Kuoni has announced it has made 70 staff redundant, in addition to asking employees to take voluntary pay cuts, unpaid leave and voluntary redundancy.

The company said the non-voluntary redundancies had affected around one person per store across the UK as well as some staff at its Dorking head office. The company operates 48 stores.

The redundancies have been made with immediate effect but the company stressed it would try to bring people back into the business if the government made any changes in the coming days.

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The management team at Kuoni, along with many other travel businesses, have stressed the need for the government to step in to assist the travel industry amidst the coronavirus crisis.

In a statement Kuoni said it had “very reluctantly taken the difficult decision” to let go of staff who had joined the business most recently.

Kuoni’s statement added: “This is the most challenging time the travel industry has ever seen, these are not decisions we take easily, but this is an extraordinary situation.

“We value our staff at Kuoni above all else, it’s what sets us apart, and all those affected are extremely talented people who are our friends and colleagues.

“Our aim continues to be to protect as many staff as we possibly can and as soon as we can to bring those talented individuals back into the business.

“The travel industry desperately needs the government to step in urgently with measures to protect all staff at this very difficult time.”

This additional announcement comes a day after Kuoni’s chief executive Derek Jones briefed staff on a raft of cost-cutting initiatives to help the company cope with the coronavirus crisis.

These include asking staff to take voluntary pay cuts, unpaid leave and voluntary redundancy.  A spokeswoman for Kuoni said the company had not put a number on the amount of people it was seeking to take voluntary redundancies.

Other cost-cutting measures include reducing marketing spend, cancelling outdoor events and negotiating lease agreements on its stores.

Jones is to take a voluntary 30% pay cut.

Kuoni’s sister brand Carrier has also put new cost-cutting measures in place.

The luxury operator’s managing director Mark Duguid has briefed his team on a voluntary reduction in hours, an enhanced unpaid leave policy and voluntary redundancy.

It is understood the bosses of each individual Der Touristik business has made their own decisions on cost cutting initiatives