Checklist: handling redundancies

By governance expert Judith Rich

The recession has made redundancies in the sector inevitable. It is vital that trustees making job cuts should be seen to support the management team.

Trustees should acknowledge the stress and unhappiness the process will have caused the colleagues of those made redundant. One option is for board members to make an extra visit to the organisation to show their understanding and demonstrate their belief in the reasoning behind the redundancies.

The chair will have been involved from the start, but it may be necessary to call an extra board meeting to discuss the strategic ramifications of the redundancies. Any specialist expertise among the trustees will be useful - especially in human resources and public relations.

It is important to maintain a positive spin, but the opportunity to exploit the situation for fundraising should not be overlooked. Sympathetic donors will often be willing to provide additional support, even if their own income has been diminished in this climate.

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