Breast Cancer Now to furlough 70 per cent of its workforce

Breast Cancer Now is set to furlough about 70 per cent of staff members to deal with an expected 25 per cent fall in fundraising income because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The charity will run on a skeleton staff of just 90 employees, working remotely, while other staff members will be furloughed as part of the government’s job-retention scheme. The arrangement will be reviewed in three weeks’ time, the charity said.

A statement released by the charity this morning said it estimated that it would lose at least a quarter of its fundraised income between now and the end of its financial year on 31 July as a result of the crisis.

Baroness Morgan, the charity’s chief executive, said the charity would be working tirelessly to continue to deliver its helpline, online medical information service, support network and app throughout the crisis and was developing new digital solutions to allow it to deliver some of its other services virtually.

“This was an extremely tough decision for us to make, particularly as it comes at a time when we, and people affected by breast cancer, need our hugely talented and passionate staff the most,” Morgan said. 

“But this is a necessary short-term measure to protect our income, protect jobs and to enable us to develop a longer-term response to ensure the future of our life-changing support and world-class research.”

She said the charity wanted to assure those affected by breast cancer that the charity would still be there to support them throughout the crisis. 

“We would also like to say a huge thank you to our supporters for their incredible generosity, encouragement, creativity and energy, particularly at what is a really uncertain time for everyone,” Morgan said. 

“We have been amazed by, and are so grateful for, their response. Whether running marathons in the garden, giving what they can to our emergency appeal or volunteering for our Someone Like Me service at a time of great demand for support, it is making a huge difference to our ability to respond to this crisis.”

Morgan said the charity could not rule out the possibility of redundancies in the future but was not currently planning to make any. 

She said the move to furlough staff would “help protect jobs and maximise our income at this difficult time”.

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