JOB cuts at the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) have been put on pause as bosses work out where the axe will fall, it has emerged.

More than 400 jobs are at risk at the heritage body.

Managers were to begin informing employees this week about whether or not they would be made redundant.

It has now emerged that this has been put on pause and no compulsory redundancies will now take place this month.

The move comes as NTS awaits news from Scottish Enterprise about a proposal Trust leaders put to the Scottish Government about the £30million funding shortfall thrown up by the coronavirus crisis.

Richard Hardy, national secretary of the Prospect union that represents NTS staff, said: “Postponements such as this are stressful for members but it is important that both the Trust and Prospect have time to properly digest any positive response from Scottish Enterprise.

“It’s vital that any available public funding is used to protect the jobs of workers at National Trust Scotland and preserve long-term access to important historical and natural heritage sites. ”

Phil Long, NTS chief executive, said: “I’m under no illusions about the human cost of this unwanted and difficult situation and the worry and stress caused by it. I’m therefore sorry to add to that by briefly pausing confirmation of the consultation outcomes and our final decisions based on them, albeit for good reasons.

"While we have come to a view on the operational model needed if our charity is to have the best possible chance of survival and, indeed, remain viable if more Covid-19 infection spikes occur, we’re not ready to finalise the number of posts affected.

"We are continuing our discussions with Scottish Enterprise and the outcome of those may affect the final position, and it is therefore prudent to hold off until these have been concluded.

“No-one will leave the Trust’s payroll by reason of compulsory redundancy during the month of August and that we’re extending furlough leave on 100% pay into September.

“I remain committed to saving as many jobs as possible and to deliver the certainty our people are seeking as soon as I can. Once again, I want to thank them for their forbearance through this most terrible of times.”