Oxfam GB delays decision on redundancies

20 Jul 2020 News

Hundreds of Oxfam GB staff will have to wait longer to learn the fate of their jobs, after the charity delayed its restructure plans.

In an email sent to all Oxfam GB staff earlier this month, seen by Civil Society News, the charity’s management announced that decisions on redundancies had been put back to 29 July. Staff had previously been told that a decision paper would be published on 15 July.

One member of Oxfam GB staff said it was frustrating to have the “uncertainty extended”.

More time

The email said that bosses “will need more time than is currently timetabled” to review the responses received to the consultation.

It said that, by the first week of July, the charity had received 539 responses to the consultation from its staff, and that more than 250 additional documents had been submitted.

This meant that managers wanted to “ensure we do justice to the hard work and thought that has gone into the feedback”, according to the email.

Professionalism

An Oxfam GB spokesperson said: "Given the current extraordinary circumstances, we are taking the extra time to ensure that all colleagues' views can be heard and thoroughly considered as part of our restructure process.

"We are extremely grateful for the ongoing professionalism of our staff throughout this difficult period as we adapt to the impact the pandemic has had on our ability to raise money in the UK, while working hard with communities around the world to protect people.”

More than 200 jobs are at risk as the charity tries to achieve savings of £16m a year.

Out of the blue

A senior member of staff at Oxfam GB, who asked to remain anonymous, told Civil Society News that the new timetable had come “out of the blue”.

They said: “It is just frustrating to have that uncertainty extended.

“I feel like, let’s just rip the band-aid off and get it done.”

In the hole

They added: “We keep getting told this is the first in a series of restructures. So I think, Let’s just crack on then, get it done. Let’s get that pain out the way.”

Talking about the charity’s long-term financial prospects, they said: “I’m not hopeful.

“We had to make huge cuts previously, and that was when our [charity] shops were open. Well, now we’re even more in the hole.”

Oxfam GB previously said that it made net losses of £5m a month from closing its charity shops during lockdown.

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