Cook defends staff travel 'perks' cap

Cook defends staff travel 'perks' cap

Thomas Cook has defended its decision to cap staff travel concessions at a maximum discount of £350 every 12 months.

The group’s 16,000 employees used to be able to take three holidays a year, paying as little as 25% of the retail price.

But they have been told that their perks would be capped at a maximum discount of £350 every year, rising to £1,050 a year for those who have been with the company since before 2005.

Staff, who were told before Christmas that Cook would be closing 200 of its 1,300 UK travel agencies, are understood to be indignant over the changes as holiday discounts are viewed as an important part of their salary packages, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Joint chief executives Ian Ailles and Phil Aird-Mash said: “The Thomas Cook employee concession scheme remains one of the best in the travel industry and we continue to offer some of the best discounts available for our colleagues so that they can continue to experience a wide range of our in-house holidays at very favourable rates."

The Telegraph reported that Thomas Cook had "slashed" its staff travel perks as it seeks to make £35 million cost savings a year after having been forced to agree an aditional £100 million in loans from its banks at the end of 2011. 

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