Following an unexpected increase in staff members applying to take redundancy packages, the Ministry of Defence will increase by 100% the number of civilian redundancies. Some have warned, though, that support staff for the armed services may become dangerously understaffed.
According to unions, representatives of the government privately promised not to increase the number of employees allowed to take the early release schemes above the planned level of 4,000. With the recent announcement, the total number of staff made redundant would increase to 8,000.
However, the Ministry of Defence stated on Thursday that it was merely accommodating a larger than expected number of requests for redundancy. This large volume of requests gave the Ministry room to move some of the 25,000 planned redundancies forward rather than spreading them out over 4 years. The ministry also claimed that they would manage the redundancies to prevent any areas from becoming unable to perform their jobs adequately.
Steve Jary, the national secretary of Prospect, a union representing civilian workers at the Ministry of Defence, responded to the news: "Suddenly, [the Ministry of Defence] is seized with panic and doubles the scale of job losses ... This is indicative of a department that has lost its ability to cope with the financial pressures it is facing."
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