FEARS over the impact of job cuts on sailors’ morale led to a decision to make no more Royal Navy redundancies after this year.
Originally, the navy was due to axe 5,000 posts through a series of redundancy tranches from 2011 to 2015 as a result of the defence cuts announced by the government in 2010.
But it’s understood that plan has been shelved amid fears the prolonged process could cause long-lasting damage to sailors’ morale.
It was announced yesterday that another 400 sailors will be made redundant this year. It comes after 1,020 sailors were given their marching orders on September 30 last year.
In a message to all naval personnel at the time, the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, warned of ‘up to three further tranches of redundancy delivered by April 2015’.
But yesterday, the MoD said the second lot of job losses will be the navy’s last.
Instead, the service will now look to cut the remaining 3,700 posts through slowing down recruitment and not replacing people who leave or retire, said an MoD spokesman.
A defence source told The News the change of plan came after an internal survey found morale in the navy was ‘brittle’ as a result of ongoing military cuts.
The last 400 naval staff who are up for redundancy include five Commodores, 17 Captains, 19 Royal Marine officers at Brigadier, Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel ranks, and 80 Fleet Air Arm jobs.
The navy is also looking to cut numbers in the logistics, warfare, physical training and medical branches.
The window for applications for voluntary redundancy closes on February 28 and final notices will be issued on June 12.
Those who are selected for voluntary redundancy will serve up to six months’ notice before leaving. Those who are made compulsorily redundant will have 12 months’ notice. The government said the cuts are a necessary part of trying to plug a £38bn hole in the MoD’s budget.
The defence secretary Philip Hammond said: ‘The size of the fiscal deficit we inherited left us no choice but to reduce the size of the armed forces.’
Final wave of raf redundancies
THE Royal Air Force will also not make any more redundancies after this year.
It was announced yesterday 900 pilots and airmen will be axed this year in the second tranche of armed forces redundancies.
It comes after 920 people in the RAF were given notice last September. Like the navy, the remaining 3,000 RAF job losses will be met by slowing down recruitment and not replacing people who leave.
The Army, meanwhile, is set to continue with its plan for a series of redundancy tranches as it moves to cut 18,000 soldiers by 2020.
The MoD said yesterday that 2,900 soldiers will go in the second tranche this year. It comes after 920 army troops received redundancy notices in the first tranche last year.