Cancer Research UK to put 40 per cent of workforce on furlough

The charity says the 1,800 affected staff all work in its retail operation, but employees from other parts of the charity could be furloughed later in the year

(Photograph: Getty Images)
(Photograph: Getty Images)

Cancer Research UK will place up to 1,800 staff – 40 per cent of its workforce – on furlough as it deals with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The charity said that affected staff, who all work in its retail operation, would be placed on furlough using the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Staff from other parts of the organisation might also be placed on furlough further down the line, said CRUK, which has 4,400 employees.

All of the charity’s 600 shops in the UK have been closed since 20 March.

CRUK warned earlier this week that its fundraising income, including trading, could fall by about £100m in the current year because of the knock-on effects of the outbreak on its fundraising activities.

In a statement to Third Sector, 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.”

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme enables employers to claim 80 per cent, up to £2,500 per month, of salaries paid to workers who have been stood down to help protect businesses during the outbreak.

CRUK follows other major charities including Oxfam and Barnardo’s, which have both announced in recent days that they are putting a total of more than 4,000 staff on furlough because of the pandemic.

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