The majority (85 per cent) of finance professionals in the charity sector work longer
than their contracted hours, with over half failing to receive any compensation, the latest Salary Survey by Charity Finance Director’s Group (CFDG) has found.
Consequently there has been a notable decline in work-life balance; 72 per cent of respondents rated their work-life balance as good or average compared to 76 per cent which rated it as excellent or good last year.
The research, which was undertaken by market research agency Critical Research on behalf of CFDG, and supported by thankQ, also showed that over a third of respondents reported that budget cuts had affected their recruitment strategy in 2010, indicating that many finance teams could be under increased pressure due to a reduction in the workforce.
Half of all organisations had taken steps to reduce overall labour costs, primarily through redundancies or reduced working hours. However, only 26 per cent had cut their finance teams in this way.
"Finance professionals are rolling up their sleeves and fighting for the survival of their charities," said Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the CFDG. "These results show they are absorbing the pressure and workload to maintain robust financial management during difficult times.''
Retaining staff was also acknowledged to be a challenge for some charities. CFDG highlighted how pay levels in the sector remain well below their private sector counterparts and that if possible employers should take steps to keep staff happy. If increased remuneration is not possible, it suggests allowing flexible working hours or training opportunities.
For the first time this year, the survey also explored gender balance in finance teams. Men are twice as likely to hold senior roles, despite women making up 66 per cent of overall finance teams. Those in senior roles were more likely to be satisfied with their roles than those in lower paid positions.
"I find it intriguing that women are over-represented in lower paid roles where the common assumption is with less seniority comes less stress," said Bradshaw. "This leads me to question whether those long held beliefs that greater work-life balance is achieved with more junior roles are correct, or whether men are less inclined to report the full impact of pressures faced at work."
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