Redundancies at Hardie Grant, Scribe; T&H reduces staff hours temporarily
Australian publishers have begun taking measures to reduce staff costs in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, with redundancies announced at Hardie Grant and Scribe.
Hardie Grant, Scribe confirm redundancies
Hardie Grant Publishing has made seven positions redundant out of a total of 200 staff, and has reduced hours and salaries for its staff and management by 25%, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘With bookshops closed they want to return stock and we have to cut our cloth accordingly,’ said CEO Sandy Grant. ‘It means less cash and less income.’
Books+Publishing has sought comment from Hardie Grant on which departments are affected by the redundancies.
Scribe Publications has also made two positions redundant—an editor and a publicist—out of a total of 23 Melbourne-based staff (including one in-house freelancer).
Scribe founder and publisher Henry Rosenbloom told Books+Publishing: ‘Unfortunately, both the editor’s and the publicist’s roles were immediately impacted by changes we had to make to our list in response to the situation brought on by government measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus. We’ve never had to impose a redundancy, or reduce hours and pay, in our 44-year history, and I’ve done so with extreme reluctance. Like publishers around the world, I’m trying to protect jobs while reducing costs.’
Thames & Hudson reduces working hours
Thames & Hudson Australia (THA) has announced a temporary 20% reduction in working hours for all Australian and New Zealand staff ‘in response to the worsening economic situation resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic’.
The reduction in hours, which will mean the company’s Australian offices are closed on Fridays, is expected to end on 30 June and was implemented ‘in line with a similar decision made by Thames & Hudson London and other group companies throughout the world’.
‘There are no redundancies or stand downs associated with this change,’ said the company in a statement.
THA managing director Daniel Watts said, ‘This was a tough decision not taken lightly, but a necessary one in anticipation of the sharp downturn in revenues we are expecting in the coming months.’
‘I’m immensely proud of the professional and positive way everyone on the THA team has embraced this change,’ said Watts. ‘This action, in conjunction with a number of other cost-cutting measures, will help us get through this challenging period of trade and strains on cash flow. We’re also immensely grateful to our customers who continue to support our publishing through this difficult time. To all our partners, we wish you a speedy recovery through this crisis.’
The announcement follows similar news from Allen & Unwin, which is reducing hours and salaries by 20%.
Category: Local news