Scope's workforce to go from 3,000 to 800 over two years

18 Dec 2017 News

Disability charity Scope reduced staff numbers by 1,159 and made redundancies costing more than £500,000 in the year to March 2017, according to its latest annual accounts and report.

Total staff numbers fell from 3,295 to 2,136 – a reduction of more than a third - and redundancy costs were just under £530,000.

Scope recently announced that 1,300 of its employees would be transferred to a new provider next year. This means that over two years its workforce will have fallen by over 2,000 to around 800. 

The charity’s average full time equivalent headcount, which excludes hourly paid casual workers, for the year was 2,057, down from 2,387 in 2015/16.

A spokesman for the charity said in total there were 185 redundancies during 2016/17, with other reductions in staff numbers due to services closing across the charity.

He said: “We have closed services that we were unable to run in a financially sustainable way to the high standards and quality that we expect.

“Secondly, we continually review the performance of our retail chain and, in order to improve profitability, close unprofitable shops.

“Finally, changes in staffing levels also reflect considerable change in the operation and efficiencies in our corporate support functions, particularly our finance, IT and HR functions.

“As we invest in new technology – like HR self-service for all staff – the requirement for large support functions has reduced both due to an investment in technology and to reflect a smaller portfolio of services to support.”

On top of the changes in 2016/17, Scope is currently in the process of reducing its remaining workforce by two-thirds as part of a major restructure.

Scope announced in April that it would be transferring all its regulated and day services to other providers, along with much of the estate and current services built up by the organisation since it was founded.

Last week, the charity announced that 51 of its services will transfer to private company, Salutem Healthcare from the beginning of 2018.

The spokesman said approximately 1,300 of Scope's remaining staff will move across, including the senior leadership team of Scope's services.

This is expected to leave Scope with a staff base of about 800 across its campaigns, influencing, policy, research, retail and other departments.

Property sales

Scope made an overall surplus of £7.4m, but this was largely due to £11.6m proceeds from the sale of six freehold properties during the year and a reduction in expenditure.

The property sales involved the charity transferring three services to alternative providers as going concerns; closing two residential care services and selling one further vacant property.

These sales are not considered part of Scope’s standard operations and have been used to increase the charity’s free reserves and to provide a £4.25m designated fund as security for the charity’s pension scheme.

Scope’s income decreased by £1.7m to £97.8m, with statutory income for services falling by £7.9m, due to it transferring three services to other providers, which was not fully offset by the contribution from property sales.

The combined income from donations and legacies and other trading activities also declined by £0.8m.

Scope’s total expenditure on charitable activities dropped by 6 per cent from £64.9m to £60.8m.



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