Comhairle could cut working week

REDUCING the working week, stopping overtime and requiring staff to take unpaid leave could be options on the table at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

The council is expecting to face extremely challenging financial circumstances in 2012/13 and 2013/14 and is developing its human resources strategy for the coming years.

In a council report on the subject, it is stressed that the local authority will seek volunteers for redundancy in the first instance but that it may not be possible to make all savings without compulsory redundancies.

The working week could be reduced from 37 to 36 hours and overtime payments could be reduced. Overtime itself could be stopped except in emergency situations. During 2010/11 the Comhairle granted ‘Retirement in the Interests of the Efficiency of the Service’ to 32 teaching staff and more than 40 other staff have taken redundancy.

The report adds that the Comhairle recognises that these measures can cause stress to employees and that they will aim to provide confidential support for those affected.