Industrial action looms at UK job centres


Union leaders have warned of fresh industrial action at the UK’s job centres over deteriorating service levels.

The warning comes as a committee of MPs highlighted “catastrophic failure” in services last summer.

The Work and Pensions Select Committee said job cuts at Jobcentre Plus led to a “truly appalling” level of service.

The PCS union said the department could not continue to bury its head in the sand over the problems.

Its general secretary, Mark Serwotka, said the DWP should halt its programme of cutting jobs, which has already led to 15,000 posts going from a target of 30,000.

The MPs’ report concluded that the efficiency drive at the agency had been poorly planned and should be slowed. It also criticised the botched introduction of new computer systems.

“This report supports our view that the efficiency programme is having a disastrous impact on services and that the DWP can’t continue slashing jobs while services teeter on the edge of meltdown,” Serwotka said.

But employment minister Margaret Hodge said the situation was improving and the report focused on a period during a major change programme.

 

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