Palazzo Versace lays off 200 staff without entitlements as it shuts down

Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast has laid off 200 employees and told them there is no money to pay their entitlements as it closes down for “maintenance and rejuvenation” during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Chinese-owned hotel began standing down staff and scaling back operations on March 23, with staff initially told to use any accrued leave or long service leave during the stand-down.

However, The Sunday Mail reports that on Friday the hotel sent out another memo backtracking on their previous commitment.

“Regrettably we must deliver our message with great disappointment as we are unable to process leave requests due to financial constraints,” the memo stated.

“Further annual leave is unable to be approved and the Stand Down (unpaid) of your employment will recommence from Monday 30th March 2020.

“We strongly urge you to apply for the JobSeeker allowance while we reassess our short-term financial stance as a result of these unprecedented times.”

The hotel said it was waiting on the Federal Government’s JobKeeper payment, due in the first week of May, which would be paid to all eligible employees.

Speaking to The Sunday Mail, one Versace staff member said the move was “‘wrong and unjust”.

“It is so disappointing because we are such a tight knit group,” the employee said.

“It seems strange to be announcing renovations, which cost money, on Wednesday and by Friday say there’s no money to honour holiday pay entitlements. Something’s not right.

“I have workmates who cannot now afford their rent or food and it’s their money that is owing. It’s wrong and unjust.”