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National Trust to furlough up to 80% of staff

02 Apr 2020 News

The National Trust will furlough up to 80% of its staff as it responds to the coronavirus pandemic. 
 
The conservation charity, which has around 14,000 employees, will use the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
 
Many of the charity’s usual sources of income are unavailable while the Trust cannot trade due to closure. 
 
The charity said its decision to furlough staff is supported by its trade union, Prospect.  
 
The National Trust’s director general, Hilary McGrady, said: “These are incredibly challenging times. Protecting the Trust during our closure so that we will be able to open again for the nation when the time comes is our main aim.  
 
“During closure we have essential work going on to keep important buildings, collections and gardens safe, secure and tended. And we continue to care for vulnerable wildlife. But most of our staff are simply unable to work and we are asking them to take leave from their day jobs to focus on caring for others, learning, and, where possible, volunteering to help with the broader civil society effort.   
 
“We are really looking forward to a time when we can open our doors and gates again, for everyone.” 
 

Cancer Research UK to furlough 1,800 staff

Meanwhile, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) will furlough up to 1,800 staff using the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

CRUK, which has around 4,000 employees, will be placing all of its retail staff on furlough as all of the charity’s 600 shops in the UK have been closed since 20 March.
 

The charity may also furlough other staff during the pandemic and is currently reviewing other roles that could be placed on the scheme.

Mark Allen, executive director of human resources at CRUK, said: “Following the closure of our shops, we will be placing up to 1,800 retail staff on furlough under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention scheme. 

“While this will mainly impact people working in our high street shops, which have been closed since 20 March, we are currently reviewing other roles that could be placed on the scheme.

“We’ve made this decision to protect jobs and reduce the impact of coronavirus on our income and ability to continue funding life-saving research. 

“I’d like to thank everyone working at Cancer Research UK for their tremendous efforts and understanding whilst we adapt to the changing situation. We’ll fully support our staff who are affected and keep the situation under review.” 

'It’s clear that Cancer Research UK will be hit hard'

Michelle Mitchell, the chief executive at CRUK, wrote in a blog post that the charity expects income from fundraising to drop by around 25% in the next financial year.

She said: “While many things are still uncertain, it’s clear that Cancer Research UK will be hit hard. We’ve worked quickly to understand how Covid-19 will impact our income, and therefore our ability to continue funding our life-saving work.  

“We made a decision to protect our volunteers and our supporters by closing our shops and postponing many events. Whilst the right thing to do, this will have huge implications for our fundraising, and we expect to see a 20-25% decline in fundraising income in the next financial year. It’s essential that we respond, and quickly, and this has led to some difficult decisions. 

“We’ve already deferred our spring research grant funding round, and we’re making further cuts to our research funding. This is uncomfortable for us, but we must be realistic about what we can deliver given the current circumstances.”

CRUK is one of many charities to warn of a large income drop and to announce furloughing of staff.

Barnardo's has said it will furlough 3,000 staff as a third of its income was 'wiped away overnight’, and Oxfam is to furlough two-thirds of its UK staff in response to Covid-19.

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