Mark Whitehead 12 December 2016

Scottish council considers cutting workforce

The Highland Council is this week considering a plan to cut its workforce to cope with spending cuts, with a final decision to be made in February.

It has not published how many jobs are at risk, but local media say the figure is at least 127.

The council says it is committed to minimising compulsory redundancies and has already put measures in place to help achieve this including recruitment controls, reduced use of agency staff and cutting overtime.

It says the measures are aimed at increasing opportunities for redeployment supporting a programme of redeployment and retraining which will be launched early in the new year.

Budget leader Cllr Bill Fernie said union representatives were being consulted over the plans.

He said: 'This scheme, together with a recruitment freeze and other measures, would allow the council to reduce the number of staff whilst minimising the need for compulsory redundancies as much as possible.

'By freeing up some posts, there would be redeployment opportunities for some staff whose jobs may go under some of the budget proposals.

'Our current voluntary redundancy scheme is not affordable within the current financial situation and this scheme may be attractive to a number of staff.'

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