One in three charities to cut jobs over next year due to Covid-19 losses

A third of charities will make redundancies in the next 12 months as the financial challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic continue to scar the voluntary sector.

The findings come from July’s monthly health check by ACEVO and the Centre for Mental Health, which monitors the financial health of 85 charities based in England and Wales.

Charities were asked whether financial conditions have improved, deteriorated or stayed the same in areas including donations, cashflow, staff, reserves and front line service delivery.

When asked if they will need to make staff redundancies within the next 12 months, a third (33%) said they would, while 36% said they were unsure and 31% ruled out job losses.

The survey also revealed that marginally more charities plan to cut the number of full time roles.

Elsewhere, a third of charities (33%) said new income and donations are worse this month, compared to 28% who said more money was coming in.

Protecting frontline service delivery is emerging as a priority for most charities, although a fifth are considering cuts in this area.

While 21% said they were cutting spending on frontline services, 26% said they were spending more, while around half (53%) said spending levels would remain the same.

Job losses

Amid the pandemic a raft of charities have announced staff cuts to meet income loss as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.

This month Girlguiding said it was looking at making “valued staff redundant” to tackle a £4m deficit, while the British Heart Foundation is considering shedding 300 jobs.

Meanwhile, 1,200 jobs are at risk at the National Trust and Comic Relief is planning to cut one in four jobs.

“It appears that the huge number of redundancy announcements we have seen over the last few weeks are just the tip of the iceberg,” Kristiana Wrixon, head of policy at ACEVO said.

“It is clear a lot more support is required to protect jobs so that charities can be there for all of us as we feel the impact of what is predicted to be the biggest global economic crisis for almost 100 years.”

This is the fourth in ACEVO and the Centre for Mental Health’s monthly surveys. Last month the survey revealed that charity finances are stagnating following falls in the first months of the coronavirus lockdown.

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