HC Deb 03 December 1984 vol 69 cc74-5W
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many hours of overtime have been worked per month at Heron house and Arpley house benefit offices in Stockport in the current year; what is the monthly cost; and how much it would have cost to work these hours with extra permanent staff.

Mr. Whitney

Overtime working falls into two categories: that which, because of its nature, can only be done outside normal office hours (for example evening visits to people who are not available during the day); and that which could be done during office hours, but due to other factors needs to be undertaken as overtime in order that it can be carried out on time (for example peaks of work at seasonal times, or unpredictable peaks of work).

I assume the hon. Member is concerned with the second category because it is in this category that some attempt at comparing costs can be made with the cost of employing additional staff during normal working hours. However, as will be evident from the table, overtime is being done at the local offices to which the hon. Member refers to cope with a peak of work and it would be uneconomic to have permanent staff who would be without work for the rest of the year.

The number of hours worked in the second category, together with the cost (which is available only for four weekly periods) is set out in the table.

Stockport North (Arpley House) Stockport South (Heron House)
4 Week Periods in 1984 Ending Number of Hours of Overtime Cost of Overtime Cost of Extra Permanent Staff Number of Hours of Overtime Cost of Overtime Cost of Extra Permanent Staff
£ £ £ £
13 March
10 April
8 May
5 June
3 July
31 July
28 August
25 September 1,015 7,450 4,913 668 4,903 3,233
23 October 1,949 14,306 9,433 2,247 16,493 10,875
20 November 2,548 18,702 12,332 1,568 11,509 7,589
Totals 5,512 40,458 26,678 4,483 32,905 21,697
Average costs which cover all locations and grades have been used.