As the United States’ Disney parks are still shut down indefinitely, the Walt Disney Company has announced it will begin to furlough non-union, non-essential employees beginning April 19th. The Disney parks are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Disney said in a statement that the furloughed employees will keep their full healthcare benefits during the furlough period. The company will also continue to cover tuition for employees who are part of the Aspire program. Though the statement doesn’t directly name who will be furloughed. Disney park employees in the United States are assumed to be the most affected as parks are still closed with no opening date in sight.
The news comes days after Bob Iger decides to forgo his salary and other senior executives agreed to take a pay cut during this crisis.
Read Disney’s full statement below:
“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on our world with untold suffering and loss, and has required all of us to make sacrifices. Over the last few weeks, mandatory decrees from government officials have shut down a majority of our businesses. Disney employees have received full pay and benefits during this time, and we’ve committed to paying them through April 18, for a total of five additional weeks of compensation.
“However, with no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses, we’re forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time. The furlough process will begin on April 19, and all impacted workers will remain Disney employees through the duration of the furlough period. They will receive full healthcare benefits, plus the cost of employee and company premiums will be paid by Disney, and those enrolled in Disney Aspire will have continued access to the education program. Additionally, employees with available paid time off can elect to use some or all of it at the start of the furlough period and, once furloughed, they are eligible to receive an extra $600 per week in federal compensation through the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, as well as state unemployment insurance.”