Following the lead of the Australian Football League (AFL), today AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) has begun the difficult process to restructure its business operations.
Read the AFL's statement here.
After yesterday’s announcement to call a suspension to the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season and an end to the 2020 NAB AFLW Season, the AFL’s focus moved to ensure the ongoing viability of both the league and its clubs through the unfolding current COVID-19 health crisis.
This comes on top of last week's announcement that community football, participation and talent programs across the nation were suspended.
As a result, the operations and staff of AFLNT have been directly impacted, with 80 per cent (80%) of the organisation based in Darwin, Alice Springs, Katherine and Tennant Creek being temporarily stood down until at least 31 May.
Seven of the eight AFLNT remote projects will continue to operate on a full-time basis while it is still deemed safe to do so and the community is happy to proceed.
AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan reiterated the AFL's commitment to the health crisis and detailed the AFL's approach.
“Everyone has a role to play in stopping the spread of this virus. Every person in every community must take the appropriate precautions to ensure that they stay safe and healthy.
“Each organisation across the football industry has to take action quickly, and we have sought to keep our staff fully informed, focus on their health and well-being, and to support them as best we possibly can,” Mr McLachlan said.
He said the AFL would:
- Immediately reduce the salaries of the AFL Executive team by a minimum 20 per cent indefinitely.
- See the majority of full-time staff (approximately 80 per cent) initially stood down from their current duties from next Monday 30 March, until 31 May. Those team members will be able to access their available annual leave and long service leave entitlements. The AFL will also provide staff stood down with nine additional special leave days at full pay to provide further assistance to them and their families during this time.
- Temporarily move to a core operations structure with remaining AFL staff, who will have reduced hours of 3 or 4 days per week.
- Release casual staff from duties.
- Move to not fill any listed vacancies.
Mr McLachlan said those team members who were stood down would remain as employees.
“This has been a very tough day for every member of our team. I am enormously proud of the team that works at the AFL, which makes these steps so difficult to undertake.
“We will continue to monitor the May 31 resumption date, taking the best advice from government and relevant medical authorities," he said.
It was a message reiterated by AFLNT CEO, Stuart Totham.
"These are unfamiliar and uncertain times for the whole community, and it has been a tough few days and weeks for everyone.
"In-line with AFL national strategies to face financial challenges head-on, AFLNT has had to play its part and has today stood down 80 per cent of our core workforce until at least Sunday 31 May. It's a kick in the guts for everyone who loves and cares for our great game and has given tirelessly of themselves.
"While there are many challenges still to come, I have never been more proud to lead such a great group of people who understand that football is greater than the individual.
“If we can make these temporary changes now then we will rebound and thrive into the future," Mr Totham said.
AFLNT has put in support mechanisms to assist staff and family during this difficult time and understands that some people on stand down may need or want to seek alternative employment during this period and they are welcome to do so. This will have no impact on their ability to return to work at AFLNT in the future.