StubHub is understood to have furloughed up to two-thirds of its North American employees due to the Covid-19 crisis that has left the live entertainment industry reeling.

A source close to the matter told that the furloughed workforce had been asked to take an unpaid leave of absence until June 1, at which point the measure could be extended.

The San Francisco-headquartered resale ticketing firm has been left with about 150 members of staff to continue running the company as the spread of the pandemic continues to accelerate across North America.

A spokesperson from StubHub told TheTicketingBusiness: “Given the impact of the coronavirus on the live-events industry, we have made the difficult but responsible decision to furlough a portion of our employee base in the US and Canada.

“We continue to support our customers and partners and look forward to a time when we are able to return to the joy of live events and the special, human connections that come with them.”

Earlier this month, StubHub opted to change its pay-out process so that it could withhold funds from brokers until after an event has taken place, as cancellations started to occur with increasing regularity.

In addition, StubHub president Sukhinder Singh Cassidy assured fans that its FanProtect Guarantee remains in place to refund all tickets purchased on the site in the event of cancellation.

In an attempt to mitigate its anticipated drop in income, the firm has introduced a coupon worth 120% of a ticket’s value in credit on StubHub as an alternative to a full refund. The coupon is valid for one year and can be transferred within 48 hours.

Furloughed staff typically do not receive any pay during their leave of absence. However, the UK and Danish governments announced last week that they would cover 80% and 75% of the salaries of furloughed employees for at least three months at companies that have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak on the condition that they are not laid off, in an attempt to minimise job losses.

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