Top charities spent £36m on redundancies last year

Research by Third Sector finds that Age UK, the British Red Cross and Oxfam had the highest redundancy payout levels in that time

Staff: redundancies cost top charity brands £36m
Staff: redundancies cost top charity brands £36m

The top charity brands spent more than £36m on redundancy payments last year, research from Third Sector has found.

The figure comes from examination by Third Sector of the accounts of 157 charities that make up its Charity Brand Index of the most prominent charities in the sector.

Although the mean amount spent per charity was £231,171, the median was just £30,000 because a small number of large charities had recorded redundancy costs of millions of pounds each.

The accounts that feature in the research were the most recent ones published by each charity on either the Companies House website, the Charity Commission website or on their own websites before a cut-off point of 1 December.

The three biggest redundancy payment were found in the accounts of the older people’s charity Age UK with £3.5m, the British Red Cross with £3.2m and Oxfam with £2.6m.

Since the exercise was conducted, Age UK has filed its 2016/17 accounts, which show that redundancy costs fell to £759,574.

The research also found that the top-branded charities spent more than £3.4bn on staff wages.

This turned out as a mean of £21.8m per charity and a median of £10.5m.

The top charities also employed 171,022 people, the research found, with a mean of 1,089 per charity and a median of 395.

Kristiana Wrixon, head of policy at the charity chief executives body Acevo, said: "Charity leaders, whatever the size of the charity they lead, need to make challenging decisions to respond to social, economic, funding and political changes.

"Making challenging decisions that negatively affect staff is one of the most difficult and unpleasant parts of the chief executive role, but chief executives must consider how they can best manage challenges to continue to meet their charitable objectives and deliver public benefit."

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