Penneys has said that it will pay its 5,000 retail employees in Ireland 80% of their salaries for the next month, at which stage it will review again.
In order to do so, Penneys which trades outside of Ireland as Primark, said that it will avail of the states recently established wage subsidy scheme, which is available to employers to keep staff on the payroll throughout the pandemic.
In is understood that in the region of 50,000 companies have signed up to the scheme to date.
"We will avail of the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme announced by the Government to support up to 70% of this payment, with Penneys paying the additional balance to ensure all retail employees secure 80% of their salary," a Penneys spokesperson said.
"Our people are fundamental to the success of our business and we are proud of the resilience and dedication they have shown in recent weeks as we navigate the significant challenges we face as a result of COVID-19,” it added.
Following the closure of Penneys stores on 19 March, the company paid all employees their full salaries for their contracted hours for two weeks.
International Store Closures
Penneys owner Associated British Foods (AB Foods), announced recently that 376 of its stores, across 12 countries are now closed until further notice.
It is believed that Primark generates about half of the diversified international food, ingredients and retail group's revenue and profit.
Expansion Plans On Hold
The company has also but its expansion plans in the Dundrum Town Centre on hold until further notice, due to the virus pandemic.
“In light of the current situation, all expenditure is being reviewed and these negotiations are on hold," a Penneys spokesperson said.
According to a trading update on 23 March, AB Foods did not see a material impact in its sugar, grocery, ingredients, and agriculture businesses.
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