Eugene Melnyk’s company Capital Sports & Entertainment said in a statement on Thursday that its full-time workforce will be cut starting Sunday, as the Senators’ season was originally scheduled to end. Those who are not laid off could be put on leave while others could see their wages reduced.
The press release indicates that employee health benefits will continue without interruption and that an unemployment plan has been created which will supplement employment insurance benefits until July 3, 2020, up to a minimum of 80% of salary basic.
Melnyk has agreed to pay the income of part-time and hourly staff at the Ottawa Senators arena and AHL Belleville Senators until the end of their respective seasons. The NHL season was suspended indefinitely on March 12 in response to the spread of the new coronavirus.
“Our employees continued to work with dedication during these difficult times,” said Melnyk in the press release. “We would like to thank them for their continued loyalty by giving them their support, because we all face extraordinary challenges. Although the sports and entertainment industry is severely affected, we will get by by staying engaged together. I look forward to the day when it will reopen our doors safely and welcome employees, fans and community partners. “