The government estimates that in the transition to single-tier councils the current local authority workforce of around 300,000 will be reduced by between 220 and 1,800. Most of the reduction will be accounted for by voluntary redundancy, early retirement and natural wastage.
Mr Kynoch said that the compensation package represents a sensible and balanced approach to an important issue. He said:
'Further regulations will be laid shortly covering members of the Teachers' Superannuation Scheme who are in administrative posts and who may be similarly affected.
'In response to these comments I have simplified the administrative arrangements and, as indicated, will be bringing forward regulations to provide similar arrangements for members of the Teachers' Superannuation Scheme who are in administrative posts in local authorities. I believe local authorities will welcome these changes.
'I believe the compensation package being made available represents a sensible and balanced approach to an important issue and one which will allow authorities and their staff to take forward the necessary planning for transition to the new unitary authorities.'
The main elements of the regulations laid today are:
- local authorities required to pay the maximum redundancy compensation to staff, aged 49 or less, available under the normal redundancy scheme rather than leaving it discretionary. This gives a maximum lump sum equivalent to 66 weeks' pay
- the general compensation scheme to apply to those retiring at aged 50, or over, including early payment of pensions and permitting local authorities to increase the reckonable years of service. During the reorganisation period councils can choose to make higher lump sum payments to these staff
- in the light of local authority comments on the government's original proposals, existing councils will not have to seek the agreement of their successors before issuing compensation under these regulations.
The government also announced that separate regulations will be made shortly to allow this enhanced compensation package to apply to teachers working in administrative posts. This brings these employees into line with other local government staff. Classroom teachers have been excluded from the compensation arrangements since they will be unaffected by the reorganisation and will simply transfer over to new employers.