Whitehall: The part-time civil servant

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The civil service, once the bastion of full-time jobs for life, is increasingly becoming a source of temporary appointment, according to a survey by the Labour employment spokesman, Peter Hain. Over the past five years, while nearly 70,000 permanent jobs have been lost, 7,500 new temporary jobs in the civil service have been created.

According to Mr Hain's figures, there are now 25,000 temporary jobs in the civil service, an increase of more than 40 per cent since 1992. The number of permanent jobs in the civil service, including both government departments and executive agencies, has fallen over the same period from 683,600 to 615,300.

Mr Hain stressed that civil service management codes stipulated casual employment should only be used to meet genuine short-term need and not as a way of eroding job security. He said it was inexcusable that the Government was creating "jobs with no pensions, no performance pay, no paid leave, no sick absence and no maternity leave".