Workers at the Department for Work and Pensions likely to face further compulsory redundancies

Workers at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are likely to be facing more compulsory redundancies, a move likely to enrage trade unions.

The DWP’s top civil servant Leigh Lewis said earlier this week the department had met its financial targets and was on track to meet targets on staff cuts, but the figure of just one compulsory redundancy was likely to increase.

“I would love that one to stay at one, but I think probably, as cuts go forward, it is going to get harder,” Lewis said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has already held a handful of one-day strikes this year over job cuts, low pay and privatisation. The union has insisted government cuts have led to plummeting staff morale and worsening services.

The department has 5,184 more posts to be shed before March 2008 to meet its Gershon review target of reducing headcount by the equivalent of 30,000 full-time positions.

Lewis said the majority of savings would be made through measures such as natural wastage, but warned: “I am not sure that we are going to be able to avoid compulsory redundancies over the next year.”

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