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Over 5,000 redundancies announced in the charity sector since May

12 Aug 2020 News

More than 5,300 redundancies have been announced by charities over the last three months, research by New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) has found.

NPC is collating data on job cuts and redundancy consultations at charities, which have become increasingly common over the past few months as the financial consequences of the Covid-19 lockdown become apparent.

NPC’s tracker shows that so far 33 charities have shared plans to make 5,366 redundancies between 12 May and today. More than 3,800 were announced in July alone, ahead of the furlough scheme winding down from August onwards. 

The vast majority of charities included in the research are big charities with millions in income. The National Trust has announced the highest number of redundancies (1,200), followed by the National Trust for Scotland (429) and the National Theatre (400 casual staff).

Showing the scale of the crisis

The tracker only gives a partial picture of the number of jobs actually lost in the sector, as it does not include redundancies that have not been publicly announced. Also, many charities are still in the consultation phase, so the final number of redundancies may vary.

NPC said the tracker aims to show “the scale of crisis affecting the sector, so funders and philanthropists can target their giving and policymakers can better understand where the sector is struggling”.

Dan Corry, CEO of NPC, said: “These numbers are deeply sobering, and each one represents someone dedicated to changing lives. Without their talents, our sector will find it increasingly difficult to deliver impact for the people who need charities now more than ever.

“Charities need the support of all of us. We hope philanthropists will be able to use this redundancy monitor to target their giving, and that policy makers will better understand where the sector is really struggling.”

Arts and medical charities hit the hardest

So far, the tracker indicates that charities in the arts and culture and health sectors are bearing the brunt of the crisis.

Almost 3,000 redundancies have been announced at arts charities, with the National Trust accounting for a significant proportion of them.

Health charities have cut more than 1,300 jobs, with Cancer Research UK consulting on up to 345 redundancies, British Heart Foundation on 300, and St John Ambulance planning 250.

The animals sector came third, with 861 redundancies announced. RSPCA, which had initially consulted on 300 redundancies, has now confirmed it will cut 269 jobs.

Tom Collinge, policy manager at NPC, said: “We designed this redundancy monitor to track where the sector is hurting the most. So far, it looks like health charities and the arts are taking the biggest hit, especially cancer research and theatres.

“We will continue to monitor as new information becomes available, but if this trend continues it will mean less pioneering research, which could undermine the fight against cancer, and provide a major hit to the cultural life of the nation.”

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