30 July 2010
The States of Jersey is launching a Voluntary Redundancy (VR) scheme for staff on Monday 2 August as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review.
States departments have already put in place a programme of managed recruitment, to ensure job vacancies are only advertised if they are critical to the organisation and if there are no suitable existing staff to fill the post. Now a programme of voluntary redundancies will help departments to save more money, review their services and rethink the way they work.
The Treasury Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, said “We are launching this scheme now so that any reduction in staffing can contribute to the drive to find savings of £50 million by 2013. We need to secure Jersey’s future; and tackling States spending is one way to help us do that – alongside initiatives to boost business and review taxes.
“This is an opportunity to review the way the public sector is organised and to re-assess the services we provide. We need to ensure value for money for taxpayers and we must provide the services Islanders need as efficiently as possible. Offering staff the opportunity to volunteer for redundancy now will reduce the possibility of future job losses.”
The States Assembly agreed to fund the VR scheme in July, so it could go ahead as part of the drive to cut costs. Staff will be invited to apply for voluntary redundancy between 2 August and 17 September. Criteria are being published along with information to help staff decide whether or not to apply.
Each application will be reviewed by the department’s Chief Officer and their senior managers. Viable applications will be ranked in order of importance for progression to an approval panel, made up of senior staff from the Chief Minister's and Treasury Departments. They will review applications from a States-wide perspective and staff will be informed of the final decision by the end of October.
There will need to be a justifiable business case for releasing each person on VR terms. Criteria will include:
- the ongoing need for the work to be done
- the possible loss of essential knowledge and skills
- the balance of skills left
- the strength of the financial case, balancing the cost of VR and the time it takes to recover that cost against salary saved
- both the post and the salary will be removed from the department’s cash limit
This scheme is intended to support the overall cost cutting programme and will deliver savings in addition to the posts already identified in the first round of CSR savings.
The people whose posts have been identified as “at risk” under the 2% savings proposals will be counselled and offered redeployment and retraining wherever possible to help them find alternative employment within the States of Jersey.
Managers have met union representatives and agreed that managers will work with Unite, Prospect and JCSA to ensure staff are properly supported through this process.