NCVO restructure puts more than 40 per cent of staff at risk

The umbrella body says it anticipates a deficit totalling almost £4m over the next three financial years because of the pandemic

More than 40 per cent of staff at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations are at risk of redundancy because of a restructure caused by Covid-19.

The umbrella body said today that 48 of its 107 staff were at risk as the umbrella body looked to reduce its headcount in a bid to tackle an estimated deficit of almost £4m over the next three financial years. 

The charity expects to reduce employee numbers to 85, a loss of 22 roles, but allowing for vacant posts it anticipates the restructure will mean 13 redundancies. 

The charity’s plans include reducing the size of its leadership team from three directors to two, while cutting its wider management team from 17 to nine.

It will also reduce the number of teams it operates from 13 to seven.

The NCVO said social distancing measures introduced because of the coronavirus pandemic would affect its venue hire, training and consultancy services. 

"We expect it will take several years to build back income to pre-Covid levels," the NCVO said in a statement. 

"Our proposals address an anticipated deficit of £1.3m in each of the next three financial years."

As part of its strategic review, the NCVO said it would create a new “people, governance and culture” team to help deliver its new approach and its wider equity, diversity and inclusion action plan.

In addition, the body said it would continue investment in its digital and technology capacity to boost online services, networks and information for members. 

Karl Wilding, chief executive of the NCVO said: “Like many other organisations right now, we are delivering more, but facing the reality of having to do this with less money and fewer staff. 

“Our plans have been informed by a year-long strategic engagement process and I’m confident that we are proposing a structure that will enable NCVO to support its members and wider voluntary sector long into the future.”

Wilding expressed his sorrow towards those members of the team who would lose their jobs, but said the new strategy would allow the charity to develop new ways of working.

“We need to structure ourselves to focus on where we can make the most impact for charities and volunteering,” he said. 

“We must marshal our resources better than ever to support the people and organisations out there who every day make such a difference to communities,” he said.

Proposals for the restructure are subject to a 30-day consultation with staff and representatives from the NCVO’s recognised union Unite. 

Final decisions on the new structure are expected in December.

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