Amnesty confirms redundancies as it plans restructure

30 Apr 2019 News

Amnesty International has confirmed that it will be making redundancies as the charity undergoes a restructure and changes its strategic direction.

On Saturday, the Guardian reported that the charity faces a £17m shortfall in its budget to the end of 2020, and is set to make 70 compulsory and voluntary redundancies.

The charity has since confirmed that there will be job losses but did not say whether the number reported was accurate.

It said secretary general Kumi Naidoo would share more details will staff in “due course”.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “Even though membership of Amnesty is increasing worldwide, the International Secretariat will have to unfortunately cut its expenditure, while at the same time ensuring future priorities.

“We are working closely with staff and the union to find a solution though we can confirm that there will be redundancies. This is a painful and difficult decision and we will do everything in our power to support impacted staff.

“Kumi Naidoo will in due course be sharing with staff details about the strategic direction of the International Secretariat, including his decision on changes to the leadership team, to ensure that it is in the best possible position to support the wider Amnesty movement going forward.

“We cannot provide further details until staff have been fully consulted.”

Alarmed at decision

Workers’ union Unite said it was “alarmed” at the charity’s decision to change its strategy and the ongoing financial difficulties of the organisation.

A spokesperson said: "Members have grave concerns about the financial situation Amnesty has found itself in both in the short and the long term.

"Members are also alarmed at suggestions that Amnesty is considering altering the fundamental direction of the organisation."

External review

In February, an external review accused Amnesty International of having a “toxic working culture”, with over a third of its staff reporting that working for the charity has caused them health problems.

In response, Naidoo said the charity would take on board the findings of the report.

Naidoo said: “Staff wellbeing is now our absolute priority and will be at the heart of everything we do. As the report states, we have started to take steps in the right direction. However, we have a long way to go.”

  • This article was amended on 1 May after an inaccurate assertion in the Guardian's report that the charity's donations had fallen was removed.
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