Civil service cuts
DWP to close 42 offices putting 1,100 jobs at risk
About 1,100 civil servant jobs are likely to be axed after the Department for Work & Pensions unveiled plans to close 42 offices across the UK, including eight in Scotland.
Work and pensions minister David Rutley accused the Public and Commercial Services union of breaking an embargo.
Staff were being briefed about the planned closures, due to be confirmed in a statement to parliament on Friday morning.
The PCS said more than 1,000 roles are at risk over the closure of 13 processing sites, with more job losses feared over the closure and relocation of a further 29 sites. Closures are scheduled to happen by June 2023.
Labour claimed as many as 3,000 jobs could be at risk, while the changes are expected to affect 12,000 staff as offices are merged.
In an urgent question in the Commons earlier today, the SNP’s Shadow Fair Work and Employment spokesperson, Chris Stephens demanded to know whether economic and equalities assessments had been made on the closures, many of which are occurring in high economic deprivation areas.
Warning that many staff members, particularly those with disabilities, may not be in a position where they are able to work from other offices, Mr Stephens called for the planned closures and redundancies to be categorically ruled out.
The MP for Glasgow South West blasted the ‘rank hypocrisy’ of the closures in high risk areas so soon after the release of the UK government’s ‘levelling up’ white paper.
Of the 42 total closures, 8 are in Scotland, they are:
- Aberdeen, Ebury House
- Kirkcaldy, Victoria Road
- Bathgate, Whitburn Road
- Dundee, Lindsay House
- Falkirk, Callendar Gate
- Glasgow, Clydebank, Radnor House
- Glasgow, Springburn
- Stirling, St Ninians Road
The Aberdeen and Kirkcaldy sites will both close without alternatives for staff on offer.
Mr Stephens MP said: “The same key workers the UK government praised and clapped for during the pandemic are now facing the axe in the latest round of callous Tory cuts. With two of the centres set to face the axe in Glasgow, many of my constituents will be impacted.
“With all the Tory rhetoric of ‘levelling up’, it stinks of rank hypocrisy to now be closing dozens of offices and scrapping thousands of jobs – many of which are in high economic deprivation areas.”