Coronavirus: Rugby Australia slashes third of staff in restructure
Last Updated: 01/06/20 9:51am
Rugby Australia (RA) have laid off a third of its full-time staff as well as dozens of contractors and casual workers as part of restructuring efforts to alleviate the financial pressures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
About 75 per cent of RA staff were furloughed in March with the remainder taking 30 per cent pay-cuts following the suspension of the Super Rugby season after seven rounds.
Australia's professional players also agreed to an average 60 per cent pay-cut through to September 30, though their pay may be renegotiated with the return of rugby in the form of a domestic tournament slated for July-September.
The governing body also said it would ask remaining senior staff to take a five per cent reduction in base salary effective from their return date with the cuts expected to reduce the RA's annual wage bill by nearly £3m (A$5.5m).
A RA statement read: "Today the organisation has announced a program of cuts that will result in the departure of 47 of its 142 full-time staff over the coming months.
"A further 30 contractors and casual workers have also had their roles terminated with immediate effect."
RA interim CEO Rob Clarke also flagged further cuts at provincial level as it looks for "further opportunities for savings and efficiencies" in the delivery of rugby programs across the country.
The announcement follows RA's confirmation on Sunday it had signed off on its 2019 accounts and submitted them to the Australian regulator following a two-month delay due to concerns over the future viability of the business.
The unaudited accounts had reported a provisional £5,122,812 (A$9.4m) operating deficit for 2019 although the RA is now on a better financial footing, having secured a £4,904,820 (A$9m) lifeline from the games global governing body World Rugby last month.