"It will be a testing time of uncertainty and change," the British Broadcasting Corporation quoted Harding as telling staff in a briefing at its headquarters in London.
But he said the BBC would create 195 new posts in the news division as part of a restructuring plan, meaning a net reduction of 220 full-time jobs overall.
BBC workers are set to go on strike on July 23 during the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland over the layoffs.
British Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government froze the licence fee for six years in 2010 as part of sweeping austerity measures to cut a record deficit.
The BBC also announced 2,000 job cuts in November 2011.
BBC News currently employs around 8,400 people, including around 5,000 journalists, the corporation said.