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The Ottawa Senators announced temporary staff reductions due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic Thursday.
"Effective April 5, which would have marked the end of the Ottawa Senators NHL season, our full-time workforce will be reduced, and the hours of some of the staff will be furloughed," Capital Sports & Entertainment said in a statement Thursday.
The company created an unemployment plan that will supplement employee insurance benefits until July. Of those employees who are not temporarily laid off, some will be placed on furlough and some will have their salaries reduced. There will be no interruption in employees' access to health benefits.
Senators owner Eugene Melnyk previously pledged to pay the income for part-time and hourly arena staff of both the NHL club and the AHL's Belleville Senators through to the end of their respective seasons. On Thursday, Melnyk extended that commitment to pay these employees what they would have earned for all scheduled event shifts through the month of April.
"Our employees have continued to work with dedication during these difficult times," Melnyk said. "We want to thank them for their continued loyalty by providing support, as we all face extraordinary challenges. Although the sports and entertainment industry is being impacted severely, we will pull through by staying committed together."
The 2019-20 NHL season was officially suspended March 12 due to the spread of the virus. Several teams around the league have also agreed to pay employees who've been affected by the pandemic.