RSPCA expects to cut more than 130 jobs, mostly in administration and support roles, citing its increasing staff pension fund deficit as a key reason.
In a statement released last week, the animal welfare charity said the charity was under pressure from rising fuel costs and veterinary bills; a drop in donations and an increase in call-centre workload. In 2007, the charity took 21,481 calls about abandoned animals. In 2011, the total had leapt to 28,162, a 31 per cent rise over five years.
RPSCA had already budgeted to spend almost £10m less in 2011 than in 2009. But it cited the impact of inflation, and a growing staff pension fund deficit caused by flat investment returns for its new decision on staff levels.
According to the charity’s most recent accounts, in 2010 its overall pension deficit increased by £4m to £42.1m. In the same year, its wage bill was £49.5m. It had an income of £115.3m, and spent £122.96m.
The charity is undergoing a staffing review. This is likely to mean restructuring and a reduction of more than 130 posts, particularly in administration and support roles although staff at all levels could be affected. However, the 1,000 or so frontline staff including RSPCA inspectors, animal welfare officers and animal collection officers, as well as workers at hospitals, wildlife and animal rehoming centres, will be protected.
Chief executive Gavin Grant said: “The RSPCA is under pressure like never before. Ever-larger numbers of animals are falling victim to abuse and abandonment in part due to the economic climate.
“The RSPCA’s work depends entirely on people’s generosity, and in common with other charities we face greater pressure on our income and more demand for our services. I know many of our very generous supporters are feeling the pinch themselves.
“We need to make the RSPCA sustainable. We have already saved millions of pounds through a series of cost-cutting measures, but we’ve had to eat into our financial reserves as the economic slump has been deeper and longer than feared.
“Some hard decisions must be taken. Significant job losses in administrative areas are sadly inevitable but I will protect frontline animal welfare services. Abused and abandoned animals need our help and they will get it. Our policy of ‘zero tolerance’ of animal abuse and prosecution of the perpetrators will continue.”
- If you are looking for a job in the sector click here to search our database.