More DWP offices set to close

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TWO further Department for Work and Pensions offices in Sheffield are to close as part of a major Government shake-up which unions fear could lead to up to 1,000 job losses.

Staff working at the sites - Steel City House, on West Street, and Porterbrook House, off Ecclesall Road - were informed of the change yesterday, following last month’s announcement that the DWP’s offices on Mayfield Court, West Street, will also close.

Staff have been told 3,000 of the DWP’s 10,000 corporate jobs across the country - around a fifth of which are based in Sheffield - will go over the next four years. Some Sheffield staff have already been redeployed elsewhere.

The PCS trade union, which represents civil servants, believes that between 500 and 1,000 posts in Sheffield could be axed and has warned of a ballot for industrial action if there are any compulsory redundancies.

DWP staff were informed of the further office closures by Dave Murden, the DWP’s Sheffield estate rationalisation implementation lead, who informed them the department is reducing its presence in Sheffield to ‘two core bases’.

Just Rockingham House on West Street, and Kings Court, Hanover Way, will remain.

Hundreds of people are based in the buildings which are to close.

Martin John, PCS national officer for the DWP, said: “We are currently preparing to ballot our members on industrial action if there are any compulsory redundancies. We are very concerned about the extent of the loss of managerial jobs.”

Mr John said some staff from the offices which are closing will be accommodated at the remaining bases but that he believes the amount of redundancies in Sheffield could be between 500 and 1,000.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: “It is not true that staff in Sheffield are losing their jobs. Nationally we are reducing corporate posts but we do not expect any compulsory redundancies from Sheffield and staff will be able to take up other posts, mainly within Sheffield city.”