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Burberry donates 100,000 items of PPE and says it will not furlough staff in UK

Lauretta Roberts
24 April 2020

Burberry has confirmed that it has so far donated 100,000 items of PPE to the NHS and has said it "will not rely on government support for jobs in the UK" where one third of its workforce are based.

The British luxury house converted its Castleford trench coat factory to enable it to produce PPE for the NHS last month and is also using its supply chain to source surgical masks and donate them to the NHS and charities such as Marie Curie, which looks after people with terminal illnesses.

It has also said it will not be relying on the Government's job support scheme and has pledged to maintain the base pay of its staff who are unable to fulfil their roles because of store or site closures.

To contribute to the cause, senior managers have agreed to a 20% pay cut while its Board of Directors has also agreed to a voluntary 20% reduction in their base salary and fees from April through June, with the equivalent cash amount to be donated to the Burberry Foundation COVID-19 Community Fund.

The fund, which was established earlier this month for the company's employees to support communities in need globally, is additional to the financial donations Burberry has made to vaccine research and charities alleviating food poverty, with monies going towards procuring and distributing PPE, helping foodbanks and supporting healthcare charities around the world.

Chief executive Marco Gobbetti said: “Since the outbreak of COVID-19, our priority has been the safety and wellbeing of our employees, our customers and our communities. While we continue to take mitigating actions to contain our costs and protect our financial position, we are also committed to safeguarding jobs and supporting the relief efforts during this global health emergency. I would like to thank our teams for their continued determination and resilience as we continue Thomas Burberry’s legacy of protecting others and caring for the community.”

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