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IKEA Group To Pay Back Government Coronavirus Support

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IKEA has confirmed its intention to pay back government coronavirus support in nine countries, including the US and Ireland. 

The retailer elected not to take any support from the UK government during the lockdown period.  IKEA said: "We furloughed around 10,000 co-workers in the UK. At such an uncertain time, we had initially anticipated putting a number of co-workers on furlough under the job retention scheme. However, we did not claim for or accept any money under the job retention scheme, and we will not be doing so."

The Financial Times reports that IKEA accepted government support in Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain and the US.

IKEA's statement follows:

IKEA Retail countries have started dialogues with governments about returning support received to help cover co-workers’ salaries during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, in cases where co-workers did not receive their full pay, Ingka Group will retrospectively make up any shortfall. 

In the months of March and April, when most of the IKEA stores were closed globally and the future was unclear, Ingka Group used the possibility to receive government support related to co-workers’ contracted salaries.  

“Our main priority at the height of the pandemic was to ensure we could protect as many livelihoods as possible, for as long as possible. With so much uncertainty, we took the decision to accept support offered by governments and we are grateful for the support given during this difficult time”, said Tolga Öncu, Retail Operations Manager, IKEA Retail (Ingka Group). 

“Not all co-workers received their full pay during this time, and we are committed to making up the shortfall and ensure that all of our co-workers will get their full salary”, said Öncu.  

The pandemic is moving into a new phase, and nearly 90 percent of the IKEA stores operated by Ingka Group have now reopened, with increased robust health and safety measures in place. Customers are returning to the physical IKEA stores at the same time as e-commerce has grown.  

“No one knows how things will continue to develop, but we are feeling more hopeful about the future. Therefore, we decided to not apply for any further support and to start the process of returning what we have received” said Öncu.  

Ingka Group is committed to continuing to play a strong role in society, building back stronger from this crisis and continuing to be led by its purpose of creating a better everyday life for the many people. 

Nearly 166,000 co-workers are employed by Ingka Group.    

Source : Ingka Group and Insight DIY Team

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15 June 2020

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