In response to the Super Rugby being shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brumbies have announced they will offer a significant number of staff reduced hours, while a small number will remain full time but with heavily reduced salaries.
All Australian Super Rugby franchises have been working with Rugby Australia in recent times, and with the Prime Minister’s ‘JobKeeper’ initiative, announced earlier this week, the Brumbies believe this was the right move to make.
The ‘JobKeeper’ package will provide those staff members with reduced hours greater financial security in this uncertain time.
In a statement on their website, the Brumbies say this announcement is about protecting “the organisation, its players, staff, clubs and wider rugby community during the global COVID-19 pandemic”.
Brumbies CEO Phil Thomson said in the statement: “This is the hardest decision ever made by the Plus500 Brumbies as an organisation and also for myself personally.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt right across society and what we have had to implement today is the first step in trying to ensure the Brumbies remain viable into the future.
“Our staff and players are the fabric of the Brumbies family and an essential part of our future and will be an extremely important part of our recovery from this unprecedented situation.
“I cannot thank them all enough for their incredible work and for what everyone has been able to achieve so far this year both on and off the field and I’m sorry we are in this situation.”
Despite the uncertainty, Thomson finished his statement with confidence.
“We are an organisation with a long and proud history, with our foundations built on overcoming adversity and displaying resilience.
“I am confident that the Brumbies family will bounce back.”
The Brumbies’ announcement comes after Rugby Australia (RA) were forced to stand down 75% of its workforce between 1 April and 30 June with an expected loss of $120 million in revenue.
RA chief executive Raelene Castle, who will take a 50% pay cut, said: “Today we have had to deliver the hardest news imaginable to our incredible, hard-working and passionate staff, that many of them will be stood down for a three month period so that the game can survive this unprecedented crisis.”