No 'job for life' culture in British public sector
THE concept of a job for life in the public service doesn't exist in Britain.
The state workforce there is expected to shrink by 750,000 by 2015 following one of the biggest rounds of redundancies in decades.
The British government has not shied away from compulsory redundancies as it attempts to shed a sixth of its workforce.
Numbers have been reduced through voluntary redundancies and not filling vacancies after staff retire, but forced sackings are becoming common.
"A lot of people who wanted to take voluntarily redundancies have left at this stage, so we are going to see more and more go on a compulsory basis," admitted Sophie Madden, spokesperson for the UK's largest public sector union UNISON.
In Ireland, the Croke Park deal protects public servants against compulsory redundancies until the end of next year.
Forced job losses have only used in cases where there were severe infringements of disciplinary rules. For instance, seven staff were recently sacked from the health service over persistent absenteeism.