Addaction redundancy and termination payments trebled in 2018/19

According to the drug and alcohol charity's latest accounts, the figure rose from £253,560 in 2018 to £823,563 this year

The drug and alcohol charity Addaction more than trebled the amount it paid out in redundancy and termination figures in 2018/19, the charity’s latest accounts show.

The accounts for the year to 31 March 2019 show a substantial rise in redundancy payments at the charity, from £253,560 in the 2018 accounts to £823,563 in this year’s.

Salaries and wages also fell, from a total of £40.5m to £37.2m.

Staff numbers fell by more than 120, from 1,569 to 1,444.

A spokeswoman for the charity said it was difficult to compare year-on-year redundancy figures. 

"The changeover of our staff, the acquisition of new service contracts and the ending of previous ones – in addition to redundancies being picked up from a previous financial year – make it very difficult to compare year-on-year figures, because the circumstances are not the same," she said. 

The majority of the redundancies were voluntary, she said. 

Addaction has been the subject of industrial action recently, with 31 support workers in Greater Manchester going on strike in September in a pay dispute.

The accounts show that Addaction’s income fell from £73.4m to £67.2m in 2018/19. Total spending also fell at the charity, from £74.4m to £68.5m.

The charity worked with 36,083 adults across England and Scotland in 2018/19 to overcome drug and alcohol problems, according to the accounts, and also helped 5,232 young people.

The charity’s mental health programme saw 14,200 people begin treatment.

The highest earner at the charity earned between £140,001 and £150,000, approximately £20,000 more than in 2017/18.

Another high earner had a salary in the £130,001 to £140,000 bracket, the accounts show.

The spokeswoman said: "While the salaries of our executive team are comparatively low compared with other similar organisations, we have reduced the number of staff on higher wage scales in recent years and will continue to review pay policies frequently. We also have medical staff at the top of our pay bands, not just executives, so this accounts for some of our finances.

"Our trustees set the salaries of the executive team to lead our complex organisation, supporting more than 100,000 people every year.

"It is important to note that executive salaries do not influence the funding available to run services or pay front-line staff."

- This article was updated on 23 October after the charity said the majority of the redundancies were voluntary. 

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