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Posts could be moved from Darlington offices to Liverpool
A GOVERNMENT department could move jobs from a North-East town, The Northern Echo can reveal.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which employs about 270 workers in Darlington, says posts could be shifted to Liverpool in a review of its services.
The changes would affect about 25 workers in Darlington, but DBS bosses say the department will stay in the town and offer roles to affected members of staff.
Last night, staff criticised the handling of the potential move, revealing they were given a letter urging them to “grab a cuppa” and read through the plans.
The DBS, which has offices in Morton Palms Business Park, Darlington, was formed as a merger of the Criminal Records Bureau and Independent Safeguarding Authority, and processes requests for criminal records checks.
It employs about 500 workers in Liverpool.
One member of staff, who asked to remain anonymous, accused bosses of meting out “shocking treatment to loyal and highly-skilled workers.”
The worker said: “Being told to grab a cuppa before being informed your job is at risk is, quite frankly, bizarre.
“This was a bolt from the blue for everyone and many of us are outraged that our chief executive, Adrienne Kelbie, didn't have the decency to tell us in person or even visit the office.
“A lot of us have young families and we understand we're not immune from issues affecting employment.
“But the handling of this is, at best, smacks of insensitivity.”
Ms Kelbie said the DBS is looking at moving its corporate services division to Liverpool and retaining a smaller support unit in Darlington, which she said is integral to its future.
She said: “We remain absolutely committed to delivering operations from Liverpool and Darlington – of that there is no doubt.
“Be assured that the DBS in Darlington is here to stay.”
A DBS spokeswoman said it would help any staff affected by the plans.
She said: “The DBS is committed to helping protect the public from Darlington and Liverpool.
“Our Darlington operations deal with highly sensitive work and will continue to provide this vital service long into the future.
“We were established nine months ago, and now conclude that it will be more effective to deliver most of our corporate services from a single site.
“As a responsible employer, we expect to offer alternative jobs to the small number of staff affected by this decision, and avoid any compulsory redundancies.”
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