William Eichler 02 November 2017

Council staff told to take mandatory unpaid leave

Northamptonshire County Council has told its staff they must take a day’s mandatory unpaid leave as part of an effort to save £2m a month.

The council, which employs 3,000 people, first proposed the measure last month but has now confirmed they will go ahead with the move.

‘It is no secret that the county council is facing a financial challenge — a fact compounded by an inadequate funding settlement from central Government,’ said a spokesperson for the council.

‘Last month staff were told that one day mandatory unpaid leave was being considered and now the management team has reluctantly had to accept this needs to be done.

‘Unpaid leave will need to be taken by staff by the end of the financial year with pay being taken out over a two month period, with the possibility of this being over three months.’

The spokesperson emphasised this would not affect staff on the lowest pay grade.

Responding to the news, Mark Irvine, regional organiser for the public sector union Unison, said: ‘Staff are already demoralised by the cuts the council have announced and this will only distress them more. It will make it even harder for the council to retain and recruit staff.

‘The amount that will be saved by this proposal, £330,000, is 2% of the total the council need to balance the books. There are other ways to make this saving that will not impact on already overworked and staff.’

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