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Departmental Manpower

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) permanent civil service posts, (b) permanent non-civil service posts and (c) temporary or agency workers in employment in his Department there were in each month since May 2005. (199537)

The Department employs permanent and temporary civil servants, and temporary non-civil servants. Temporary staff are employed for a variety of reasons, including:

to cover short-term vacancies, such as the need for administrative support;

to fill posts temporarily because they are likely to be relocated or because structural changes are being implemented; and

to provide skills that the Department does not have but needs urgently and/or on a short-term basis.

The Department does not report numbers of permanent and temporary civil servants monthly. Quarterly figures (full-time equivalent numbers) are shown as follows:

Date

Permanent

Temporary

Total

2005

30 June

2,237

72

2,310

30 September

2,274

59

2,333

31 December

2,323

72

2,395

2006

31 March

2,321

66

2,387

30 June

2,225

54

2,279

30 September

2,260

47

2,307

31 December

2,256

45

2,301

2007

31 March

2,251

37

2,288

30 June

2,231

36

2,267

30 September

2,148

32

2,181

31 December

2,151

38

2,189

2008

31 March

2,161

42

2,203

Note: Some totals do not exactly match the sum of permanent and temporary due to rounding.

The quality and coverage of information held historically by the Department on temporary or agency workers has been limited. We have therefore been working over the past year to improve our recording, in preparation for the launch of a new human resources and finance system this summer. We think that some of our historic numbers may slightly underestimate actual levels. Recent quarterly figures are shown as follows:

Date

Number

2006

31 December

222

2007

31 March

179

30 June

176

30 September

165

31 December

141

2008

31 March

152

Notes: Figures are not available before December 2006.