Barnardo’s spent more than £4.1m on redundancies last year after the implementation of a technology project and the end of a number of services contracts, the charity’s latest accounts show.
The accounts, which were filed with Companies House this week and cover the year to 31 March 2019, show the latest redundancy figures were £4.1m, about £1.8m higher than in the previous year.
The accounts say that the large increase in termination costs happened "following the implementation of the technology transformation project and the completion of children services contracts".
Total staff numbers fell from 8,128 to 7,888, the accounts show, with children’s services seeing the bulk of the reduction in staff numbers, down to 4,967 staff from 5,264 in 2018.
In his introduction to the accounts, Javed Khan, chief executive of Barnardo’s, said the charity was making progress in becoming "a more digital, diverse and learning organisation".
He wrote: "We have embraced digital technology to develop new services and fundraising tools, have enhanced our website and are equipping our people with new tools so they can spend more time directly supporting children."
Total income at the charity rose, however, from £304.3m to £306m, the accounts show. This was the charity’s highest income since the 2016/17 financial year.
Spending also rose, from £299.3m to 305.8m, according to the accounts.
Income from legacies grew from £16.6m to £22.5m, leading to an overall rise in fundraised income from £40.4m to £45.9m.
But donations and gifts from the public fell slightly from £22.3m to £22m. Donations from companies and trusts also declined, from £1.6m to £1.4m.
The charity helped more than 294,300 children and young people, parents and carers in 2018/19, the accounts say, as well as 40,100 people through its mental health services.
The accounts say that the charity’s child sexual exploitation services worked with 3,500 people in the year covered by the accounts.
The pension deficit at Barnardo’s rose by more than £3m, from £139m to £142.2m, according to the accounts.
The charity last year lost an appeal to the Supreme Court to use a lower rate of inflation to calculate rises in its pension scheme.