Walt Disney Co. /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS +0.91% announced Thursday that employees would begin being furloughed on April 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Disney has kept all of its workers on payroll despite closing theme parks and closing down movie shoots, but said that would end later this month. "With no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses, we're forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees whose jobs aren't necessary at this time," according to a statement emailed to MarketWatch. "The furlough process will begin on April 19, and all impacted workers will remain Disney employees through the duration of the furlough period. They will receive full healthcare benefits, plus the cost of employee and company premiums will be paid by Disney." Disney had approximately 223,000 employees as of the end of its most recent fiscal year. Disney stock has declined 33% so far this year, as the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +2.62% has declined 23.5%.