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Departmental Redundancies

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has for (a) voluntary and (b) compulsory redundancies in his Department during the (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08 financial years; what discussions he has had with the Treasury about providing funding for this; what discussions he has had with trade unions representing officials in his Department about such redundancies; how many officials in his Department have (A) taken voluntary severance and (B) been made redundant in each month since January, broken down by (1) Directorate and (2) grade; what discussions he has had with the Treasury about head count reduction in his Department; when he expects to reach agreement with the Treasury about the next Comprehensive Spending Review; if he will place in the Library copies of advice his Department provides to officials on taking voluntary redundancy; and if he will make a statement. (81239)

This answer applies to the “core” DTI and excludes UKTI and all Executive agencies. The Department has just completed a voluntary early severance/retirement scheme and is currently considering whether any further schemes may be needed in the future to support further reductions in posts.

No formal discussions have been held with HM Treasury about funding of redundancy schemes.

The Department holds regular meetings with the departmental trade union side to discuss potential staff surpluses and proposals for early severance schemes and is currently discussing with the unions implications for staff of meeting the Department’s reduced administration budget.

The following table sets out the number of officials who have taken voluntary severance/retirement and compulsory redundancy since January 2006:

2006

Grade

Voluntary early severance or retirement

Redundancy

January

Range 5 (Executive Officer)

1

February

Range 3 (Administrative Officer)

1

Range 6 (Executive Officer)

1

Range 10 (Grade 7)

1

March

Range 2 (Administrative Assistance)

4

Range 3

1

Range 4 (Administrative Officer)

2

Range 5

2

Range 6

1

15

Range 7 (Higher Executive Officer)

3

Range 8 (Higher Executive Officer)

2

1

Range 9 (Senior Executive Officer)

2

Range 10

3

1

Range 11 (Grade 6)

1

April

Senior Civil Service

1

June

Range 2

1

Range 3

2

Range 4

1

Range 9

1

Total

29

19

Group

Voluntary severance/retirement

Compulsory redundancy

Business/Innovation

13

19

Energy

3

Services

7

Fair Markets

1

Legal

3

UKTI

2

Total

29

19

The Department is working closely with HMT colleagues on preparations for the next Comprehensive Spending Review which should be resolved by summer 2007. Early discussions with the Treasury have focused on how the Department can make savings across all its budgets, including in the administration of the Department.

Staff considering voluntary early departures are able to access the Cabinet Office pensions website which explains the benefits available under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme, and those accepting are invited to attend either a pre-retirement course or a course covering job search, setting up a business and pursuing self-employment.