Cancer Research UK to reduce workforce by almost a quarter 

15 Jul 2020 News

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) will reduce the size of its workforce by 500 roles, or 24%, not including trading. 

The charity put a recruitment freeze in place earlier this year in response to Covid-19, but still expects to make 295 to 345 redundancies within six months. This amounts to 14-17% of its workforce outside of trading being made redundant.

CRUK will have to stop some programmes of work and reduce the scope of other activities.

The charity says it anticipates a £300m decline in fundraising income over the next three years.

Due to a projected drop in income of £160m this year, the charity has said it must make cuts to its life-saving research.  

It plans to introduce a new research model and will reduce its research spend to £250m within four to five years. This marks a cut of £150m from what the charity had planned to spend.  

The charity is calling on the government to help find a solution to this funding gap.  

'It is with a heavy heart that I can confirm we will have to reduce the size of our workforce'

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive at Cancer Research UK said: “We’re living through a global crisis unlike any other and, as it’s unfolded, it’s become clear that there’ll be a huge economic impact for years to come.”

She added that early on in this crisis the charity made moves to mitigate the impact on its work. For example, it moved all of its staff to 80% pay, furloughed 60% of staff, and cut £44m from its research.  

“But it is with a heavy heart that I can confirm we will have to reduce the size of our workforce, and make significant cuts to our research spend, as a result of the situation we find ourselves in. With such a significant shortfall in income, we cannot afford to keep spending at the same levels.

“But that doesn’t make those decisions any easier. We’re keeping our dedicated, hard-working staff up to date on developments as we have them, and their professionalism throughout this period has been hugely appreciated,” she said.

The charity will continue to invest in digital transformation, basing its approach on how supporters want to engage, and will reach out to philanthropic individuals and organisations around the world to support its work.

Mitchell said: “I am confident that through our world-leading research, information and influencing, we will continue to make transformative steps in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This plan sets the direction for a new phase in the life of Cancer Research UK and will help us respond to the changed world, quicker than we’ve ever done before. 

“We will emerge a streamlined charity, but still with a resolute drive for impact. Together, we will still beat cancer and realise our ambition to improve cancer survival to 3 in 4 by 2034.”

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