Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK has welcomed the support given by the House of Keys this week for the Public Services Commission Bill, legislation to modernise and streamline the structures through which Government employs staff.
The Bill, which received a unanimous second reading in the House, brings civil servants together with manual and craft workers under a single new employing body, the Public Services Commission.
Mr Bell commented:
‘This change is another example, like the downsizing of Departments, of Government delivering on its commitment to simplify structures and reduce bureaucracy.
‘The Public Services Commission Bill is also a key component in modernising Government’s role as an employer, and it paves the way for a new era in the field of public sector employment in the Isle of Man.
‘I am pleased that my colleagues in the House of Keys, recognising the importance of this reform, have given it their unanimous backing at the second reading stage.’
The Bill is moved by the Policy and Reform Minister Chris Robertshaw MHK and was drafted following a public consultation announced by the Chief Minister in March last year.
At present all civil servants are employed by the Civil Service Commission. Manual and craft workers are employed by their Departments or Boards, but under terms and conditions set by the Whitley Council, the joint employer/union negotiating forum.
The Public Services Commission will supersede the Civil Service Commission and in the first instance be responsible for a workforce of around 4,000 people, about half of all Government staff. It will not cover public sector employees, such as teachers and nurses, whose terms and conditions are set in the UK, or those in regulatory roles.
As well as simplifying employment structures, the legislation is designed to facilitate the harmonisation of terms and conditions, and allow greater flexibility in redeploying staff across Government.
Existing collective bargaining arrangements for civil servants and Whitley Council workers are due to be replaced by new arrangements to be agreed with representatives of the relevant employee groups.