Hays Travel's staff work on coronavirus test and trace programme

Staff working for Hays Travel have been tasked with helping the Government’s efforts to halt the coronavirus – just days confirming the impact of the pandemic means it could be cutting up to 900 jobs.

Thursday, 13th August 2020, 2:41 pm

The Sunderland-based independent travel agent has been given a contract by Serco to work on the NHS Test and Trace programme.

Its team has also been giving people advice on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office after it won another subcontracted deal by French call centre company Teleperformance on behalf of the Government and its 119 testing centre service.

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Hays Travel's headquarters is in Keel Square in Sunderland.

The contracts are not held directly with the Government, which has said it expects firms who subcontract to follow a robust procurement process that ensures all contracts meet high standards and commercial due diligence and are checked for risks.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care also confirmed that: “Hays Travel has been subcontracted by Serco to provide support for NHS Test and Trace.

"Hays Travel was also subcontracted by Teleperformance to provide limited support for FCO travel advice at the height of the pandemic and also some support for the 119 service.”

And:

“As the public would expect, we are doing everything we can to respond to this unprecedented global pandemic – this includes working with public and private sector partners where necessary.

“All contact tracers and call handlers receive appropriate training and follow detailed procedures and scripts.”

The firm, which took on the Thomas Cook shops last October, said it had started to recover as coronavirus travel restrictions eased, but was hit again when the Government announced late last month that hollidaymakers returning from Spain would have to quarantine for 14 days.

The Hays said they were “devastated” as they began consultation with 344 people in training as travel consultants and 534 who work in the foreign exchange division.

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