20 May 2022

Survey reflects worries about the future of DWP staff facing closures

Great uncertainty about the future is reflected in a survey of PCS members whose DWP office has been earmarked for closure.

DWP has announced it plans to close more than 40 offices across England and Scotland, including processing functions at Clarendon House, Exeter.

These plans are putting thousands of jobs at risk. PCS members using a survey to gather information about how their co-workers feel about the proposed closure and what they would be prepared to do about it.

Members are very concerned about the future.

“Finding a new job elsewhere will be difficult as I have caring responsibilities,” said one.

Another worker feels completely let down by DWP: “No loyalty from the DWP when I have worked in the office throughout the pandemic as a key worker, having to put up with patronising emails each week saying how good we were at keeping the country going. And then when things have got easier, they intend to sack us. So much for 20+ years of being a civil servant.”

The plans make no sense to this staff member: “The government is striving to get people into work, but they are going to probably make us all unemployed.”

Experienced staff are feeling particularly anxious.

“I thought I had a job until retirement. I have given my commitment to the DWP of 35 years full- time work,” said one employee.

This member fears finding a new job will be difficult: “I have been in the same job for 30 years; I know my job well and do it to a high standard. At my age I am finding applying for jobs very challenging.”

The staff who responded to the survey are employed in a variety of roles including in counter-fraud compliance and debt, social fund and Universal Credit, and said they would be prepared to campaign to save their jobs. They say the department should reverse the decision and offer alternatives, including home working and modernising their office.

Send a message of support to the group by emailing dwp@pcs.org.uk

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