Prince Charles furloughed 200 foundation employees with full pay or 80% pay

Prince Charles is technically one of the largest employers in the UK. His signature charity, The Prince’s Trust, employs hundreds of people and gives grants and scholarships to hundreds of people and organizations. He’s also in charge of Duchy Originals (his organic food line) and in charge of all the Duchy properties. He owns multiple properties around the UK, several of them as working farms or estates to support specific charities or initiatives. If you’d like a better idea of just how many projects, charities and businesses he’s involved with, I’d suggest watching that Prince Charles at 70 documentary – I was astonished by how far-ranging his work has become. All of which to say (again): Charles employs so many people. And now he’s furloughing 200 people from The Prince’s Foundation. But don’t worry, he’s still paying them.

Almost 200 people who work for the Prince of Wales have been furloughed as a result of the coronavirus crisis – but it won’t cost the taxpayer a penny. Instead of turning to the Government scheme, Prince Charles will use reserves at his charity to pay the salaries of his staff. However, his former valet Michael Fawcett, who now runs The Prince’s Foundation, is understood to have taken a significant cut to his six-figure salary.

A source at the charity, which has an annual wage bill of around £4.5 million, said that with all visitor attractions closed, 197 members of staff had been furloughed. They include workers at its headquarters in Dumfries House in Ayrshire and at the Castle of Mey in Caithness, which was the late Queen Mother’s private residence. Employees at restaurants in Ballater on Deeside close to Balmoral are also affected.

It is understood that salaried staff will receive 100 per cent of their monthly wage and variable hours employees will get 80 per cent of their average monthly wage. All members of the senior management team, including Mr Fawcett, volunteered to take a pay cut to ‘lead by example’. The foundation, which was created by the merging of The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust and The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in 2018, generates almost half of its income from visitors, events, fees, partnerships and other commercial activities. According to its latest accounts, its income was £16.6 million in 2018-19.

Last night, a spokesman for the charity confirmed: ‘The Prince’s Foundation has put a number of staff on furlough. However, it is not accessing financial support from the Government’s job retention scheme. Where possible, some staff are continuing to work from home. The Prince’s Foundation is paying the salaries of its staff.’

[From The Daily Mail]

The Dumfries House thing was covered in Prince Charles at 70 – Charles was concerned that the home would end up sold to a hotelier or a private family who would ruin the historical nature of the home and its contents (including one of the largest collections ever of Chippendale furniture), so Charles bought it and opened it up for tours (employing and training locals), and it became the centerpiece of a community-revitalization scheme he’s been working on for years. He’s done those kinds of projects all over the UK. And it’s great that he’s figuring out a way to still pay people while simply hitting pause on their activities. I also think it’s good that the higher-ups at these charitable schemes are taking more of a pay cut. Anyway… no shade for Charles.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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