16 December 2021

FCDO staff react angrily to confusion about job cuts

Mixed messages are being given out about staffing reductions at the Foreign, Commonwealth and development Office (FCDO).

A notice on the staff intranet stated “we will become a smaller organisation. In line with our SR settlement…..we are planning on the basis of just under a 10% reduction in our overall workforce size by March 2025.”

On 15 December the Prime Minster denied that there would be 10% staffing cuts at the FCDO, referring to it as ‘fake news’.

However, a Minister representing the FCDO admitted in parliament today that there will be staffing reductions, although he didn’t quote a figure, stating "There will not be a 10 percent staff cut, and ministers will make the final decisions on workforce changes in the spring."

The intranet update was hastily withdrawn by FCDO with no replacement message in place.

Through consultation, a voluntary exit scheme (VES) was expected to be opened early in 2022, with the staffing reduction planned to be achieved without compulsory redundancies.

PCS industrial officer Helen Flanagan said, “The department appears to be in disarray, with one hand not knowing know what the other is doing. As a result, morale is rock bottom and staff no longer have faith in anything FCDO leaders say. We have requested urgent consultation on the strategic workforce plans. It is unacceptable for staff to be going into their festive break with this much confusion regarding job security.”

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Source URL: https://www.pcs.org.uk/news-events/news/fcdo-staff-react-angrily-confusion-about-job-cuts