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Gravesham Council to merge HR department with Medway

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 February 2018

Gravesham Council says the merger will save money.

Gravesham Council says the merger will save money.

A merger of the human resources departments at Gravesham and Medway councils is set to save both authorities cash.

As council budgets continue to be consistently squeezed by central government, senior officials at local authorities are having to be ever-more imaginative in order to keep essential services running.

In April, four members of staff at Gravesham will be doing work for Medway on employee relations, payroll, workforce development, and resourcing for both councils, but will remain at the Gravesend office.

It extends the current arrangement where Medway employs a full-time senior HR consultant, funded by Gravesham, to look after Gravesham’s HR matters.

It could lead to job losses later, but none are currently planned.

Staff transferring will still be charged to Gravesham Borough Council, and remain under the same terms and conditions of employment.

Cabinet member for HR at Gravesham, Cllr John Knight, said: “Shared services act as a way for councils to make efficiencies in the form of savings and working practices and this shared service between Gravesham and Medway will be no different.

“We’ve taken a look at the best bits across both sites, and come up with a new way of doing things that will benefit the teams and also every staff member across both locations.

“So when the service starts from 1 April we will do things consistently for both councils and more efficiently than before. There will be one bigger team, meaning there’s more resilience more availability of specialist skills, best practice can be shared among colleagues and there is potential for the expansion of further training and learning opportunities.”

A report on the merger said it will “provide further resilience” to both councils’ HR departments with an increase in efficiency and improvement to the knowledge of those working at both authorities.

The report said it will provide access to specialist skills through greater training and learning opportunities.

“In addition, there may be financial benefits although further detailed analysis is required,” states the reports.

It also warns that redundancies “may need to be considered moving forward should a revised structure identify posts that are not required.”

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