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BBC announces voluntary redundancy scheme

The corporation said it was inviting public service staff to make an expression of interest.

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A general view of BBC Broadcasting House, at Portland Place, London, following BBC Director General Tony Hall’s announcement that he intends to step down in the summer.

A general view of BBC Broadcasting House, at Portland Place, London, following BBC Director General Tony Hall’s announcement that he intends to step down in the summer.

A general view of BBC Broadcasting House, at Portland Place, London, following BBC Director General Tony Hall’s announcement that he intends to step down in the summer.

The BBC has invited staff to apply for voluntary redundancy as it attempts to make £125 million in savings this year due to the pandemic.

The broadcaster has asked its public service staff – not those in its commercial subsidiaries – to make a voluntary redundancy expression of interest.

In an internal message to staff, director-general Lord Hall said delaying means-testing of the free TV licence for over-75s would cost a “significant sum at a time when revenue from the licence fee is also down” because of the broadcaster’s ability to collect the fee during lockdown.

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Director-general Lord Hall wrote an internal message to staff (Ben Stansall/PA)

Director-general Lord Hall wrote an internal message to staff (Ben Stansall/PA)

PA

Director-general Lord Hall wrote an internal message to staff (Ben Stansall/PA)

“Our commercial operations are also severely affected”, he said.

A BBC spokesman said: “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 programmes and services for the whole country while continuing to adapt and change.

“The BBC is therefore inviting public service staff to express an interest in voluntary redundancy.”

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James Purnell, director of radio and education at the BBC, recently told MPs the pandemic’s effect on schedules would be starker next year (PA)

James Purnell, director of radio and education at the BBC, recently told MPs the pandemic’s effect on schedules would be starker next year (PA)

PA

James Purnell, director of radio and education at the BBC, recently told MPs the pandemic’s effect on schedules would be starker next year (PA)

The BBC suspended plans to cut around 450 jobs in BBC News because of the demands of covering the coronavirus pandemic but the cuts will still take place at a later date.

The £125 million is in addition to the efficiency savings the broadcaster has committed to – £800 million by 2021/22.

James Purnell, director of radio and education, recently told MPs that the corporation would have to air repeats and the pandemic’s effect on schedules would be starker next year.

Tim Davie is set to replace Lord Hall as the broadcaster’s next director-general.

PA