Dust settles on Government restructure

The post-election reshuffle has dramatically changed
the shape of certain departments.  Key
changes of particular interest to the HR profession are:

Department for Education
and Skills

Secretary of state:  Estelle Morris

– Focus on raising
standards in education in secondary schools and by getting more students into
higher education
– Loses employment division and disability rights to Department for Work and
Pensions, along with employment services
– Equal opportunities and pay, work life balance transferred to DTI

Department of Work
and Pensions:

Secretary of state: Alistair Darling
Minister for work: Nick Brown
Minister for pensions: Ian McCartney

– Gains employment
division from former DfEE, along with employment service which is being merged
with benefits agency to create new jobcentre plus agency
– Age discrimination transfers in from DfEE
Equal opportunities, equal pay
and work-life balance have been transferred from the DfEE to the Department of
Work and Pensions.

Home Office:

Home Secretary: David Blunkett
Ministers of state: John Denham, Keith Bradley and Jeff Rooker (who will be
responsible for asylum)

– Gains work permits
from the DfEE
– Loses data protection, freedom of information and human rights to Lord
Chancellor’s department
– Streamlined to focus on tackling crime, reform of criminal justice system and

Department of Trade
and Industry:

Secretary of State: Patricia Hewitt
Minister for e-commerce and competitiveness: Douglas Alexander
Minister of state (employment relations and regions) : Alan Johnson

– Gains regional
development agencies and construction from DETR
– Part responsibility for Women’s Unit which remains in Cabinet Office
– Continues shared responsibility for exports and inward investment with the
Foreign Office


Karen Higginbottom




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