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UK publishers furlough staff

Penguin Random House (PRH) UK, Hachette UK and Bonnier UK are furloughing a number of their workers, reports the Bookseller.

For furloughed workers, the UK government is providing grants for 80% of the usual monthly wage costs, capped at £2500 a month, until at least the end of May. While employers aren’t required to top up employees’ salaries, all three publishers are choosing to do so.

PRH UK CEO Tom Weldon said ‘a sensible and considered use of the government’s job protection scheme to place some colleagues on furlough leave is the right thing to do at this stage’.

‘This is a temporary but necessary measure to protect jobs and the long-term health of the company,’ said Weldon.

Furloughed workers at PRH UK will include warehouse and office-based staff. The publisher declined to confirm the proportion of staff it expects will be furloughed.

Hachette UK and Bonnier Books UK are both furloughing roughly 10% of their overall workforces. A Hachette UK spokesperson said furloughing will take place across departments, targeting roles that are ‘less active in the short term’ as a result of the UK’s lockdown.

‘We will be furloughing a number of roles across both distribution and publishing, as a short-term measure we’re taking to help mitigate the loss of both orders and revenue that we will experience over the next few months,’ the Hachette UK spokesperson said.


Category: International news