shops across the UK.

Now that we are able to re-open the shops, we are looking forward to welcoming many more people who share our passion for the travel industry, into our family business.

– John and Irene Hays, Owners of Hays Travel