National Trust to furlough more than 11,000 staff

This amounts to about 80 per cent of its 14,000-strong workforce

NT property Kingston Lacy in Dorset
NT property Kingston Lacy in Dorset

The National Trust will furlough about 11,200 staff because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The charity said in a statement that 80 per cent of its approximately 14,000 staff would be furloughed because of a loss of revenue caused by the charity’s closure of its attractions amid the Covid-19 crisis.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme enables employers to temporarily release workers during the pandemic but use government money to pay them up to 80 per cent of their wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

Because of the outbreak, the trust has closed all of its properties, including shops and cafés, and its parks and gardens, which account for much of the charity’s annual income.

The charity had an income of £634.3m in the year to 28 February 2019, its most recent accounts show.

The charity said Prospect, the trade union for the National Trust, supported the decision to furlough staff.

The National Trust’s decision to furlough staff comes after similar announcements by Oxfam, Cancer Research UK and Barnardo’s.

Hilary McGrady, director general of the National Trust, 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.”

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