Magazine article Public Finance

Huge Rush for Exit Stalls DWP's Voluntary Redundancy Scheme

Magazine article Public Finance

Huge Rush for Exit Stalls DWP's Voluntary Redundancy Scheme

Article excerpt

Whitehall's largest department has been forced to suspend voluntary redundancy schemes in five regions because they are massively oversubscribed.

The Department for Work and Pensions this week confirmed to Public Finance that it has 'put on hold' early release schemes across the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Yorkshire and Wales, because it does not have the budget to meet staff requests.

A DWP spokeswoman said: 'Our expenditure budgets are tight and we are currently reviewing the requirement for further schemes, including those where, as part of early planning, we had already sought expressions of interest.'

The DWP, which employs more than 140,000 staff nationally, plans to shed 30,000 posts by 2008 as part of the government's £40bn efficiency savings plan outlined in Sir Peter Gershon's 2004 report.

Most of the head count reduction will be achieved through natural wastage, and senior managers have said they want to avoid compulsory redundancies across benefits offices, pension centres and central government. …

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