Comic Relief planning to cut one in four jobs due to Covid-19

Comic Relief is considering cutting one in four jobs due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

The charity says that the impact of the pandemic means it needs to save more than £5m in running costs. Most of this will be found by cutting staff numbers and office space.

Up to 60 people face redundancy, out of a total workforce of 240.

Of the £5m savings, around £3.2m will come from staff costs with the remaining £1.8m coming from costs such as reducing office space. The charity is to encourage all staff to incorporate working from home regularly.

Operating costs had previously been met through interest from the charity’s investment portfolio. But the charity says this model is no longer viable as a large number of these investments have been sold to protect funds during the immediate financial crisis at the start of the pandemic.

The charity is currently in a consultation process with staff, which will be completed at the end of August.

A spokesperson for Comic Relief said: “The financial impact of the Covid-19 crisis is forcing many organisations, especially charities, to reduce their costs. Comic Relief is sadly no exception and whilst we remain committed to supporting all our charitable projects, we need to save over £5million in running costs. A majority of these savings will come from a reduction in staff and office space and we are doing everything possible to support our staff during this challenging transition period.

“Whilst we go through this difficult process, we are continuing our work with charitable projects across the UK and internationally, who need us more than ever throughout the pandemic.”

Charity sector finances

The pandemic has hit charity sector finances hard due to a drop in income from cancelled fundraising events and the closure of charity shops during lockdown.

Among other charities to announce cutbacks are Bowel Cancer UK and Cancer Research UK.

National Council for Voluntary Organisations chief executive Karl Wilding has warned that a reliance on public fundraising has left charities vulnerable amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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