Headlines: September 13th, 2007

The Improvement and Development Agency has joined forces with the Local Government Employers’ organisation to develop online resources to help local authorities looking to share services as a way of achieving efficiency savings. The special web pages have been written with senior human resources staff in mind but IDeA believes much of the information will also be of interest to other managers who want to address the workforce issues involved in setting up shared services.

The Agency says many local authorities are planning to achieve savings by sharing services but that in the past a significant number of them have failed to set up shared services successfully because they did not anticipate and deal with workforce issues. To achieve savings, it says, councils need to make changes to jobs and cut staff numbers. In other instances staff will have to move from one workplace to another and could even face a change of employer. Handling these matters, it says, is complex because it involves different groups of managers and trade union branches. Councils also have to consider possible political dimensions, with elected members being concerned about losing direct control or about jobs being lost to an area.

The new resource, which can be accessed via the IDeA website, has been developed jointly with the Employers and is supported by the creation of a new private subgroup on a 4P’s community of practice for senior human resources staff, which will discuss the issues and exchange ideas about the workforce issues they are addressing.