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Aon ends COVID-19 salary cut, pledges to repay staff

Aon Center

Aon PLC on Tuesday said it would end the 20% salary cut it imposed on most of its staff in late April after the early lockdowns of the coronavirus pandemic began.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Aon said it will end the cut, which affected about 70% of its staff, on July 1 and repay the withheld amount plus 5% in the third quarter of 2020.

The 50% salary cut for senior executives will remain in place, the filing stated.

“Based on observations and analysis over the last four months, the Company is now confident that temporary salary reductions are no longer necessary to meet this commitment to 50,000 colleagues,” the brokerage said.

Aon said that while GDP and unemployment trends “remain negative” and worse than in other economic downturns, the “likelihood of worst-case macroeconomic scenarios has decreased significantly.”

In addition, “the resilience of the core business has been demonstrated, though there has been impact, particularly in the more discretionary portions of the business,” Aon said.

When it made the salary cuts, Aon CEO Greg Case said it was necessary to ensure that the brokerage would not need to lay off staff.

The decision contrasted with statements by its main rivals Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. and Willis Towers Watson PLC, which Aon has agreed to buy, that they would not impose salary cuts or layoff programs.

More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here