Worley takes axe to workforce

AUSTRALIAN-listed oil and gas engineering giant Worley has sacked 3000 workers due to COVID-19 volatility causing project cancellations and delays.
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Karma Barndon

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With 45% of Worley's business dependent on longer-term operating spending budgets it has been hard hit by the global economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

According to Worley, business has dried up due to customer delays, deferrals and cancellations in field-based work, with chargeable hours down 2% over the month.

Despite adding debt worth $465 million, Worley told the Australian Securities Exchange it was forced to reduce the headcount 5% between January and March due to falls in construction activity.

Staff numbers were cut from 59,000 to 56,000, with salaries also frozen and non-billable hiring halted.

The company is also considering redeployment, early retirement, job sharing and furloughs to manage it way through the downturn.

Worley CEO Chris Ashton said while the current economic circumstances led to a rapidly changing environment for Worley's business, to date the impact of those changes had been limited.

"We are responding with agility to the rapidly changing environment," he said.

"I am proud of our people as they demonstrate resilience and harness their ingenuity and expertise supporting customers, colleagues and communities."

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