Department of Labor and Works (DWP) unveiled its plans to close dozens of offices across the United Kingdom. Therefore, this may put more than 1,000 civil servant jobs at risk of losing their jobs.

1,100 jobs are at risk

The government is planning to close 42 DWP offices by the end of June this year. Moreover, this move will put at least 1,100 jobs at risk. However, Labor claimed that the plans may risk at least 3,000 jobs. Labor accused the government of “levelling down”. They said that most of the planned closures would affect areas including northern England. DWP minister David Rutley clarified that they held meeting with affected staff on Thursday. It is mainly “back of house” jobs that are at risk and that meetings were taking place with staff on Thursday. He said while responding to the criticism from Labor MP’s.

Union’s stance

The PCS termed this move as “devastating” and shared a map of affected sites. The union said that a vast majority of at risk jobs are in North England. As per their estimate almost 5,500 jobs are at risk. They include 411 jobs in Manchester, 317 in Liverpool, 383 in Stockton-on-Tees and 945 in Washington in Tyne and Wear. In addition, other areas include Oldham, Preston, Blackburn, Barrow and Wirral. “The Government was quick to clap civil servants at the start of the pandemic – they’re even quicker to scrap them now they’ve declared the pandemic over.” PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka commented on the situation.

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    The announcement came a month after the Government’s much-heralded Levelling Up White Paper. The government was aiming to minimize employment disparity across United Kingdom. The DWP dealt with a huge increase in workload during the pandemic due to large number of new Universal Credit claimants. The government accused the PCS of breaking an embargo by announcing the closures. Moreover, DWP would publish a written statement to parliament on Friday morning.

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