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World Sailing furloughs HQ staff in response to Olympic funding gap

Olympic Sailing

The 12-month postponement to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to the Covid-19 global pandemic has had a major financial impact on our sport’s governing body World Sailing which has seen its Olympic funding tap shut off.

In reaction to this funding crisis the organisation has placed the vast majority of its personnel on furlough until May 6 earliest, leaving just a skeleton staff of senior staff people to keep the business ticking over.

Additionally, higher paid workers have been asked to take a 20 per cent pay reduction.


Here is the official statement from World Sailing President Kim Andersen issued yesterday on behalf of the organisation’s Board of Directors:

World Sailing’s Board of Directors continues to keep the finances and operations of World Sailing under very close review during the COVID-19 virus pandemic and the effect it is having on all international sports federations.

The United Kingdom Government has made available a generous financial support scheme which can be accessed by World Sailing (UK) Limited (the company which employs the World Sailing staff) to support salary costs during the crisis. Like many organisations within the UK, the Board has decided to take advantage of this scheme in order to ensure the long-term financial viability of World Sailing.

From 15 April 2020 until 6 May 2020, almost all World Sailing staff are being placed on ‘furlough leave’. World Sailing will fund any difference in pay. After 6 May, the Board will review the position with the Senior Management Team and decide whether furlough leave is extended or whether staff will return to work. A small number of senior managers will not be on furlough leave and remain at work

In addition to this measure, the Board has requested that World Sailing staff earning more than a certain amount take a 20% pay reduction until the end of the year (or earlier if possible). This requires the individual agreement of the staff and we have been consulting with the staff on the viability of this proposal. Overall, the Board continues to have frequent discussions with our partners concerning the impact of the postponement of the Olympic Games in order to ensure our financial health is as stable as possible.