Hundreds of Dundee workers who faced near-certain redundancy have been handed a jobs lifeline.
Assurances have been given that Dundee HMRC workers will be able to apply for posts in the city’s new Scottish Social Security HQ.
Earlier this year around 500 tax office staff in Dundee were warned they could lose their jobs when the city’s HMRC building at Sidlaw House closes in 2022.
Public and Commercial Services Union (PCSU) bosses were warned that up to 90% of workers would be made redundant.
However, last month it was revealed that Dundee’s controversial Site 6 building at the Waterfront is to become the new headquarters for Social Security Scotland.
Cabinet Secretary for Social Security, Shirley-Anne Somerville, announced the organisation had taken on a 20-year lease to become first tenants of the Earl Grey building.
The move could potentially create 900 jobs across three sites in Dundee and contribute up to £100m to the wider Scottish economy.
Now the minister has written a letter to the PCSU assuring workers and trade union leaders that those facing redundancy will be able to take part in a “simplified” recruitment process.
She said: “On March 2 I asked officials to have a new streamlined recruitment process for HMRC staff in place for the next rounds of Social Security Scotland recruitment in Dundee, which at the time we expected to be in Spring 2020.
“Since that last correspondence, Social Security Scotland business plans were impacted by Covid-19 and until recently there was a pause on recruitment in place within Scottish Government.
“The recruitment pause within Scottish Government has now ended and pre-existing vacancies that were put on hold at that time are now being progressed to completion.
“As previously agreed, Social Security Scotland will now provide early access to suitable newly created vacancies in Dundee via a streamlined merit-based process.
“Regular conversations will continue with HR colleagues in HMRC to agree which recruitment campaigns will be offered through this simplified route.”
Her letter added: “Social Security Scotland have identified a number of upcoming positions which will be offered through the simplified application route.
“These initial positions have been identified as suitable for the streamlined approach as they are based in Dundee and align with the grades and skills of colleagues in Sidlaw House.
“The details of these are being worked through and have been shared and agreed with Scottish Government, PCS and HMRC HR.
“Once finalised further information will be communicated to eligible colleagues in Sidlaw House, Dundee.”
David Lardner of the PCSU said he welcomed the cabinet secretary’s “additional detail” on job opportunities to be made available for affected staff.
He said: “We will continue expending every effort to ensure the best outcome for members and colleagues facing redundancy in our branch.”