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Departmental Staffing, Leicester

Volume 75: debated on Tuesday 12 March 1985

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30.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the ratio of his Department's staff to supplementary benefit claimants at the Lower Hill street, Leicester office of his Department in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984, respectively; and what it is now.

The departmental local office complementing system — a guide to which is in the Library—provides for the determination of local office complements, that is, the number of staff required to deal with the estimated continuing work load, and their adjustment as work load levels change.The average number of supplementary benefit claimants in April each year and the staff allocated to supplementary benefit work under the complementing system are as follows:

YearNumber of claimantsStaff
1979–808,54769
1980–818,23174
1981–828,54679
1982–839,80677
1983–8411,18074
1984–8512,56077
I must stress that direct comparisons between numbers of staff and claimants are misleading as work loads vary considerably by type and duration of claim and the action that has to be taken. All these factors vary over time as a result of legislative, policy and procedural changes. Examples of such changes are the introduction of postal claim forms for the unemployed and housing benefit.