PCS has condemned as shameful the fact that two administrative officer staff at Plymouth Benefit Centre have been notified by the DWP that they are to be made compulsorily redundant as a result of the office closure programme.
Bizarrely the office that these two members work in is not actually closing. However, the work that they do is moving to another location that is outside the mobility of the members.
We believe that issuing notice of compulsory redundancies to these 2 members is completely unnecessary. DWP needs more AO staff not fewer. These members are trained and experienced Employment and Support Allowance processors, who DWP can ill afford to lose.
They could easily be sent ESA work to do in their current office indefinitely. Alternatively they could be retrained on fraud and compliance work that is transferring into their office.
Generally DWP has done well in avoiding compulsory redundancies as a result of the office closures and corporate centre hub strategy. There were 850 staff at risk of redundancy in August 2017. The vast majority of these have successfully been redeployed. A further 200 have agreed to leave on voluntary redundant, making it clear that they do not want to be redeployed.
This has left no more than a handful of staff still seeking redeployment. In a large organisation of 80,000 people, surely DWP can find meaningful work for such a small number of staff, rather than single out two staff to make compulsorily redundant.
PCS has clear policy opposing compulsory redundancies. Our group executive committee will now meet as a matter of urgency to consider our response to this shameful treatment of two low paid workers who only want the opportunity to continue working for the department.