With travel grinding to a standstill due to COVID-19, many managed and franchised Hilton hotels have either suspended operations or reduced services due to low occupancy. To significantly reduce expenses and preserve liquidity, Hilton has furloughed employees, reduced schedules or decreased the pay of its corporate team.
Beginning April 4, Hilton will reduce schedules or furlough many corporate employees for up to 90 days. During this time, these employees will maintain their health benefits and, subject to local regulations, be eligible for employment benefits. Hilton plans to reduce the pay of those who are not furloughed by up to 20 percent for the duration of the crisis.
Hilton’s executive committee will take a pay cut of 50 percent for the duration of the crisis. President/CEO Christopher Nassetta will forgo his salary for the remainder of the year.
To further reduce expenses, Hilton is eliminating nonessential expenses, including capital expenditures, and suspending all share buybacks and the payment of dividends (other than those previously declared.
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Earlier this week, Hilton announced the creation of the Hilton Workforce Resource Center to help connect furloughed team members with temporary jobs. The site gives employees access to more than 500,000 temporary jobs at more than 30 leading companies. Several of these companies are expediting Hilton employees, according to the site, including Albertsons, Amazon, CVS and Walgreens.
Hilton also has activated its Team Member Assistance Fund to help employees who have suffered a direct impact, or have an impacted family member, from COVID-19. Hilton employees have been donating to the fund since the crisis began in China.