Acas spends £2m as staff opt to leave

Conciliation service Acas is spending almost £2m on employees who chose to leave the organisation in the past year, despite suffering further budget squeezes.

Acas agreed to release 26 employees under its voluntary early retirement scheme at a cost of £1.96m to the organisation. This equates to an average of more than £75,000 per worker.

The sum is in addition to the £10.8m spent on 143 people who left the service under a similar scheme in 2005-06.

A spokeswoman for Acas said the staff were employed in a variety of positions, up to regional director level. The figure also includes the future cost of pension payments, she said.

The organisation has shed hundreds of staff and closed offices over the past two years in the wake of a government decision to slash its funding. Its budget for 2007-08 is £42m, down £3.2m from last year.

Acas chairwoman Rita Donaghy has previously admitted to Personnel Today that there would be “resource implications” if the service was expected to play a bigger role in resolving workplace disputes, as recommended by the Gibbons Review.

“There is no doubt that if you reduce an organisation by almost 20% you will not be able to do everything you did before,” she said.

The figures were disclosed in Acas’ annual report.

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