The BBC has offered some staff – those working in roles related to its “public service” commitments – the option of taking voluntary redundancy. In a staff briefing, BBC director-general Tony Hall stressed the need to make £125 million ($157 million) in savings, and as a third of the corporation’s costs are from human resources this will involve cutting payroll costs.
Voluntary redundancies could mean the BBC wouldn’t have to make compulsory redundancies in the future, Hall said.
The BBC’s need to make budgetary savings precedes the coronavirus pandemic. In January, the corporation announced the axing of 450 jobs across departments, in a bid to save £80 million ($100.4 million) by 2022. The pandemic exacerbated the issue and increased the amount to be saved.
“The impact of the coronavirus pandemic means the BBC needs to make £125 million of savings this financial year, in addition to the considerable efficiency savings the corporation had previously committed to and planned for. The BBC’s challenge is to keep delivering programs and services for the whole country while continuing to adapt and change,” a BBC spokesperson told Variety.
“The BBC is therefore inviting public service staff to express an interest in voluntary redundancy. This is a necessary process to ensure the BBC meets the challenges of a fast-changing media environment within its financial perimeters.”
BBC staff can register their interest in voluntary redundancies for a period of six weeks beginning Thursday, June 18.
The restructure announced in January was designed to reduce duplication and to stop stories only appearing on one of the BBC’s many outlets or platforms. The changes would also have meant a reduction in the overall number of stories covered by the BBC.
The planned restructuring and job cuts were paused on March 25, two days after the U.K. went into lockdown. By then, “Politics Live” and “Victoria Derbyshire” were already off air.