Leading relief charity Christian Aid has announced that it will be furloughing 20 per cent of its staff in a bid to keep essential services running to serve the most vulnerable in society. In a statement released on 22nd April, the organisation revealed that it was projecting an income loss of £6m this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The humanitarian relief group said that it was implementing the UK Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in order to maintain business operations that are "critical to support vulnerable communities," adding that it will "ensure no staff member falls below the real living wage, and also top up the government scheme to a maximum of 80 per cent for any staff who earn more than the furlough cap."
Christian Aid said that any of its staff who have not been furloughed will work a four-day week for 12 weeks, taking home 80 per cent of their salaries.
The charity's unprecedented financial measures have been taken to ensure that it retains "the capacity and ability to help those in countries where health systems are weak with basic requirements such as running water not readily available, where people are already living in extreme poverty and debt-ridden governments are unable to provide resources that are needed at this time."
Directors and senior managers will not be furloughed, however the senior leadership group have been asked to reduce their salaries to 80 per cent while still working a full week in order to "lead Christian Aid through this crisis."
Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, Christian Aid's CEO, said: "These have been and continue to be hard decisions to make. We must do what is right for the communities we serve, for supporters who walk with us and for our staff.
"Whilst there are many threats to our traditional income sources, it is also clear that Christian Aid's vision, mission and values are needed now more than ever - this is our moment to show the world we care, we are equipped, and we can join the fight against this pandemic.
"From our homes, through our digital channels and virtual networks, we must connect with supporters, donors and institutions to deliver relief, strengthen poor people's resilience and build a safer world beyond the pandemic.
"We are encouraged by the response to our Coronavirus appeal and look forward to working with the thousands of churches and supporters up and down the country who will continue to take part in our new digital Christian Aid Week to support the world's poorest and most marginalised who will feel the impacts of Coronavirus deeply. Coronavirus has shown us that our futures are bound more tightly together than ever before."