Ronald McDonald House (RMHC), Parkinson’s UK, Breast Cancer Now, Teenage Cancer Trust and Action on Hearing Loss are the latest charities to have announced that they will be furloughing staff.
One charity, Teenage Cancer Trust, also said it had been forced to make small number of redundancies where people could not be furloughed.
Other charities said that they would be reducing their services.
Ronald McDonald House: Closed accommodation
RMHC, which offers free accommodation to families with children in hospital, has closed some of its smaller houses and furloughed nearly a third of its staff due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It will use the government’s Job Retention Scheme and will pay staff 100% of their salaries until the end of May, and review the situation as needed. The government scheme pays staff 80% of their salaries, up to £2,500 a month.
The charity has closed four of its 11 houses because it is becoming harder to protect people.
The houses affected are Tooting and Moorfields (London), Arrowe Park (Wirral) and Brighton. The charity is in discussions with NHS Trusts to offer these facilities if needed.
Jon Haward, executive director of RMHC UK said: “The impact of this pandemic means we will lose around £7m, almost half our planned income this financial year.
“We have had to make some difficult decisions based on whether we can continue to operate safely on the ground, as well as stopping any non-business critical activity. This means that all our organisation functions are being impacted, while we continue to responsibly support as many families with sick children as we can.
“Our staff are our lifeblood, so making these decisions has been difficult. We are paying them their full salaries as a way to reassure them of their value to the charity, and we hope that we will be able to welcome them all back again to work very soon – and open the Houses back up again to families.”
Parkinson’s UK: ‘Our income has been hugely impacted’
Parkinson’s UK is also using the government’s Job Retention Scheme to furlough more than 100 staff. It will be topping up the 80% government contribution.
The majority of staff furloughed are in the fundraising and events teams.
Steve Ford, chief executive of Parkinson’s UK, said: “We see the job retention scheme as a way in which we can help secure the charity’s long term future. We didn’t feel we could ask our supporters to help us financially if we weren’t willing to take proactive steps to help ourselves. The scheme will enable us to reduce outgoings in the short term, when our income has been hugely impacted and our frontline services are experiencing their highest demand ever.
“More importantly, it allows us to do it in a way that doesn’t negatively impact our staff or our ambitious long term plans. Our people are our best asset. They are driven every day to make life a little bit easier for the million people affected by Parkinson’s. I am proud of the way that they have quickly adapted to the new ways of working and accepted the decision to furlough 109 colleagues over a six-week period.
“At this unsettling time, we’re reaffirming our commitment to our people, and easing any unnecessary financial pressure, by topping up the 80% government contribution to cover full salaries during this period. When our staff return, and we’re back together, we’ll be more motivated than ever to transform the experience of living with Parkinson’s.”
Parkinson’s UK has estimated that its income will fall by 40% over the next three months. It is also launching an emergency appeal and said this needs to generate £95,000 per week.
Teenage Cancer Trust: Small number of redundancies
Kate Collins, chief executive of the Teenage Cancer Trust has said the charity will be placing 60% of its staff on furlough.
She said: “We have placed 60% of charity staff on furlough leave so we can protect frontline delivery to young people with cancer. We’ve also reduced the working hours and pay of the colleagues who remain and have, regrettably, made a small number of roles redundant where people could not be put on furlough leave.
“I, along with my senior leadership team, have also taken a 25% pay reduction.”
Breast Cancer Now: 'Extremely tough decision'
Action on Hearing Loss: 'It was difficult for everyone'
Action on Hearing Loss is also furloughing staff and will be topping up the remaining amounts.
(1/5) This week @ActionOnHearing #furloughed seventy roles as part of the Government’s #JobRetentionScheme. It was difficult for everyone - those being furloughed, those staying and those communicating the decision.— Mark Atkinson (@MarkAtAction) April 10, 2020