Latest Public Sector News

25.08.15

DWP blamed for ‘casualisation’ of staff after June shake-up

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is calling for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to “properly resource the department” after it announced the hiring of 2,889 new staff less than two months after shedding 3,671 JobCentre Plus workers.

DWP is advertising for 2,289 staff primarily for administrative roles with an extra 600 intended for later in the year.

This comes shortly after the department made around 3,670 staff redundant in June, also primarily in admin grades.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, called it “incredible” that the department is advertising for almost the same amount of staff recently made redundant.

He added: “Instead of constantly trying to trip up claimants, the DWP should ensure the proper resources are in place to return the department to one where sick, disabled and unemployed people are given the support they need and deserve.”

He noted that the new jobs were temporary, fixed-term posts, calling the move “evidence of further casualisation of the workforce”. The union instead calls for more employees on permanent contracts.

Of the 3,671 workers who left in June, 65% were admin officer grade while 23% were executive officers.

The new pool will be very similar, with 60% admin officer jobs advertised next to a remaining amount of executive officers.

However a spokesman for the DWP said the shake-up is a result of planned “big welfare reforms” during which fixed-term 18-month appointments were necessary.

He added: “There have only been a handful of compulsory redundancies over the last four years – with the vast majority of people leaving voluntarily.”

The news comes shortly after the department was found guilty of publishing fake comments by benefits claimants to illustrate positive messages about the benefit system, to which it admitted in a freedom of information request.

(Top image c. Rui Vieira, PA Wire)

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