Army redundancies: Soldiers told of fate

The government had planned to cut the number of regular soldiers from 102,000 to 82,000. Only for the latest job cut almost 4,500 Army personnel found out they were unnecessary.

According to ministers Army needed to be more flexible so these cuts were compulsory.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced that about 84% of these 4,480 Army personnel were volunteers for the redundancy.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

“Although smaller, our Armed Forces will be more flexible and agile to reflect the challenges of the future with the protection and equipment they need.”

However, Jim Murphy the shadow defence secretary said these cuts were nothing else but a failing strategy.

By 2017 the number of regular soldiers need to reach 82,000 and those of reservists has to increase from15,000 in 2010, to 30,000 in 2018.

In the words of the BBC defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt the government had to make these redundancies because of the announced in 2010 cut in the budget of the MoD.

She added this was an unsettling process not only for the soldiers but also for their families.

The day of the redundancies was a difficult one for all those who were told they would not be part of the Army any more. These people had to be given some time in order to find a place for living and a job.

What was announced was that despite these redundancies the Army had to sign employment contracts with 10,000 new soldiers and officers this year, as well as 6,000 reservists.

The total number of recruited operational staff between October 2010 and February 2013 for the Army, navy and air force together is more than 35,000.

The Army’s Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Peter Wall, said:

“By doing things differently and by making sure that we focus our military manpower on the jobs that absolutely have to be done by people in uniform, we shall be able to sustain a brigade in the field on an enduring basis, and put a division into the field when we need to. We’ll still be able to deal with the challenges of the future.”

Prime Minister David Cameron, also stated that British army was a strong one and the country had to be proud of it.


UK Unemployment Rises

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that between December and February the unemployment in the UK has risen up to 2.56 million. Many people have been made redundant, hopefully their employers had a redundancy policy.

Those who claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance last month were 1.53 million which means 7,000 less than before. There is no reliable data on how many employment contracts have been signed up for the same period.

Another thing ONS stated was that average earnings in the year to February mark the lowest growth rate since 2009.

In the latest quarter of February the number of people in work fell to just under 30 million.

Statistics also showed that 900,000 people have been out of work for more than a year and that the number of 16-24-year-olds with no job rose by 20,000 to 979,000

The data point a 62,000 fall in the number of people in part-time jobs and an increase by 60,000 in full-time employment.

Alan Clarke, economist at Scotia bank, said: “It’s not a disaster, but a lot of the froth and really good news we had over the last year on jobs is becoming exhausted, which shouldn’t be a surprise when there is not much growth around.”

Employment minister Mark Hoban said they would not stop helping jobseekers.

The number of JA claimers in whole England, Wales and Scotland has fallen having in mind that the number of new claims was at its lowest level for more than four years.

The number of young people claiming JA is down by 2,800 on the month, and is 65,400 lower than last year.

As usually there are many people criticizing the decision of the UK government. These claim that the government has to think over reining back its austerity plan.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: “The chancellor should heed IMF advice to change course to grow the economy to end this needless waste of human talent.”


Benefits Cap Introduced In Some Areas Of London

The new cap of benefits which now the government has begun to roll out, are expected to cover the whole country. Many people are wondering if this will affect the redundancy policy in the UK in any way.

Today the London boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey will limit the amount of money which parents can receive from various benefits- couples and single parents will get £500 a week and single people will receive £350 a week. What will happen to the parental leave then?

The cap will now include people receiving disability benefits but will include income from jobseeker’s allowance, income support, housing benefit and child benefit. May be we`ll need a job application form templates more than ever.

From July to September the scheme will be introduced in other areas in England, Scotland and Wales.

The aim of this move is that the Department for Work and Pensions saves £110m a year.

In the words of employment minister Mark Hoban they aimed to create an affordable benefits system.

“This is about fairness,” said Hoban. “There are people in this country making difficult choices about where they live and who don’t claim housing benefits. If they want to escape the benefits cap, the best way to do it is to move into work.”

However, critics claim this move would make couples break up so that they would escape many financial limitations.

Investigations show that the main part of the non-working families with four or more children will be forced below the poverty line.

Others say that housing benefits cap would pay directly to landlords so the better thing the government could try to do is to call for more affordable housing and lower rents.




Benefits Reform Trial Scaled Back

A new reform to the welfare system is about to be scaled back by the government.

The plans of ministers are to give people the possibility to claim the new Universal Credit in four areas of north-west England from April.

However, it was announced that three of the pilots will not be able to start until July.

According to Labour the Universal Credit was “on the edge of disaster” mainly because IT systems were still not ready to stand the pressure.

This Universal Credit is created in such a way that it is simple and cheap. It will merge several earnings-related benefits and tax credits into one single payment.

The Department for Work and Pensions had first decided to test it in four areas but now they said the beginning of the programme will be set only in one area- Ashton-under-Lyne.

Not before July the other three job centres will start working with Universal Credit.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: “The scheme is already late and over-budget and in spite of earlier promises ministers have admitted that they have no idea when out of work claimants will move over to Universal Credit.”

Salary data calculations are needed for the Universal Credit so Mr. Byrne said that small firms have to provide this data as they have now been delayed from April until October.

