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Forensic Science Service: Redundancy

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information his Department provided to staff at Forensic Science Service laboratories at (a) Chepstow, (b) Birmingham and (c) Chorley on the closure and redundancy programme on 24 June 2009. (283603)

[holding answer 2 July 2009]: On 24 June, the Forensic Science Service shared proposals about the approach to redundancy and operational site deployment with both Trade Union and Employee Forum representatives and copies of these proposals were made available to all FSS staff.

The approach to redundancy proposal covers:

Individual consultation

Appeals process

Maximising redeployment opportunities

Trial periods

Notice periods

Support and outplacement

Redundancy package

Voluntary redundancy

The operational site deployment proposal covers the approach, rationale and proposed site deployment based on the proposed move to national business streams. It provides details about:

the options considered;

the criteria against which the proposed option was selected (e.g. co-location of body fluid/DNA casework;

available laboratory space;

delivery of the national framework products/services and quality;

lowest risk to customer disengagement;

the operational considerations and impacts.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the likely number of redundancies at each Forensic Science Service laboratory in the next 12 months. (283566)

The Forensic Science Service (FSS) has stated that it anticipates a maximum of 800 redundancies across the company but at this formative stage of collective consultation the FSS cannot be definitive about the actual locations impacted or number of staff affected. Clear proposals around these will be shared as a part of the consultation process when the detail is available.