Estate agent Countrywide has furloughed 78% of its workforce with the chairman and non-executive directors taking a 33% pay cut.
In a trading statement issued by Countrywide today (30 April), it revealed that senior staff members, who have not been furloughed and receive a wage of over £45,000 a per year, taking a 20% pay cut, backdated to 1 April.
The company revealed that its 731 high street branches have all temporarily closed following government advice, with staff employees working from home.
The statement read: “It is gratifying that at this difficult time, we have been able to continue to support our customers; exchange income during the lockdown period is running at an average of 33% per week compared with the average for the first 12 weeks of the year.
“Equally, our mortgage and protection consultants continue to be able to work remotely, with exchanged mortgages during lockdown running at 68% of the average for the first 12 weeks of the year, with a mix towards remortgages rather than new purchases.”
The company said its property management centres remain open, with rental renewal and new lettings together are running at 48% per week compared with the average for the first 12 weeks of the year.
In a bid to “preserve and protect” the business for the future, Countrywide said it is “materially reducing” its discretionary spend, including its marketing spend, to reflect the current environment.
It said: “In line with many others in the property services industry, we are moving mostly to monthly rent payments, and carefully balancing our payment obligations between smaller and larger suppliers to manage the working capital cycle. The majority of our landlords have been supportive of the change to monthly payments.”