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Tuesday, April 7, 2020 

Ro-pax operator Stena Line has announced that it plans to furlough 600 employees with 150 redundancies across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, as an unavoidable urgent measure in response to the global COVID-19 crisis, that has had a hugely damaging effect on travel and transport across Europe.

The company says it will ensure those furloughed maintain 80% of salaries. Stena Line has experienced a large decline in passenger and freight volumes; it being estimated that passenger figures will not recover until well into 2021.Stena says it had to take tough decisions in order to cut costs and ensure the vital supply lines of essential goods in Europe.

“The COVID-19 crisis has meant that Stena Line is experiencing a significant decline in passenger and freight volumes across all its 20 European routes. We are having to make some very difficult decisions, that we hoped we would never have to make.” said Ian Hampton, Director, Stena Line.

The announcement of furlough and redundancies relates to both UK and Ireland shored-based and sea-based employees, including those working on vessels on the Irish Sea and North Sea.

“In order to secure the continuity of our freight operations, we have no choice but to reduce our costs. We are committed to keep vital supply lines open for UK and Ireland. Regrettably we must furlough employees on temporary paid leave and make redundancies, as we adjust to this new reality. We will do everything in our means to ensure essential supply lines stay operational during what is a very difficult time for the company and the countries that we serve,”  said Hampton.

Employees on furlough will receive 80% of salaries; where UK and Irish government schemes do not cover the full amount, the remainder will be paid by the company. Furlough will be used to help vulnerable employees, such those that need to self-isolate due to underlying health conditions, those that are pregnant, and where possible, those with caring responsibilities due to COVID-19. 

Stena Line previously announced redundancies that will affect 950 people employed in Scandinavia, and further job losses have subsequently been made in Denmark and the Baltics. The company is evaluating its operations in all regions.

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