Local government staff transferring to new unitary councils in April 2009 will be protected under TUPE legislation, the government has confirmed.
The creation of nine new unitary councils in Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Durham, Northumberland, Shropshire and Wiltshire, from 1 April 2009, will reduce the number of councils in those areas by 35.
Councils expect to save more than £100m a year as part of the shake-up.
Publishing draft staff regulations, local government minister John Healey also said councils should take full advantage of their new start to bring in fresh blood to their senior management teams.
“Staff are essential to the success of councils and wellbeing of local communities,” he said. “Our regulations will ensure that employees will be protected under TUPE, and we expect all nine new councils to deal constructively with the trade unions and to ensure staff are kept involved and informed as detailed plans are developed.”
Healey admitted that transition to the new councils would be a “challenging and unsettling time” for those involved, and said he wanted to see staff given as much support as possible.