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DOE CALMS FEARS OF STAFF DETRIMENT SCHEME

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The DoE has allayed fears that staff in hybrid counties will not be covered by the detriment scheme which it announ...
The DoE has allayed fears that staff in hybrid counties will not be covered by the detriment scheme which it announced earlier this month.

At the time of the announcement, county councils were angry that there were no plans to compensate staff from continuing authorities who had to take a lower paid job as a result of reorganisation (LGC, 13 April).

The Association of County Councils received a flood of letters from member authorities saying the scheme was both unfair and illogical.

But in a letter to ACC review co-ordinator Tina Day, the head of the DoE's local government reorganisation team, Mark Coulshed, apologised for the lack of clarity in the wording of the original statement.

'It was not our intention to suggest that staff in continuing authorities would be excluded from the detriment scheme,' he says. 'The regulations which we are in the process of drafting will provide for such staff.'

However, the letter does admit to some problems with the scheme. While it will be available to all staff affected by reorganisation, including anyone moving from an abolished council to an unaffected authority, Mr Coulshed says not everyone will want to take it up.

'We do, of course, recognise that the mandatory detriment 'price tag' makes them less attractive to potential employers and it is open to the employee to decide whether or not to accept the detriment compensation.'

The associations and the Local Government Management Board have said previously that the scheme would be of no use to such people and should not therefore be applied to them.

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