Do we need to reduce our staff levels?

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    Last year we could manage workloads and have a relatively good idea what was on the horizon – for example we knew how many reapplications where coming and the issues caused by Tax Credits aside, we could plan the use of our resources.

    Now, our “reviews” have decreased, CMS is reducing the workload on new claims and Pension Credits have resulted in “a more simplified passport benefit” – so of course we have less to do – not quite!

    This year we get more information via the RATS, disks from the Inland Revenue, Pension Service and DWP and have to process lots of changes because the changes are happening too quickly for software companies to cope. But it is all very difficult to quantify – previously we had piles of correspondence (albeit on a DIP system), now we have lists of claims to look at on computer generated reports – at first glance the work seems to have reduced – anyone who works in the benefits arena knows it hasn’t.

    How can I convince the people who are holding the purse strings and looking at staffing structures that I still need all my assessors?


    How about inviting them to look at some of the items discussed on this forum, alternatively a presentation of some of the “issues” that are currently being “discussed” (regularly and at length) may highlight some of the technical problems we are currently experiencing.

    We need to show that what has been sold as “simplification” may actually involve a lot more work particularly if the software has not been updated to cope (or is never going to be!). It seems we have lost very little in terms of man hours, the “easy” claims that were quick to administer will be replaced by more targeted reviews that are often the most difficult (read time consuming) claims to administer. I agree with this approach but don’t see it as less work, it is certainly going to mean we can (and will need to) appoint more time and resources to each claim reviewed. Throughput will be less but I feel this will be more effective given time.

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