RSPCA begins consultation over back-office staff cuts

Animal welfare charity says a significant reduction in the number of administrative roles is inevitable


- This story has been corrected; please see final paragraph

The RSPCA is starting a consultation with staff that is expected to lead to "significant" job losses among back-office staff.

The animal welfare charity will this afternoon begin a consultation process over plans to make the organisation more sustainable.

A spokesman for the charity said about 900 of its 1,600 staff worked in administrative roles.

The charity said in a statement: "Some hard decisions must be taken, and significant job losses in administrative areas are inevitable." It said that front-line staff working with animals would not be affected.

The statement said it was an "extremely challenging time for the RSPCA, as it is for all charities ...We have already saved millions of pounds through a series of cost-cutting measures, but we have had to eat into our financial reserves as the economic slump has been deeper and longer than feared."

One long-standing RSPCA staff member, who did not want to be identified, said there was "an awful atmosphere" at the charity’s head office while staff waited for news. "There’s a lot of anxiety and sleepless nights," the source said.

Gavin Grant, who joined the RSPCA as chief executive in January, told Third Sector in February that the charity needed to focus on improving its finances. "We have to get ourselves into a sustainable position pretty quickly," he said.

- The RSPCA spokesman originally said about 900 of its staff worked in administrative roles - this figure was later corrected to "less than 600".

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