Around 20 staff at Enniskillen Jobs and Benefits Office are “in limbo with regard to what their future career is.”

The revelation came at the April meeting of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, where members received a verbal update on a meeting which took place on March 13 with the Director of Working Age Services, Maeve Walls on the future of civil service jobs in the Council area.
“Maeve Walls confirmed that there would be no reduction in jobs in either office,” said Director of Regeneration and Community, Robert Gibson, referring to Enniskillen and Omagh offices. Centralised telephony is in place in Omagh and will come to the Enniskillen office,” he told Councillors.
Ulster Unionist Councillor Howard Thornton pointed out that, since the meeting, Ms. Walls no longer holds responsibility for the Enniskillen and Omagh Jobs and Benefits offices.
“Maeve gave a commitment on behalf of the Department for Communities. I hope that the department will keep to that commitment. Unfortunately we are in a position where 26.2 posts have not been given assurances at this stage. Temporary work has been provided but there is no long term known commitment at this stage. As a Council we must keep pressure on the Department for Communities on this,” he said.
Democratic Unionist Councillor Raymond Farrell agreed. He said: “I understand there are around 20 staff who are in limbo with regards what their future career is. Certain work will go into next year but that’s not really job security in terms of their future career development.
“We need to keep our finger on the pulse and be seen as strong advocates for this area.”
In 2016, the Enniskillen Jobs and Benefits staff voiced “grave concerns” that the new Universal credit benefits system will result in less work, forcing staff to commute to other offices across Northern Ireland.
A spokeswoman from the Department for Communities commented: “Those staff within the Enniskillen Jobs and Benefits Office not deployed in Universal Credit continue to process claims for Job Seekers Allowance. The Department remains committed to the retention of processing work in the Enniskillen Office.”