Posted tagged ‘three months notice’

Local Government zombies

June 13, 2011

At least he's dressed appropriately

I promise you that I wrote this piece before I got sight of this wonderful BBC Story. Nonetheless, don’t let that stop you enjoying both the BBC story about a bizarre FOI request and the below, slightly more serious, discussion of ‘undead’ staff.

It is one of the peculiar cruelties of the public sector that once staff have been notified of their imminent departure from their jobs they are then asked to stay on and continue working for three months until their notice has expired.

These people become the local government zombies; they are ‘dead’ and yet they are still here, walking around; ‘undead’.

The HR people in my authority would defend this state of affairs and claim that they are helpgin the zombies. The three months of notice give the staff affected a chance to get their life in order and to find alternative employment. What’s more we have a duty to these staff to offer them a new job through the council’s redeployment scheme. All good arguments that have a certain logic about them.

However, scratch beneath the surface and life for the local government zombie is not much fun at all and here’s why:

1)    In order to receive your redundancy pay you are encouraged to apply for ‘appropriate’ roles through the redeployment pool. This can mean an endless cycle of job applications and supposedly ‘shortened’ job application forms. Obviously, if you get a job through this process it is great but I know people who’s confidence has been shot by applying for endless jobs that they are unqualified for and then not getting any of them. (more…)