The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) has decided to take advantage of the government’s resources for businesses and furlough some of its staff, including chief executive officer, Simon Forrester.

This move, which the NAJ stresses is only temporary, has been made to help maintain financial stability during this period.

A statement from the NAJ explains: “As all are acutely aware we are in unprecedented times, and unchartered waters lie ahead. The government have made it clear that we have a way to go yet before our normal working lives are to be resumed.


“Due to these unprecedented circumstances the NAJ’s Exco Committee, working in unison with The British Allied Trades Federation, have felt it necessary to take steps to ensure that Federation and its member Trade Associations maintain their financial stability during this period.

“Federation, a not for profit members group of Associations, is having to take prudent and proactive steps, like many of its own members businesses, and this includes taking advantage of the government furlough scheme where appropriate. This has affected both some of the Trade Association and Federation employees – including, as of immediate effect, the furloughing of NAJ CEO Simon Forrester.

“These are purely temporary measures and we are being entirely transparent with all of those involved.”

The NAJ will also postpone certain projects and events in order to alleviate financial risk and significant spend for the Federation and its Associations at this time.

As part of this, the Association are in the process of realigning its resources to continue to deliver benefits to all members in the most cost-effective manner possible, supported by the senior middle management team who all remain in situ (including Education, Membership Services, Marketing & IRV).

“This is a temporary situation brought on by the current crisis, and we will resume normality just as soon as is realistically possible,” the NAJ assures members.

“It is vitally important to us that you understand that these measures are short term. Our priority is to you, our members, and we will ensure that you continue to have access to all of the membership services that you require.”

The NAJ middle management team remain available to answer any questions that you may have and the NAJ team will now report operationally directly into NAJ President, David Doyle, for the foreseeable future.

The NAJ chairman’s role (Harriet Kelsall) remains unaffected by any changes.

Professional Jeweller editor, Stacey Hailes, will be interviewing the NAJ president and chairman later today to find out more information about the decision to furlough the chief exec and plans being put in place to continue to support members and ensure trade professionals comes out of the other side of this pandemic fit for the future.