British Psychological Society ‘could cut a fifth of its workforce’

Charity

The British Psychological Society could cut about one-fifth of its workforce, sources close to the charity have told Third Sector.

Internal communications circulated among BPS employees last week said the charity was consulting on changes affecting 32 jobs, sources said.

The charity’s latest accounts, for 2022, show it employed an average of 127 full-time and 22 part-time staff over the course of the year.

When asked to comment on the claims, the charity said some of the details given to Third Sector were incorrect but declined to specify what the inaccuracies were.

The charity said it was consulting with staff on proposals to change its organisational structure but said no final decisions had been made.

The BPS acts as the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK. It is responsible for the promotion of excellence and ethical practice in the science, education and application of the discipline.

A BPS spokesperson said: “While it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on specific details during a period of consultation with our employees, our focus is on ensuring the society is on a sustainable financial footing while striving to continue to provide member value and high-quality benefits.”

The spokesperson said BPS had been developing a new strategy which would form the framework for the charity’s organisational plans.

“Our strategy takes account of a range of external challenges, including the after-effects of a global pandemic and the continuing cost-of-living crisis,” the spokesperson said.

“It also seeks to harness the opportunities provided by improvements to our internal systems, processes and ways of working since the conclusion of our three-year change programme,” the spokesperson said.

The charity’s latest accounts show that redundancy and termination payments were made to 13 employees during the financial year ending December 2022, amounting to a total of £392,913.

This development comes after a series of controversial incidents involving the BPS in recent years, including the expulsion of its president-elect in May 2021 due to allegations of bullying, which he denied.

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