Comic Relief plans to cut up to a quarter of its workforce

28 Jul 2020 News

Comic Relief plans to make up to 60 staff redundant, which amounts to a quarter of its 240-strong workforce.

The charity said it needs to cut £5m in operating costs in 2020-21 as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Comic Relief previously covered operating costs through its investment income, but said that when the pandemic began it sold “a large majority” of its portfolio in order to protect it from the stock market crash.

It will save about £3.2m from staff cuts, while the remaining £1.8m will come from lowering non-staff costs, including reducing its office space. Staff will be encouraged to work from home regularly in the future.

Consultations with staff on the cost-saving plan began in early July and will be completed at the end of August.

'We are doing everything possible to support our staff'

A spokesperson for the charity 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 £5m 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.”

For the year ending on 31 July 2019, Comic Relief had an income of £86m, some £3.3m of which came from investments.

This year’s Sport Relief, which was held on 13 March, raised £40.5m on the night. This was up from the 2018 event, which raised £38m, but still down compared to previous years – it raised £55m on the night in 2016.

Big Night In – a joint appeal by Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need – raised a total of £74m. The final figure includes the government match-funding every pound donated by the public.

The charity is currently working on next year’s Red Nose Day, which is planned for 19 March 2021.

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