450 news staff left in limbo as BBC pauses redundancies to help with coronavirus crisis

Josh Peachey's picture
by Josh Peachey

The BBC has paused plans to cut 450 journalism jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak.

At the end of January, redundancies were announced in order to save £80m from the BBC’s budget.

Shows such as the Victoria Derbyshire programme were axed and hundreds of roles outside of the news division were also set to go. 

The pause means that many of those who had expected to be unemployed this year have been asked to keep coming into work as the BBC pushing to keep its news programmes on air.

The corporation has seen its role boosted in the last fortnight as many have turned to it for its news broadcasts. It's also pledged to provide extra shows to educate and entertain the nation during the lockdown period.

The BBC director-general, Tony Hall, told staff that it would now be “inappropriate” to push ahead with the cuts at this time but managers would “come back to that at some point”.

Those who were already preparing for unemployment were being considered “key workers” and asked to turn up to work at the BBC’s headquarters to keep programmes on air.

Keeping on the 450 news staff will financial pressures onto whoever will be Lord Hall’s successor as director-general, whose appointment hasn't yet been delayed.