Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

UNISON WARNS OF LEGAL MINEFIELD

  • Comment
Unison has warned councils against taking part in an Audit Commission initiative to detect benefit fraud among town...
Unison has warned councils against taking part in an Audit Commission initiative to detect benefit fraud among town hall staff, saying it could lead them into a 'minefield of industrial relations and legal problems'.

Unison claims auditors are asking councils that want to participate to hand over lists of employees with personal details. Auditors match names on a council's payroll to those claiming benefits.

The initiative is being piloted in the East Midlands, London and the south-east.

John Freeman, Unison's regional head of local government for the East Midlands, said he had written to all chief executives in his area warning that they risked industrial relations and legal problems under the Data Protection Act.

Unison has not been approached centrally by the commission about its initiative.

Paul Vevers, director of audit support at the commission, disputed that auditors are singling out council staff, and said it was not the commission's place to talk to unions.

'Councils should consult their own staff. We can't do that because that would be stepping into the role of management.'

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.