Nearly half of charity workers 'already seeing effects of Brexit'

The latest Charity Pulse survey from Third Sector nevertheless finds that impending Brexit has had little effect on staff motivation

Decision to leave the EU has had little effect on morale
Decision to leave the EU has had little effect on morale

Almost 50 per cent of charity workers say they are already seeing the effects of Brexit on their charities, Third Sector’s Charity Pulse survey shows.

The study, carried out annually by Third Sector and Birdsong Charity Consulting since 2007, asks UK charity workers questions about areas such as their workload, job satisfaction and how they feel about their pay.

This year’s survey found morale among voluntary sector workers had reached its highest level since 2008 and showed improvements in almost all areas relating to staff satisfaction compared with 12 months ago.

This year’s study also included a special section on what charity workers felt about Brexit and the impact it might have on their organisations.

This found that 47 per cent of those surveyed said they were already seeing the effects of Brexit on their charity.

A further 32 per cent said they were not aware of any specific impacts but were concerned about what might happen, and 13 per cent said they were not seeing any specific impact. The remainder did not know.

The most common concern about the effects of Brexit on their organisations was around funding, but the effect on partnerships or projects were also major concerns.

Researchers also found that more than three-quarters of respondents said they felt negative or very negative about Brexit. Only 9 per cent said they felt positive or very positive, with the remainder feeling the same or a mixture of emotions.

Despite this, 80 per cent of charity workers surveyed said Brexit was not affecting their motivation at work. The survey found that 9 per cent said they felt less motivated, while 7 per cent felt more motivated. The remainder were unsure.

A report from Birdsong about the findings says Brexit is having a major effect on UK charities. "It is striking at the heart of the sector’s values – and charity people are deeply affected by it," the report says.

But it adds that a kind of "Blitz spirit" of endurance and defiance is emerging across the sector.

"Despite the heartfelt views expressed by respondents to this survey, we are not seeing a drop in staff satisfaction levels," it says. "In fact, there are significant increases in some key areas of the survey this year.

"After almost a decade of uncertainty and turmoil, the sector is showing its mettle – and its resilience," it says.

The survey was completed in the spring by 245 people from more than 110 UK charities.

The full report will be available from the Birdsong website from Friday

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