Disney expects furloughs to start April 19

Disney is expected to start announcing furloughs that will start April 19, 2020 as the company attempts to deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The furlough process will affect salaried and non-union hourly employees, though it’s not clear what divisions will be affected or to what extent.

In addition to its namesake film studio, Disney also owns ESPN, ABC and a conglomerate of former assets of 20th Century Fox. It also operates multiple theme park, vacation and entertainment businesses.

Both of its signature U.S. parks, Disneyland and Disney World, have been closed since March and are not taking any new reservations until the summer at the earliest.

The company has continued to pay all employees (which it calls “cast members”) from the parks, but that will be coming to an end April 19.

Its ESPN division has likely been negatively affected by a lack of available sports matches to cover, while other areas of its business, such as its Disney+ streaming service and ABC News have seen increased usage according to reports.

However, it’s not clear how much of this has resulted in revenue or profit bumps — or if any of that is able to fill in the gaps of the likely massive cut taken by closing the parks.

While Disney will stop paying select workers, they will continue to be employed by Disney and will be eligible for health benefits, as is common in furloughs.

Meanwhile, Disney executives including chairman and former CEO Bob Iger is forging his entire salary while new CEO Bob Shapek took a 50% pay cut.