Impact of COVID-19 on the College
COVID-19 is having a major impact on the College’s day to day operations and on its finances. In order to manage the situation, the trustees and senior management have looked hard at the activities of the College to see what cannot take place, can be stopped to avoid costs or has to be changed. We have begun to put various cost saving measures in place.
These decisions are not taken lightly and have been taken as short term responses to the effect of this pandemic. Clearly it is not certain when and how the restrictions will be eased and when ‘normal’ life will be resumed. By taking immediate steps to reduce or defer costs, the better the position for long term financial stability. The position is being kept under regular review by trustees and senior management.
As the College’s building at 6 Alie Street has had to close, Events @ No 6, the arm of the College that manages the letting of rooms and provision of catering to external clients, is temporarily unable to operate. We have furloughed five staff under the Government’s Job Retention Scheme. The remaining sales & marketing team are pursuing leads and business for later in the year and managing clients who are having to reschedule their meetings.
In addition to furloughing staff of the Events @ No 6 arm, the College has furloughed at least seven staff across College departments. It has also been agreed, with regret, to make one post redundant as the furlough scheme would not have applied in that particular instance. Another measure is that five currently vacant posts will not be recruited to during the current period.
It has also been decided not to apply staff salary increases this year. The changes, which would have taken effect from 1 July, will now be postponed until at least January 2021. Staff will not receive any backdated increase. Trustees will be considering in December whether to apply increases from January, or to continue with the freeze until the end of June 2021.
We will be holding virtual committee meetings rather than face to face meetings, so we will be saving on travel and related costs, and the provision of refreshments at meetings. Savings in building related costs (including cleaning, energy consumption, building maintenance) have been identified as a result of closing the building.
We have had to defer the spring examination session until the autumn and planning about how the College might deliver these is currently underway. Information about the next examination session will be released in plenty of time to allow candidates to prepare.