Ports of Jersey takes measures to reshape its future business
From Port of Jersey
21st October 2020
Ports of Jersey has announced plans to reshape its business, to safeguard the sustainable future of the Airport and Harbour, in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The company will begin a consultation process with employees to explore new ways of working to become more efficient and reduce costs. The proposal aims to reduce costs by £3m per annum and could result in up to 65 roles being lost across the business, approximately 15% of the workforce. The savings will be made through a voluntary redundancy and early retirement programme.
At the end of September 2020, passenger numbers at Jersey Airport were 71% lower than in 2019. As the travel restrictions have tightened in the last two weeks, this figure has dropped even further to 90%. Likewise, Jersey Harbour, has seen an 86% drop on sea passenger numbers so far in 2020.
With challenges that have never been faced before by the travel industry, the company must reshape the business to be best placed to serve the Island’s needs in the months and years to come.
CEO for Ports of Jersey, Matt Thomas, said:
“It is with huge regret that we are announcing the reduction in the number of roles in our highly valued team. I am incredibly proud of the resilience, flexibility and commitment with which all of our team have served our Island through the pandemic.
We have held off looking at job losses for as long as possible. Sadly, we are not immune to the effects of the virus. We understand these changes will have an impact on our team and their families. Our focus in the coming weeks will be to help our employees and undertake the voluntary redundancy process in a supportive and compassionate way.
We are committed to playing our role in rebuilding our economy and our tourism industry once the worst of the virus has passed. Most of all though, as Islanders we rely on connectivity for the way we live our lives. We believe that the difficult decision we are taking today, will ensure that we are in the best shape to bounce back in the future.”
Ports of Jersey employees will be provided with the training and investment to ensure the cost-base reductions are sustainable into the future. Teams will be encouraged to work even closer together and our people will be even more empowered to make decisions. The company is committed to ensuring Islanders can be proud of their ports, both now and in the future.
Ports of Jersey has already taken measures to reduce its staff and operational costs. These include a freeze on planned recruitment and those who have already left the company in all, but essential roles, have not been replaced. Changes have also been made to the Senior Executive Team. As a result, £1.5million of savings have been achieved so far. The company has held off looking at job losses for as long as possible. However, more savings need to be made and the overall cost base needs to be reduced by a further £3m.
The latest forecasts project that the demand for travel may not return to previous levels for some years to come.
Many airlines and airports that have an established working relationship with Ports of Jersey have already announced reductions in staff headcount. These include British Airways and easyJet, with a reduction of circa 30% across all departments. London City Airport is currently consulting with its staff over the loss of 239 jobs as part of a voluntary redundancy package as is MAG group, which is considering cutting 465 roles at its Manchester base, 376 at London Stansted and 51 at East Midlands together with a 10% pay cut. London Gatwick Airport is considering reducing its work force by 25%, which equates to 660 jobs.