14th January 2021 – (Hong Kong) An internal e-mail signed by Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Adrian Cheng of New World Development to all hotel employees stated that unpaid leave will inevitably affect the livelihood of employees. Therefore, starting from January this year, the group will suspend all unpaid leave and salary reductions. The salary arrangement is until further notice, but the salary freeze arrangement this year is maintained.
Cheng also said that in order to thank his colleagues for their hard work, “I hereby approve all qualified hotel employees (including the administrative management team) to receive a half-month discretionary bonus”, and employees with a monthly salary of less than HK$24,000 will receive no less than HK$12,000 discretionary bonus.
He ended by saying “We want to send away all the troubles of 2020. Now is the time to draw a line and start again.”
While his move is commendable but realistically the world can’t just whisk the epidemic away just before it’s a new year. According to World Health Organisation, the social distancing measures should be maintained at least until the end of 2021. With the epidemic getting more severe in Europe and many parts of the world, it is unlikely that the hotel industry will recover in the near to medium term.