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Action on Hearing Loss furloughs staff but pledges to top up wages during coronavirus crisis

10 April 2020

This week, national hearing loss charity, Action on Hearing Loss furloughed seventy roles as part of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The majority of those furloughed are from non-public facing roles, as our priority is to make sure that no decision impacts on our care and support services and the people that rely on them [1].

The charity will be ‘topping up’ the grant from government so that staff don’t experience a financial penalty and family finances aren’t put under pressure by an immediate reduction in net pay. This is something that will be continually monitored but is an important measure and reflects the charity’s ambition to be a first-class employer.

Mark Atkinson, Chief Executive of Action on Hearing Loss, said: “This decision to ‘top up’ isn’t universally supported and I know has its critics. However, my view is that when we move beyond the current emergency, we have an organisation to rebuild and a social mission to realise which cannot be done without our people. How we treat colleagues now will determine the pace at which we rebuild in the future. It is for each organisation to make their own decision and I am suggesting others should (or even could) do what we have.”

He added; “It has been a difficult time for everyone – those being furloughed, those staying and those communicating the decision. I want to say a huge thank you to all of my Action on Hearing Loss colleagues for their tremendous effort over recent weeks. It’s been tough and you have been second to none.”

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Notes to editors

Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) is the national charity helping people living with deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss to live the life they choose. Action on Hearing Loss enables them to take control of their lives and remove the barriers in their way, giving people support and care, developing technology and treatments, and campaigning for equality.

[1] We will still be running our care and support services, as well as our national Information Line and providing online signposting and support. We’re also looking at different ways to run our local engagement services without meeting in person. In addition, we will continue our work with politicians and our colleagues in Westminster, the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments to ensure people who are deaf, have hearing loss and tinnitus are represented as we find our way through this time.