MORE than 1,000 employees at the Environment Agency have applied for voluntary redundancy, although compulsory job cuts could still be made, it was claimed yesterday.
Unions fear up to 1,700 jobs are set to be axed at the agency despite the flooding crisis which has gripped parts of the UK this year.
The agency asked for staff to express an interest in taking voluntary redundancy and it is now believed that around 1,200 workers have applied.
Not all those who have applied will be allowed to leave because of the nature of the work they are involved in.
That leaves open the possibility of several hundred compulsory redundancies.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “It is time for the Government to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies at the Environment Agency. Workers from all sections of the agency have been out on the frontline protecting communities and proving their worth through the whole floods crisis. It is an insult that up to 1,000 staff are still at risk of redundancy.”
Meanwhile, tourism businesses affected by the floods are to get a £2m Government support fund.The fund will enable experts to visit flood-hit areas to give practical advice and support to tourism firms.
The experts will help tourist bosses to communicate effectively with their customers online, give advice on what business support measures are available and how to access them, and marketing their businesses so that tourists know what is still on offer.