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Civil Service workforce stable – but with part-time jobs replacing full-time

The small drop in full-time Civil Service employment in 2014-15 was almost entirely offset by new part-time workers, meaning overall employment remained stable, figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show.

The figures, released today (8 October), show that there was a marginal decrease in the Civil Service staff pool of 0.1%, despite a 1.5% drop in full-time workers.

This was mostly because there was an upsurge of 4.1% in the number of part-time civil servants, meaning part-time employees now make up one-third of the entire sector.

Matt Hancock MP, minister for the Cabinet Office, welcomed the figures, which also showed progress on diversity, with the intake of women (54%) and ethnic minorities (10.6%) relatively proportional to the whole population. The proportion of the Senior Civil Service who are women increased by almost six percentage since 2009, and one percentage point in the last financial year, to 38.7%.

He said: “These figures show that the Civil Service is making progress in reflecting the modern Britain it serves, and giving true equality of opportunity.

“Equal opportunities in the Civil Service are not just important in its role as an employer, but also in the development of policy and in the delivery of more effective and efficient public services.

“But the figures also show there is more to do to fulfil our determination to have a Civil Service that is truly equal.”

Almost half of those who left the service worked in administrative roles – but, although more than half of new employees have taken up jobs at this level, there were fewer entrants than there were leavers.

In total, there was a net staff decrease across all levels – spanning executive officers, senior and higher executive officers, senior civil servants and jobs at the Grade 6 and 7 responsibility levels.

According to the ONS report, there was a large number of entrants for which an entrant grade was not known, leading to interpretation issues as to what job roles were most filled. This was largely caused by the transfer into the National Offender Management Service of around 9,000 employees from probation trusts, who were unable to report Civil Service grade equivalency.

A year ago, Sir Simon Fraser, who was then head of the Diplomatic Service, permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, and Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Champion, wrote more about the Talent Action Plan for PSE. His article is here: A clear statement of intent on diversity in the Civil Service


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