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Departmental Redundancies

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 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 (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08 financial years; and how many officials in his Department, have (A) taken voluntary severance and (B) been made, or informed that they will be made, redundant in each month since July 2006 broken down by (1) directorate and (2) grade. (95109)

The Department’s strategy is to become a more streamlined, influential, policy-making Department at the centre of the DTI family, with delivery through our agencies and arm’s-length bodies. In order to do this we are undertaking a number of reviews that, in tandem with significant pressures across all budgets, are likely to lead to some reduction in staff numbers.

The Department and the trade unions are committed to working together to make every attempt to avoid compulsory redundancies. However, the Department has decided to put the consultation on a statutory footing because the scale of the changes may result in some compulsory redundancies.

As part of the Department’s efficiency programme, the DTI has supported over 450 people during the last two years. They have been given help with upskilling and job search and have either been redeployed or have taken advantage of exit schemes. Despite this some 11 individuals remain without posts and were made aware on 2 August 2006 that they will receive notice of redundancy in the near future. During the period of notice they will remain supported by the Department to help secure alternative suitable posts.

The following number of officials have taken early severance since July 2006:

Number of staff

Range

DTI group

2006

July

2

6s

UK Trade and Investment

August

1

8

Operations

1

6

UK Trade and Investment

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many redundancies there were in his Department in each year since 1997; what the cost of such redundancies was in each such year; how many temporary staff were employed in each such year; and how many staff were seconded by outside organisations to the Department in each year. (95268)

The following table gives the number of compulsory redundancies made in each financial year by core DTI (including SBS and UKTI):

Number of staff

1998

0

1999

0

2000

0

2001

5

2002

0

2003

3

2004

1

2005

4

2006

17

The information for pre-2004 redundancy charges could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The costs of redundancies since 2004 under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme, including continuing charges, have been as follows:

£000

Cost

2004-05

49

2005-06

161

2006-07

l,196

The number of agency staff in the Department fluctuates throughout the year and they were not categorised as such until mid-2004. The following figures are as at 1 October of each year:

1 October

Number of agency temps

2004

179

2005

180

2006

87

The number of staff seconded into the Department, again as at 1 October of each year, was as follows:

1 October

Number of secondees into DTI

1997

82

1998

119

1999

134

2000

112

2001

80

2002

118

2003

128

2004

103

2005

89

2006

82