Sunday 05 July 2020

Booking.com won’t ask for more wage subsidies, looks to long term answers

The company’s Amsterdam headquarters. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Hotel booking website Booking.com will not apply for Dutch government help for a second time to cope with the coronavirus crisis but is now looking for ‘long term solutions’ to deal with the significantly lower demand for travel, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday.

The Amsterdam-based company was heavily criticised for asking for support to pay staff wages in the first round of subsidies, considering it had made a profit of $4.9bn last year.

Some 5,500 people work for Booking.com in the Netherlands.

‘The NOW ruling is meant to help companies keep jobs and if that is not going to be an option, then they should not apply,’ Hans de Boer, chairman of employers organisation VNO-NCW told Radio 1 news.

Booking.com’s workforce was informed of the decision on Friday morning and the works council is now in talks about the contours of a social plan, the FD said.

Other platform based companies, including Uber and Airbnb, have already reduced their workforces by as much as 25%.

Booking.com posted a loss of almost €700m in the first quarter as booking worldwide plunged by 85%.

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