Unison may fight home work plans

    A thousand child care registration staff due to be transferred
    from local authorities to Ofsted are set to challenge plans to
    force them all to work from their own homes.

    The staff, who currently register, inspect and support
    childminders, playgroups and day nurseries, are set to move to
    their new employers in September under the government’s national
    childcare strategy.

    Ofsted’s early years directorate will have eight regional
    offices where senior managers and administrative staff will be
    based, but it will have no local offices.

    Instead, it plans that staff will continue to work in
    patch-based teams but will be based in their own homes.

    Team meetings will be held in meeting rooms rented for the
    purpose. It has offered staff £500 start-up expenses to buy
    office furniture and put in new phone lines, and will be supplying
    them with computers.

    Public sector union Unison is furious about the plan, which it
    says was decided without any consultation. The union is currently
    exploring whether there are grounds for bringing a legal

    Unison social services national organiser Owen Davies said that
    although home-based working might suit some staff, there are some
    people for whom it would cause huge problems.

    Many administration staff in the early years service are likely
    to lose their jobs altogether, he predicted.

    There is also concern among early years registration staff at
    proposed changes in their job when Ofsted takes over the service.
    They are set to become “regulatory officers”, responsible only for
    inspecting and registering child care providers, and banned from
    playing a developmental role.



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