Department for Work and Pensions: Greater Manchester

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 20th May 2022.

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Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the number of jobs that will be affected by the closure of her Department's office at Manchester Chorlton Graeme House.

Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of whether the closure of her Department's office at Manchester Chorlton Graeme House will result in compulsory redundancies.

Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the (a) equality impact assessment and (b) socio-economic impact assessment on the closure of her Department's office at Manchester Chorlton Graeme House.

Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department expects to close her Department's office at Manchester Chorlton Graeme House.

Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to provide additional support for travel costs of civil servants identified for consolidation at her Department's office at Manchester Chorlton Graeme House.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The changes the Department is making to estates will both improve the working environment for staff, become greener by becoming smaller, helping meet the Government’s carbon reduction target, and provide value for money for the taxpayer.

As of March 2022, 405 colleagues located in Manchester Chorlton Graeme House are being asked to relocate, with their role, to Manchester Anchorage Salford Quays or Stockport Millennium House, based on where their role will be based. Each colleague will have a discussion with their line manager to assess the impact of the move on them and if they are able to relocate. The Department’s priority will be to retain, retrain and redeploy colleagues either within DWP, or within other Government Departments in the area. As a responsible employer, we will make provision for redundancies if it is necessary. However, this will be a very last resort after all efforts to redeploy have been exhausted.

An overarching Equality Assessment has been completed which considers the impact on colleagues. This has been made available in the House Library. Individual site Assessments have also been prepared. The planning of an office closure includes consideration of factors including the ‘Index of Multiple Deprivation’ for each location, which considers many factors, including:

· Income Deprivation

· Employment Deprivation

· Education, Skills and Training Deprivation

· Health Deprivation and Disability

· Crime

· Barriers to Housing and Services

· Living Environment Deprivation

On current plans, the Department expects to exit Manchester Chorlton Graeme House by September 2022. Should redeployment mean additional travel costs, colleagues may qualify for an Excess Fares payment to cover those costs. These costs would be paid for up to three years.

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