Macmillan Cancer Support made 250 redundancies last year, accounts show

Macmillan Cancer Support made 250 people redundant last year in an attempt to make savings of almost £14m a year, its latest figures show.

The charity’s annual report for 2020 says it made the “difficult decision to reduce the size of our organisation” to manage the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Macmillan had warned last year that it expected to make 300 redundancies in the face of an anticipated loss of £175m in fundraised income over the following two years because of Covid-19.

But the report says it ended up making 250 redundancies, 69 of which were voluntary, to make savings of £13.9m a year.

The report says the charity spent £3.8m on redundancy and termination costs over the course of the year.

It says the workforce reduction was “critical in building a leaner, more efficient organisation for the future”.

It says: “Macmillan is now made up of over 1,600 employees spread across seven directorates which are structured to support our strategy to help people with cancer live life as fully as they can.

“A smaller workforce, along with the continued impact of the pandemic and the changing needs of people living with cancer and our income means we need to remain agile and prepared to face tough decisions about what we prioritise in order to deliver the greatest impact.”

The accounts also show that the charity’s income fell by almost £38m last year as the pandemic severely hampered fundraising events.

Total income was £194.9m in 2020 compared with £232.8m in the previous year, the accounts show.

Fundraised income was down from £130.4m in 2019 to £97.2m, including an almost halving of funds from events to £30.3m, compared with £59.4m in the previous year.

Corporate income fell by almost £4m year on year to £13.9m while legacy income was down by almost £4m, which the charity said was down to a delay in processing bequests caused by the pandemic.

But the charity managed to make a surplus by drastically reducing its spending over the course of the year.

Total expenditure was down almost £100m, the accounts show, to £147.8m.

This included reducing spending on charitable activities to £89.3m, down from £180.8m in the previous year.

Some of this reduction could be found in almost £36m less spending on Macmillan nurses, down to £16.4m.

It also reported a “writeback” of £42m of prior year grant commitments, most of which were down to partners being unable to fulfil their undertakings because of the pandemic.

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