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Departments: Redundancy

Volume 457: debated on Thursday 8 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much was spent on (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in (i) his Department and (ii) each agency of the Department in each year since 1997-98; how much is planned to be spent for 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. (123930)

The Department has spent the following on voluntary and involuntary exit schemes:

£ million

Voluntary

Involuntary

2004-05

5.23

0.05

2005-06

11.98

0.16

2006-07

18.43

1.20

1Estimated

The information for earlier years could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The Department will always try to deal with staff surpluses by means other than redundancy. If redundancies become unavoidable the Department will endeavour to reduce staff by voluntary rather than involuntary means wherever possible. The Department is currently restructuring and is administering a voluntary exit scheme to deal with emerging surpluses which will run into 2007-08. The full extent of voluntary and involuntary exit costs is not yet available.

Letters from the Department's agencies—the Companies House, Insolvency Service, National Weights and Measures Laboratory, and the Patent Office—are provided separately.

Letter from Jeff Llewellyn, dated 8 March 2007:

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply on behalf of the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) to your question regarding “how much was spent on (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in (i) his Department and (ii) each agency of the Department in each year since 1997-98; how much is planned to be spent for 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. 123930”.

The National Weights & Measures Laboratory has not conducted any such schemes in any year since 1997-1998, and has no plans to introduce any during the period 2007-2008.

Letter from Desmond Flynn, dated 8 March 2007:

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply to you directly on behalf of the Insolvency Service in respect of your question (1343/2006), asking how much was spent on (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in (i) his Department and (ii) each agency of the Department in each year since 1997-98, and how much is planned to be spent for 2007-08.

No members of Insolvency Service staff have been included in such exit schemes during the relevant period. The Insolvency Service currently has no plans to offer exit schemes to its staff during 2007-08.

Letter from Ron Marchant, dated 8 March 2007:

Please see the following, from the Patent Office, in response to your recent parliamentary questions.

Written PQ 2006/1343: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, how much was spent on (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in (i) his Department and (ii) each agency of the Department in each year since 1997-98; how much is planned to be spent for 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. 123930

There were no involuntary staff exist schemes in the Patent Office in this period. The full cost of voluntary early retirement and severance schemes is charged to the office in the year the decision is made. The full figures charged to our accounts are:

£000

1997-98

155

1998-99

562

1999-2000

197

2000-01

289

2001-02

34

2002-03

237

2003-04

16

2004-05

13

2005-06

2,444

Letter from Tim Moss, dated 8 March 2007:

I am responding to your recently tabled Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on behalf of Companies House, which is an Executive Agency of the DTI.

Since 1997, Companies House has run staff exit schemes as follows:

Cost (£)

Description

1999

795,000

Compulsory early retirement/early severance

2003

250,000

Compulsory early retirement/early severance

2006

955,447

Voluntary early retirement—flexible

2007-08

1

1 Budgeted cost of £2.2 million for flexible voluntary early retirement/severance