26 September 2023

UNITED KINGDOM: “Jobs for everyone” as Department splits

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The head of the United Kingdom’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has reassured civil servants that “there will be a job for everyone” in the three ministries that are to replace BEIS in a surprise reorganisation.

In an email to staff, outgoing Permanent Secretary, Sarah Munby told officials that she “didn’t expect” the announcement to break up BEIS – but said many teams would remain relatively unchanged.

“There will be plenty of support available as we navigate these changes,” Ms Munby said.

“I’d ask you to bear with us, me, your line manager, as we won’t have all the answers up front,” she said.

“But what I do know is that no one needs to be concerned about their job and there will be more than enough room for everyone in this change.”

Ms Munby, who will lead the new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (SIT), said it “has got to be a tribute to our impact” that BEIS is being replaced by three Departments.

Along with SIT, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (pictured) announced the creation of a new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and Department for Business and Trade.

Ms Munby said for the “vast majority of people, the team around you will look pretty much the same”, while a “very small number” of teams will not move with their director general group to their new Department.

“All of these teams will by now have been made aware of the changes,” she added.

These include the Investment Screening Unit, which was created in 2021 to identify and mitigate national security risks associated with the sales of certain assets, and which will move to the Cabinet Office.

The Permanent Secretary said arrangements would be “a little more complicated” for staff working in corporate services and other central functions.

“For now we will ask for a bit of patience and flexibility as we will need to provide ‘day one’ services to all the new Departments,” she said.

“I reiterate that there will be a job for everyone given the scale of our collective challenge!”

London, 7 February 2023

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