MoJ contract with SSCL means redundancies and office closures, says PCS

Civil servants working in the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ’s) shared services centres face redundancies and office closures following a seven-year contract to outsource services to Shared Services Connected Limited (SSCL), says Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS). 

By Sarah.Aston

10 Nov 2014

According to PCS, SSCL have told civil servants currently overseeing payroll, personnel and finance for the department, courts, prison and probation services, and the Home Office, that they intend to launch voluntary exit schemes to staff “imminently”. 

An MoJ spokesperson said: "We are transforming our IT and back office contracts to ensure they provide the best possible value for taxpayers.

"Following a competitive process the Department has awarded a seven year contract to Shared Services Connected Limited to provide HR, payroll and other services to more than 65,000 of our staff.”

Speaking to CSW, a PCS spokesperson expressed concern over the speed at which voluntary exit plans have been mentioned to staff following the outsourcing contract and in particular expressed fears that civil servants working in the Bootle office will feel pressured to leave before they have found another civil service job.

In July of this year, civil servants from the Newport and Bootle offices went on strike over fears that outsourcing the centres would lead to job losses and PCS wrote to MoJ permanent secretary Ursula Brennan to raise concerns about the move to hand sensitive data over to a private company.

A PCS spokesperson said: "This is a deeply worrying time for staff who have been transferred to a private company against their will, when all they wanted was to remain in the civil service and carry on working to support their colleagues.”

SSCL is a joint venture between the Cabinet Office and majority-owner Steria, a multinational IT firm, which was established in November 2013. 

The MoJ spokesperson explained: "This is a crucial move to modernise our ageing back office functions that will save taxpayers more than £100m over the next seven years," And added: “Staff will have their current terms, conditions and pensions transferred to their new employer. Their jobs will be protected for at least 12 months."

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