The British Transport Police will cut 20% of its HR workforce in a bid to pour more resources into the front line, Personnel Today has learned.
HR director Linda Scott said 28 of the force’s 140 HR staff would need to be re-deployed or take voluntary redundancy during 2008 to make the function run more effectively.
The changes will make way for a new business ‘hub’ based in Birmingham, providing transactional HR services such as recruitment of staff and officers and sickness absence statistics.
Nine business partners will be recruited to take care of strategic HR, with positions expected to be advertised in June.
Scott said: “We want to have a better HR service and we don’t believe we can do that without changing the operating model. We want 20% out of the baseline because we want to fund some neighbourhood policing teams.”
She added the current “old-fashioned” HR model at BTP, which operated from different regional offices, caused duplication and delays to processing.
“We want to see fewer complaints from staff [with the new model] – at the moment I hear that staff cant get through to the recruitment team, or they get conflicting advice. With the new model, staff will see a fundamental change to the way HR leads the business.”
The business hub will primarily house up to 30 HR staff, but may involve other support functions eventually, such as finance, IT and communications.
“HR is leading the way here. We have got to show that we can do it before the rest of the business,” Scott said.
BTP has begun 30-day negotiations with unions on the job changes, and an internal communications programme to get staff on board is under way.