On Friday Anne Begg, Labour MP for Aberdeen South and a member of the work and pensions select committee, said that she was both pro and con the delaying as she felt the government first had to check everything was all right.

“The welfare system is like a giant jelly in that if you press down and try and make a change in one area, something else that you may not be expecting pops up”.

You might need to get a Redundancy Policy Template by The Legal Stop.


Unfair Dismissal Claims will Follow the Planned Cuts

Since the Department for Education (DfE) announced its plans to cut 1,000 stuff in England it has received a large number of warns that if this happened it would face numerous claims of unfair dismissal. The reason the department has taken this decision is that it plans to cut its operating costs by 50% from 2010 to 2015. Another changes that are about to happen are the number of DfE offices in England the number of which will be cut from 12 to 6.

In the words of DfE the cuts will be made on capability grounds but the department says this is not a redundancy so it does not follow established redundancy procedures.

A solicitor for the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) called Andrew James sent a letter to the Chris Wormald (secretary in DfE) in which he wrote that the department would face many employment tribunal headaches if it fails to follow redundancy procedures.

According to Mr. James PCS was being “mystified” by the DfE’s refusal to follow redundancy procedures. “A reduction in costs of 50%, a potential reduction in staff of 25% and the closure of six offices clearly gives rise to a potential redundancy situation.

“The department’s assertion to the contrary is, with respect, completely unsustainable.”

The remark of the PCS general secretary, Mark, Serwotka was that this was just an example of the chaos at the heart of education secretary Michael Gove’s department.

Yesterday 63.6% of the department staff members in the PCS voted pro strike action.

Their industrial actions were denounced harsh by a spokesperson for the DfE in whose opinion the proposed changes were necessary to “create a department that delivers an excellent service to the public, while ensuring value for money for the taxpayer.”

“We have made it clear that we want to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible and have held extensive discussions with the PCS and we are consulting with staff on the proposed changes,” he added.

Download a Redundancy Policy template, prepared by experienced UK solicitors


Notice Period For Redundancy is About to be Reduced

In April 2013 the compulsory 90 days in advance of large scale redundancies are to be halved to 45 days.

After this happens employers will not wait that long before shedding excess employees. The government’s opinion is that this change will help businessmen get more rights when hiring or firing employees.

Last year the capitalist Adrian Beecroft made a proposal in his report so that the red tape in employment should be reduced and businesses should be encouraged to grow and give jobs to more people. He also recommended that the notice period for redundancies should be reduced up to 30 days with employers being able to give a five days notice in emergency circumstances.

Vince Cable and other members of the coalition government accused Lord Beecroft that he wanted to create “industrial-level insecurity for workers”.

The government refused to trim the period that much.

According to the Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson, the changes will be useful for the employers as well as for the employees because in his words the present redundancy period “can cause unnecessary delays for restructuring, and make it difficult for those affected to get new jobs quickly.”

She said that the reforms will give employees some peace of mind for their future and will give employers flexibility to be able to restructure.

The general secretary for the Trade Union Congress (TUC, was not convinced on the positive impact of these changes over employees. “These measures will not create a single extra job. The idea that an employer will change their mind about taking someone on because the statutory redundancy consultation period has been reduced from 90 to 45 days is close to absurd.

“The last thing we need is for the government to make it easier to sack people.”

Please check out our Redundancy Policy!

No More Different Insurance Rates on Gender Grounds

Almost quarter of the current female drivers might be affected by a new EU ruling, related to car insurances, which will ban companies to charge different insurance rates to men and women. the ruling is expected to come into force in December 2012.

Under the new ruling the UK car insurance market should comply with the EU Gender Directive. This directive aims in fighting discrimination on gender grounds. Women currently pay much less for insurance than men because statistics show them to be less risky drivers. However, under the new ruling, they will be entitled higher insurance premiums, which could mean that about 13 % of the female drivers may not be able to  cover their insurances and about 11% may be forced to sell their cars.

On the other side, the new ruling will have a positive effect on male drivers, who will be entitled to pay lower cost of their premiums.

According to a survey, carried out by a price comparison website, in order to continue driving about one third of the female drivers have to make serious changes. 17% of them say they will sell their current vehicle and exchange it for one, entitled to lower insurance premiums and 14% admitted they will need to drive less, in order to be able to afford a vehicle.

The website`s representative Michael Ossei said: “Statistically more likely to claim, men have grown used to paying hefty motor insurance premiums, but this is all set to change. From next month men will no longer be penalised for their ‘boy racer’ reputation and will be charged the same as women. For the first time ever, men and women will be driving on a level playing field.

“While millions of male drivers will be celebrating cheaper premiums, female drivers need to brace themselves for significant price rises. It’s more important than ever that they shop around to find the best deal at renewal time – with over 100 providers on the market, there is a big difference between the cheapest and the most expensive quote. A little bit of research will go a long way towards limiting the financial impact of this judgment and not being forced off the road due to cost.”

In addition, this EU Gender Directive is related not only to car insurance, but to all insurance products altogether. That`s why from December, using gender as a base for different pricing will be illegal in any insurance field, including life insurances and pension annuities as well.

As our Recruitment policy and Redundancy Policy are not based on any gender grounds, we believe it will not be a subject of the European Directive, That`s why you can download them without any concerns.