Council Workers Asked To Sign Redundancy Risk Form

town hall windows signSome Town Hall staff members have received letters asking them to acknowledge that they’re at risk of redundancy.

The officers from various departments had signed up to a management course being run by Lifelong Learning. They were asked to sign the document headed “At Risk Of Redundancy Eligibility Declaration” in order to access funding for the £550 course fee.

The form was from The Learning Partnership For Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which administers money as part of the European Social Fund.

A covering email said the project was to “help Local Authority staff gain qualifications in the face of large budget cuts” and said it needed to be signed “as evidence.”

The form says the Council is facing a £1.4m deficit by April 2014 and that the new interim Chief Executive is looking to make savings. It also says Mr Keel stated on ScillyToday that, “staffing will be looked at and may involve reduced staff numbers.”

In fact, he said it’s too early to say whether restructuring would mean job losses and he’s aware of how that would impact on the wider community.

Director of Finance and HR, Peter Lawrence-Roberts, told us that ESF funding can support individuals where the economic conditions indicate that there is the potential for restructuring or downsizing.

He said all participants on the course are required to sign the form, which means the training can be fully funded by an external body, creating a saving for the Council.

Staff are not at greater risk of redundancy by taking the course, nor by signing the form, he said.

Peter added that no decisions have been taken as to which staff members are potentially at risk of redundancy, or even if there will be redundancies.

But he said one of the priorities for the Interim Chief Executive will be to consider whether the Council is fit for purpose for the challenges it faces in the next few years. This factor has been communicated to the staff as a whole.

Peter said neither HR nor the unions were consulted, as there is no specific risk to the staff members involved, although Peter said they had been sent a letter to reassure them that they face no increased or specific risk of redundancy as part of their attendance on the course.

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