UP to 45 jobs are being axed by Oxfam with the majority expected to go at the Oxford head office.

The charity, which employs 750 people at its headquarters on the Oxford Business Park, said it was hoping to minimise compulsory redundancies following a review of its business.

Spokesman Magda Walter said: “We started planning for the economic downturn about six months ago when we looked at ways of being more efficient.

“The decision will affect between five and seven per cent of UK staff which will be about 45 people, although we hope it will be less and we will be looking at a non-replacement policy as much as we can.”

She added that the positions affected will mostly be administrative.

She said: “Donations growth is declining but there had not been a drop in donations overall, although it is too early to tell what will happen in the long-term.

“However, unlike the last recession, we have not seen a drop in donated goods to the shops yet.”

Dozens more jobs are likely to go in Oxfordshire after plumbing and building supplies firm Wolseley announced plans to close more than 200 branches in the UK and Ireland.

The Reading-based firm, which trades as Plumb Center and Build Center, said it had not selected which branches to shut, but would shed one in seven of its workforce.

It has Plumb Centers or Build Centers in Horspath Industrial Estate in Cowley, Bicester, Abingdon, Witney, Botley, and George Street, Banbury.

Spokesperson Becky Mee said: “We are not able to provide a breakdown of where the jobs will go. In the coming weeks, the local management team will be informing the staff likely to be affected and there will be a period of consultation.”

Meanwhile, a dozen jobs have gone at struggling biotech company Oxford Biomedica, which earlier this year saw its shares crash after a hiccup with a trial of its key cancer drug TroVax. The 13 redundancies — 15 per cent of the 90-strong workforce — were part of cost savings implemented by the company to allow it to survive through 2010.

However, high-tech company Oxford Instruments, which earlier this year shed 30 jobs at Tubney Woods, near Abingdon, said it hoped to avoid further redundancies.

Announcing half-year results, chief executive Jonathan Flint said: “We obviously will keep the situation under review, but we don’t have any plans for more redundancies.” Sales were up 19 per cent to £92.8m and adjusted pre-tax profit up 44 per cent.