NCVO to repay staff earnings lost due to pandemic

The umbrella body plans to advertise for a new chief executive in the autumn

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations will reimburse staff for lost earnings during furlough after it revealed an improved financial position and new leadership team following a restructure. 

Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions on its revenue-generating activities, the umbrella body had previously forecast a £1.3m budget deficit for 2020/21. 

However, as a result of the better than expected position and projected future performance, the NCVO will reimburse employees, including former staff, for lost earnings due to it accessing the government’s Job Retention Scheme or from voluntary pay reductions, ensuring they receive their full contractual pay for the year.

As part of a restructure that took place toward the end of last year, Janu Miah has been appointed as the new head of people, governance, and culture.

She joined from her previous role as head of people at the Liberal Democrat party at the start of this month. 

Laura Crandley left the disablity charity Leonard Cheshire to become the NCVO’s director of finance and services in January.

Gavin Finch has been appointed as interim director of membership and engagement from his current position as head of communications, marketing and membership at the NCVO. 

In addition, Jarina Choudhury, NCVO’s volunteering consultant, has been appointed to the leadership team as interim strategic lead for volunteering.

Other members to join the new-look leadership team in January were: Alex Farrow as head of policy and networks, Tracy Kiernan as head of central services, Sophie Raeburn as head of digital, data and technology, and Andrew Walkey as head of support and services.

The new team will work alongside interim chief executive Sarah Vibert, who replaced Karl Wilding in January after he announced his decision to step down from the role after 18 months. 

Wilding had worked at the organisation for more than 20 years, and said it was time for someone who was “not part of the past” to take over.

Two weeks later, an equality, diversity and inclusion report produced in mid-2020 emerged, alleging that staff members from all marginalised groups had experienced “overt oppression” across all levels of the organisation.

The NCVO said it will work with an agency partner over the summer to develop an open, robust, and inclusive chief executive recruitment process, and plans to advertise the role in the autumn.

Priya Singh, chair of the board of trustees, said: “While still predicting a deficit for the year, we are pleased to be able to outline this better than expected pre-audit financial position and acknowledge the contribution and sacrifices of staff over the past year.

“We also completed a difficult organisational restructure. While this did not create in-year savings, it has helped to reduce our cost base for longer-term financial sustainability and ensured we have the right structures in place to deliver our new strategy to support our members and the wider sector.”

Singh said the board of trustees was pleased to welcome the new leadership team and will work closely with them to deliver a new strategy over the next 12 months.

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