Signet Jewelers is furloughing some of its workers in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“The decision to implement furloughs was extremely difficult, and like all decisions impacting team members, was taken with the utmost care and attention,” Signet Chief People Officer Mary Liz Finn said in a memo to team members. “Our hope is that by taking necessary temporary measures, we’ll be able to ensure there is a strong Signet to welcome you back when we reopen our stores.”
The decision affects certain employees in the field and in support centers, according to the memo. The company did not specify the number of employees being furloughed.
Signet, whose brands include Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared, temporarily closed all of its North American stores as of March 23 due to the COVID-19 crisis. At the time, CEO Virginia C. Drosos said store employees would “receive pay and benefits through April 4, 2020 in a combination of base pay and available paid time off provisions” at which time the company would “further assess the situation.”
Finn said that during the temporary layoff, employees will maintain their medical, dental and vision benefits. They can apply for unemployment benefits during the furlough.
“I want you to know that every decision is being considered with deep thought and care,” Finn wrote. “We took many aggressive actions before the closing of stores made it necessary to also make payroll reductions that impact our people. We believe that making this very difficult decision to furlough team members now will help us save team member jobs in the future.”
In addition to Kay, Zales and Jared, Signet’s brands include James Allen, Peoples and Piercing Pagoda.