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Civil society urges Chancellor to urgently make job scheme fit for purpose

A coalition of civil society leaders has written to Rishi Sunak to urge him to develop a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) fit for purpose for social change organisations.

Led by Charity Finance Group (CFG) and backed by 31 other organisations, the letter calls on the Chancellor to work closely with them to ensure that vital work to serve communities can continue unhindered and millions of citizens who depend on the sector are not abandoned during their time of greatest need.

Pointing out the urgent need for a tailored plan, the coalition explains:

'The CJRS was an exceptionally generous scheme which was welcomed by the sector and which charities and social enterprises have availed themselves of during its first phase.

'However, as a scheme designed predominantly with private enterprise in mind, it had the perverse effect of incentivising mothballing of provision and not mobilisation.'

The coalition, which represents thousands of charities and social enterprises in the UK, highlights they now face a 'critical dilemma': Access the government’s job retention scheme to save on salary costs (and thereby close or reduce vital services) or risk financial collapse.

'History tells us that it will continue to be the latter choice they exercise', the signatories state.

The coalition goes on to ask government for a time-limited scheme that enables organisations to furlough staff and allow them to volunteer their time and skills back to their not-for-profit, public benefit employer. According to recent joint research by CFG, one third of charities have already announced redundancies in service delivery roles.

The letter concludes: 'It is counterproductive to be paying for a charity or social enterprise employee to stop working when our citizens so desperately need helplines, advice, support and guidance; whether on mental health, unemployment, homelessness or loneliness and isolation.'

Read the letter.

Civil society organisations can still show their support and add their names to the letter by emailing name, title/position and organisation to: policy@cfg.org.uk or completing our online form.

 

Notes for editors

About Charity Finance Group

Charity Finance Group (CFG) is the charity that inspires a financially confident, dynamic and trustworthy charity sector. We do this by championing best practice, nurturing leadership and influencing policy makers.

About the signatories

The signatories are the chief executive officers and directors of 31 civil society organisations representing thousands of social change organisations of all sizes across the four nations, including disability, homelessness, social exclusion, health, faith, community infrastructure, fundraising and funders.

For further information, please contact:

Emma Abbott, Communications Manager at Charity Finance Group: emma.abbott@cfg.org.uk

Roberta Fusco, Director of Policy and Communications at Charity Finance Group: roberta.fusco@cfg.org.uk

 

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