Coronavirus: National Trust’s redundancy plan puts 1,200 jobs at risk

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PA Media

Legend
The National Trust, with 5.6 million members, looks after properties across the country


Some 1,200 National Trust staff were told they risked facing redundancy as it would save £ 100million.

The heritage charity, which has closed its homes, gardens, parking lots, shops and cafes during the coronavirus pandemic, has said it expects to lose almost £ 200million.

General manager Hilary McGrady told staff they had exhausted all other options before proposing job cuts.

A union said no trust property was due to close under the plans, but there were fears it was “just a matter of time.”

The trust, which has 5.6 million members, hopes to save £ 100million – nearly a fifth of its annual expenses – by changing the way it operates and reducing its payroll and budgets.

The dismissal of 1,200 employees would save 60 million pounds, or about 13% of the 9,500 employees.

The charity said cuts in staff dealing with homes, gardens and collections would be limited as it sought to refocus efforts on protecting cultural heritage.

It has already announced the halt or postponement of £ 124million of projects and introduced a hiring freeze to cut its staff costs.

Ms McGrady said there would be a change from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to properties, with revised opening hours to some and, in some cases, a pre-booked guided tour system for tours.

“Devastating blow”

Mike Clancy of the Prospect union said the “big layoff program” would leave staff worried about their future.

“At the moment, the National Trust is not planning to close entire properties, but they are closing ‘unprofitable’ shops and cafes and the concern is that it is only a matter of time,” he said. -he declares.

“Once the jobs are lost and the assets closed, it is very difficult to get them back. ”

The deputy for Jo Stevens, Labor’s shadow culture secretary, said the move was “a devastating blow” to its workers.

“This National Trust announcement highlights how vital it is for money to get to where it’s needed as quickly as possible to avoid further job cuts – we know that once those jobs are lost it will be. difficult to recover them. “

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