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HarperCollins UK puts staff on furlough

HarperCollins UK is placing a number of its staff on furlough, reports the Bookseller.

The number of staff to be put on furlough is unconfirmed, but it includes those from its distribution centre and across the broader company.

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. HarperCollins will top up the payment to 100% of the workers’ regular salary.

HarperCollins UK CEO Charlie Redmayne told the Bookseller that ‘there are fewer channels through which to sell, and fewer books, so we are seeing an impact on revenues, as you’d expect’. ‘This is about minimising the impact of that slowdown in the short term, so that we emerge from this period stronger in the long term’.

Redmayne said while literary fiction titles are ‘suffering’ due to the closures of Waterstones and independent bookshops, other channels—such as supermarkets—‘have stepped up, and we are seeing those books that do well in these channels doing better’.

‘Ebook sales and audio are also up significantly, Amazon is prioritising essentials and some books falls into that [category], and has grown hugely—albeit from a low base,’ said Redmayne.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, last week Penguin Random House UK, Hachette UK and Bonnier UK announced they would furlough a number of their workers.


Category: International news