The RNLI plans to reduce its staff count by 135 in order to deal with a shortfall in its funds.
It will do this by consulting on making 95 permanent roles redundant. The other 40 will be achieved by not filling vacant positions and not extending temporary positions.
Most of the redundancies will affect people based at the charity's support centre in Poole. Staff were informed yesterday and a consultation period will last 45 days.
RNLI currently has over 2,000 employees.
According to its most recent accounts for the year to December 2018, RNLI has around 300 support staff, 660 involved in lifeboats property and equipment, 90 in safety, education and awareness, and 300 working on legacies and donations. It also employs seasonal lifeguards and fundraisers.
In a statement, Mark Dowie, chief executive, said: ‘The RNLI is facing some major challenges – we have a shortfall in funds, but more people than ever need our help. It’s a perfect storm.
“And that means we’re having to make some very difficult decisions. This includes proposals to reduce our staff by 135 roles, pending a period of consultation.
He added: “This is part of a programme of activity that, combined with increased investment in fundraising, is designed to help us get back to living within our means and delivering our world class rescue service across the UK and Ireland.”
‘We must be more efficient’
He added that RNLI needs to become more efficient.
“In my four months as chief executive at the RNLI, I have been incredibly impressed with the dedication of the staff here and the quality of their work.
“This reduction in jobs isn’t a reflection on the value I, or the organisation, places on individuals. But we must do things in a more efficient way and this means we will need fewer people.
“So I understand that the next few months will be challenging for all involved, but we have to take action now if we are going to weather this storm. And I know everyone at the RNLI is as committed as I am to making sure this 195-year-old charity continues to be a world class rescue service that is still saving lives in 200 years’ time.”
RNLI's accounts were published at the the end of August. They showed that in the year to 31 December, the charity's resources fell by by £28.6m at a time when it has had its busiest ever period.
The charity had a £6.5m deficit between its income and its charitable spend last year, and the value of its investments fell by £10m.
At the time, Dowie told Civil Society News that he was reviewing all aspects of the charity's operations and that it must figure out how to live within its means.