Thousands of employees in the voluntary sector could find themselves out of work early in the new year, as the impact of government spending cuts begins to bite.

According to recent research by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), 26 per cent of organisations planned to cut staff numbers over the final quarter of 2010, while the Charity Finance Directors Group indicated 38 per cent will make redundancies in 2011.

"A huge proportion of voluntary organisations either have no reserves or very low levels," NCVO deputy chief executive Ben Kernighan told the Guardian. "Redundancies will be happening very much from now to the new financial year."

National Association for Voluntary and Community Action boss Kevin Curley added that charity funding is considered an "easy target" by local authorities, which he claimed are acting to protect their own employees first.

Last week, GMB general secretary Paul Kenny warned many British families are likely to face a difficult Christmas, with thousands of sackings looming early in 2011.

Posted by Cameron Thomson