Current BBC DG Tony Hall has invited staff to apply for voluntary redundancy as the corporation looks to make an extra £125m of savings this year as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The offer is open to all staff on the public service side of the business, not the commercial subsidiaries. Staff can register their interest over the next six weeks. Not all requests will be granted though as the decision will be based on “business need.”

In an internal message to staff, Lord Hall said that part of the need for further savings has come from delaying means-testing of the free TV licence for over-75s which would be costly.

The £125m is on top of £800m efficiency savings the BBC has committed to by 2021/22.

“We know hard choices are necessary,” Lord Hall said. “Over a third of our costs – across the BBC – relate to our people. That’s why we’re introducing this voluntary redundancy programme.”

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.”

Jon Creamer

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