31 Friends House staff redundant

Paul Parker, recording clerk, called the departures ‘a great loss’.

Thirty-one members of Friends House staff have opted to take voluntary redundancy after a consultation period to consider how Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) can meet the financial challenges of the pandemic and the shift towards more local working.

Paul Parker, recording clerk, called the departures ‘a great loss’. ‘We value all our staff as both colleagues and friends. Their departure is a great loss and we wish them the very best for the future. We’re grateful to them and all staff for their support as we cope with this massive change in our income,’ he said.

‘In the year ahead, we will need to build back our income and identify further savings to steer us towards a balanced budget in 2023.’

A statement from BYM said: ‘Over the autumn, Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) has been working to meet the financial challenges of the pandemic. BYM’s income will be down £3.5m and the cost of maintaining support for Quaker faith and witness will have reduced reserves by £2m.

‘The majority of BYM’s expenditure is on staffing costs, and addressing these challenges has involved consultation with staff over significant savings, including an offer of voluntary redundancy. Thirty-one staff have taken up this option.’

A BYM source said that, of the 31 taking voluntary redundancy, 26 are in the hospitality section, with the rest being from the charity. It is still unclear whether there will be a need for compulsory redundancies.

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