24 August 2015
The first phase of a States-wide voluntary redundancy programme launched in June as part of the ongoing restructure of the public sector has resulted in 104 approved applications for staff to leave their roles.
The ongoing redesign of States of Jersey departments was established to keep spending under control and allow for the development of a flexible and modern public sector. Spending is being prioritised across the States to ensure that departments are working together to achieve the Council of Ministers’ strategic priorities of investing in health, education and economic growth.
The Council of Ministers has approved funding of £2 million in 2015 which has been made available to fund the release packages for 52 of the approved applications. The packages for the remaining 52 employees have been confirmed subject to States Assembly approval of funding later this year and in 2016. All staff whose applications have been approved have now been informed.
Support public sector redesign
The voluntary redundancy programme was introduced to support the redesign and all permanent public sector employees were invited to apply for voluntary redundancy, early voluntary release or voluntary severance.
A total of 329 people expressed an interest in applying for voluntary redundancy, voluntary severance or voluntary early retirement. The majority of the roles approved for release were from the civil service pay group. The second largest group were manual workers.
To be successful applications needed to support the redesign of departmental services and the aim of streamlining the organisation and reducing costs. The applications which were declined would not have provided any significant savings or were from front line post holders, such as doctors, nurses or teachers, whose release would directly affect services to the public. Employees whose applications were declined were informed when that decision was made.
SEB member, Deputy Chief Minister Senator Andrew Green, said that redesigning the services offered by departments was central to providing an efficient and customer-focused public sector.
“Reform is at the top of the agenda for all departments and this – and any future programmes – need to achieve the best long term results for the public sector. This phase of voluntary redundancy is one of the ways that departments are seeking to achieve sustainable staffing levels while providing high levels of service to Islanders” said Senator Green.
Staff salaries account for some 50% of current spending in the public sector and a number of measures are being undertaken to manage these costs more effectively. Departments will continue to use targeted vacancy management and natural staff turnover rate of around 6% to minimise the need for future redundancies.
“We will also run future voluntary release schemes as we continue to find new ways of delivering services and remove unnecessary duplication or processes from the system. Voluntary redundancy will always be used before compulsory redundancy, but given the scale of the changes we face this cannot be ruled out” said Senator Green.