HC Deb 26 June 1995 vol 262 c462W
Mr. Streeter

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the number of staff-in-post in central Government Departments at 1 April 1995. [30195]

Mr. David Hunt

On 1 April 1995, there were 516,080 permanent staff-in-post in central Government, which is less than half the level of 50 years ago. This represents a decrease of 4.5 per cent. in the year since 1 April 1994. The number of casual staff fell by 2,984 over the year to 18,130.

The figures are measured as "full-time equivalent" staff, where part-time staff are recorded as a proportion of a full-time employee according to the proportion of a full week for which they are contracted to work. This method of calculating full-time equivalent staff is a new one introduced from 1 April 1995, replacing the former method in which part-time staff working 10 hours or more per week were recorded as half an employee, those working fewer than 10 hours being ignored. The new methodology has been introduced to provide more accurate estimates of the number of staff employed, enabling better financial planning and control. This change in the method of calculating the number is estimated to have resulted in an increase of 7,000–1.3 per cent.—in the total number of staff. In order that the change should not artificially distort comparisons over time or plans with outturn, estimates have been made on the new basis, broken down by Department, for 1 April 1994, and have been placed with the 1 April 1995 figures in the Library.