Employment challenges in the public sector
Published by Anonymous for allpay Limited in Housing and also in Central Government, Local Government
Over 70% of housing professionals feel their job has changed over the past 12 months due to welfare reform.
A survey was carried out by HR & employment law specialists allpay Legal who have over 17 years’ experience in providing expert HR and employment law advice for the public sector.
With the universal credit pilot project recently reporting that they expect a huge drop in landlords meeting their target collection rate which is currently 95-97%, debt management is now becoming a crucial role in housing in a bid to maximise income and reduce arrears.
As a result of this, increasing emphasis is being placed on providing debt advice and support to tenants. The survey also found that over 57% of public sector organisations have had to increase their staffing levels in areas such as financial inclusion and rent collection. Whilst, surprisingly, 22% reported they were having to make redundancies due to budget cuts.
The findings prove that the roles of housing staff are changing and show that more and more frontline staff are going to have to develop a completely new and comprehensive knowledge base of the raft of benefit changes introduced through welfare reform. There’s been a shift in roles from focusing on traditional housing management to focusing on financial and social support. This change means housing staff will require training and development in areas such as negotiation skills for income recovery, eviction procedures, as well debt management itself. These changes will no doubt create a training challenge for many landlords, not to mention the increase in training costs, something that won’t be welcomed when they’re already facing a drop in income.
The survey also found that 60% of landlords have seen an increase in employee absenteeism due to work related stress, something that could be related to the pressure of bigger and more demanding roles required by individuals in the sector.
As welfare reform changes continue to take place we’re sure to see jobs roles in the sector evolve and workloads rise even more. Landlords need to be prepared for the threat of increased staff turnover rates and even higher levels of employee absenteeism due to work related stress.
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