Rugby Australia CEO Rob Clarke pictured out the front of rugby HQ. Picture: Richard Dobson
Rugby Australia CEO Rob Clarke pictured out the front of rugby HQ. Picture: Richard Dobson

77 gone as Rugby Australia slashes jobs

A brutal round of job cuts has seen one third of Rugby Australia employees made redundant.

The cash-strapped organisation axed 47 full-time jobs from their total roster of 142, while 30 contractors and casuals were also cut on Monday.

The mass job losses means RA will save $5.5 million a year on salaries going forward, however there will be further job losses when roles in the four Super Rugby franchises are analysed over coming days.

RA described the 33 per cent job cut of full-time staff as "phase one" of an organisational restructure aimed at keeping them solvent amid the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertain situation regarding future finances, with no broadcast deal locked in beyond this year.

 

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Since the government-enforced lockdowns stopped the Super Rugby competition and all live games, more than 75 per cent of RA's workforce has been stood down, or on significantly reduced hours from April 1, while senior executive staff have continued to work on a full-time basis with salary reductions of at least 30 per cent.

All stood-down staff have been receiving the Federal Government's JobKeeper subsidy.

Senior staff who do return will be asked to take a 5 per cent pay cut on their salaries.

"Today was an incredibly difficult day for the organisation with many people affected by changes that are necessary to ensure the viability and sustainability of the organisation as a result of the devastating impacts of the pandemic," RA interim chief executive Rob Clarke said.

Clarke has one of the toughest gigs in Australian sport. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Clarke has one of the toughest gigs in Australian sport. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

"We have delivered the news to staff this morning and told them that Rugby Australia values the contribution of each and every one of them, some of whom have given significant service to Rugby Australia and to the game over many years.

"This is a difficult time for a lot of very passionate, hardworking rugby people and we are committed to helping those people find their next opportunity, whether it be within the game or elsewhere."

Clarke said phase two of the restructure is under way.

"Today we have announced phase one of the restructure of the rugby landscape, and the next phase will focus on the role of Rugby Australia and the member unions to find further opportunities for savings and efficiencies in the way we deliver our rugby programs and administrative operations across each of our businesses," Clarke said.

"This second phase involves a significant piece of work that will be managed carefully over the coming months working closely with the leaders of each of the organisations looking at both the delivery of the professional game, and the community game across each state and territory."