Hays Travel brings back 3,000 staff after surge of interest in winter holidays

A surge in demand for winter holidays has led Hays Travel to invited all of its staff back to work.

The Sunderland company had previously moved hundreds of its employees to zero hours contracts when the coronavirus outbreak devastated the worldwide tourism industry.

But now it has brought back 3,000 people to answer customer inquiries, having seen thousands of inquiries for holidays later in the year.

In a video, company chairman Irene Hays said: “We’ve invited all of our staff to come back to our work and we’re delighted to say we’ve now got about 3,000 people back answering calls and dealing with issues for you.

“We’re also seeing quite a bit of interest for holidays later in the year.”

Husband John, the company’s founder, added: “People want something to look forward to so demand for winter holidays is really strong for 2020/21. What’s going fantastically well is our Hays Travel peace of mind guarantee where you can cancel for whatever reason you like up to six weeks beforehand and get your money back if you don’t want to go.”

Hays had moved to put 900 staff in its travel academy, foreign exchange centres and at its Sunderland head office onto zero hours contracts in March when a slump in the travel market saw it losing hundreds of thousands of pounds a day.

It also asked staff to take unpaid leave and reduce hours to cope with the slump.