An increase in the amount of staff members wanting to take early redundancy has led the Ministry of Defence to raise its redundancy figures amongst civilian employees to 8,000.
According to unions, the MoD claimed last month that the number of redundancies would not rise above 4,000, now many fear that the cuts could leave some areas of the ministry under-staffed and could threaten the work that is carried out abroad as well as proving risky for the armed services.
National Secretary of the Prospect union, Steve Jary spoke on the subject, stating that, “A few weeks ago, the MoD ruled out any increase on the 4,000 figure this year, saying it would be too risky to let more staff go in the current operational climate.
“Suddenly, it is seized with panic and doubles the scale of job losses before it has even got approval from the Treasury to pay the redundancy bills. This is indicative of a department that has lost its ability to cope with the financial pressures it is facing. It is short-termism gone mad.”
The MoD, however, has tried to ease the concerns of the unions by saying that the increase has come only because the amount of civilian staff seeking redundancy has grown. It has also been stated that there are a planned 25,000 redundancies for the coming four years, suggesting that the increase to 8,000 between the years 2011 and 2012 is just a way to accelerate the process slightly.
A spokesperson for the Ministry attempted to provide reassurance by stating, “Owing to the very high number of applications received for the voluntary early release scheme, we are looking at whether we can release more people earlier than originally intended. This will not adversely affect the work of the department.”