National Trust to lay off 1,200 employees

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The National Trust plans to lay off 1,200 staff as it seeks to save £ 100million in the wake of the coronavirus.

The conservation and heritage charity, which has 5.6 million members, said it has lost nearly £ 200million in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, which has forced all its houses, gardens, parking lots, shops and cafes, and put a stop to holidays and events.

The trust said it had already saved millions of pounds by laying off staff, drawing on reserves, borrowing and halting or postponing projects, but still needed to make savings to keep it sustainable at long term.

It offered £ 100million in annual savings, equivalent to almost a fifth of its annual expenditure, through changes in operations and cuts in staff and budget.

Chief Executive Hilary McGrady said the organization will continue to look after historic sites and tackle climate change, loss of wildlife and unequal access to nature, beauty and history.

Some 1,200 employees are being made redundant as part of the proposed pay savings of £ 60million, or around 13 percent of the 9,500 employees.

The move, which comes after a decade that saw the National Trust nearly double in size, would bring staffing levels back to what they were in 2016.

The plans also include savings of £ 8.8million by slashing the budget for staff paid by the hour, such as seasonal workers, by a third.

The remaining £ 40 million in savings will be realized in areas such as travel, office and IT expenses, through reductions in marketing and printing spending for digital communications, and renegotiating contracts.

The trust has already announced that it is halting or postponing £ 124million of projects this year.

The charity said it will refocus its efforts to protect cultural heritage, with limited cuts in staff looking after homes, gardens and collections.

There will be a shift from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to properties, with revised hours of operation in some locations and, in some cases, running a system of pre-booked tours for tours.

The trust said it will continue its ambition, announced in January, to step up action on climate change, reducing emissions to net zero by 2030, planting millions of trees and creating corridors. green for people and nature.

He plans to restart the strategy in March next year, but Ms McGrady said the organization would need to be “flexible” to achieve it.

Ground rules: Visitors stick to a one-way system at Attingham Park in Shropshire (Ben Birchall / PA)

She said: “We are going through one of the greatest crises in living memory.

“Every aspect of our home, work and school life as well as our finances and our communities have been affected and, like so many other organizations, the National Trust has been hit very hard.

“The places and things that the National Trust cares about are needed more than ever, as the nation needs to recuperate and regain its spirit and well-being.

“It is deeply upsetting to deal with the loss of colleagues and we are committed to supporting all those affected. Unfortunately, we have no other open course. ”

Mike Clancy, general secretary of Prospect, the workers’ union at the National Trust, said the priority was to minimize the number of layoffs, maximize voluntary layoffs and get the best deal possible for those who lose their jobs.

He warned: “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.

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

“Access to our cultural heritage should be an essential part of the recovery of society after the pandemic, and the government should do all it can to protect it.”

He said Prospect would push ministers to ensure the announced arts, culture and heritage bailout gets where it’s needed in a timely manner.

Additional reports from the Press Association

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