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Heads of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are planning to shut around 42 offices across the UK, with 13 to be shut with “no other strategic site nearby” for their 1,300 workers to move to. The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has fired back at the plans, warning thousands of other members of staff are at risk of redundancy when other sites are transferred to new premises by June 2023.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “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.
“Our members have worked tirelessly behind the scenes, keeping the country running, paying out benefits to almost two-and-a-half million families, helping them to put food on their table and keep a roof over their head.
“These are the workers rightly praised in 2020 by Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey as ‘exceptional’ and in November last year by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as ‘miracle workers’.
“But now, as food and fuel prices rise faster than ever, they’re being abandoned by the Government and left to fend for themselves.”
DWP minister David Rutley told MPs that meetings were being held with affected staff on Thursday.
Ministers are planning to contact MPs in affected constituencies at 1pm on Thursday and make a written statement on Friday.
MPs were told some 3,000 jobs within the DWP could be at risk from the plans to close offices.
The 13 offices to be closed could see around 1,300 staffers lose their jobs or be shunted to another government department.
Roughly another 29 offices will shut with their 12,000 workers having to move to another site nearby.
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