Ambassador Theatre Group has outlined its plans for the period of theatre closures due to the coronavirus – which will see the majority of its staff put on paid leave and the leadership team working without salaries.
The organisation operates 32 venues across the UK, including West End theatres such as the Ambassadors Theatre and regional theatres including Edinburgh Playhouse and the Liverpool Empire.
A statement from ATG said: “Faced with a challenge of unprecedented magnitude, we needed to act decisively in order to sustain the financial impact of the shutdown and bounce back as fast as possible once we are able to reopen our venues.
“That’s why last week, we asked the majority of our UK staff to take temporary leave from April 1, for the next 90 days, on a reduced salary.
“Staff on zero-hour contracts qualify for the government’s Job Retention Scheme and will also receive compensation during the shutdown period.”
According to the statement, a minority of staff will remain on duty and work remotely during the period of theatre closures. They will also have their salaries reduced, but to a lesser extent than those on leave.
ATG’s leadership team will continue to work full time, but will draw no pay during the shutdown period.
The statement added: “Every staff member was contacted by their venue leader to discuss this decision and to give them an opportunity to ask any questions.
“This plan requires a sacrifice from all members of our community, but it is skewed in favour of the less well-paid staff whose reduction in salary will be proportionately smaller than for employees in higher pay bands.
“These are difficult decisions to make, but we are confident they are the right choices to protect jobs and ensure the company’s future success.”
ATG also announced that all performances will now be suspended until May 31. Originally all shows were suspended until April 26.