Voluntary redundancies sought by housing management firm Rykneld Homes as it cuts 50 jobs

Rykneld Homes, a housing management firm based in Derbyshire, will axe up to 50 jobs out of a total 327 as a part of a cost-cutting measure.

Rykneld, which began operation in April serving about 8,300 customers on behalf of North East Derbyshire District Council, aims to be more efficient, streamlined and competitive in order to win a bid for £64m of funding to improve council homes in North East Derbyshire.

A spokesman for Rykneld Homes told Personnel Today that no positions within the human resource (HR) function were under threat. “Letters have recently been sent to all employees to find out if any of them would be interested in considering voluntary early retirement or voluntary redundancy. There are many staff who are close to their normal planned retirement age who have expressed an interest.

“At this stage no-one has been made compulsorily redundant and the number of voluntary applications means this is unlikely,” the spokesman said.

Construction union Ucatt described Rykneld’s decision as “outrageous”. Steve Murphy, Ucatt Midlands regional secretary, said: “We are losing 50 valued jobs in the community. These workers are highly skilled craft workers who provided a great service over decades to the council tenants of North East Derbyshire. Ucatt hopes that through the regeneration programme the authority will be putting jobs back into the community.”

Negotiations between union representatives, and the management have led to an initial decision to seek voluntary redundancies. A decision is due in January 2008.

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