Merton Joins Forces To Save Money

Deal with Sutton and Kingston For HR and payroll

Merton council is to join forces with two other London boroughs to share payroll and HR services, in a move which will save money, but could lead to 17 redundancies.

It has agreed a joint, 10-year, commitment with Sutton and Kingston councils to share a new payroll service and HR system from Agilisys, an IT and business service provider.

The pioneering initiative could save each borough £500,000 every year, although up to 17 staff could potentially face redundancy.

Once the new platform has been implemented, Agilisys will provide a shared managed service to the councils, including hosting of the technology itself, as well as ongoing payroll management, creating further opportunities for savings.

Merton Council leader Stephen Alambritis (left) said: "At Merton Council we do all we can to cut waste and reduce costs, and collaborating with other councils helps us have more buying power, meaning we are better able to protect frontline services from the cuts to money we get from government.

"This decision will reduce our payroll costs by 42% and help pave the way for more services and contracts to be shared with other councils.

"Local people have a right to expect us to be as efficient as we can be. This is a good example of how we're doing that, and we hope the approach we have taken will be championed around the country and taken up by other councils."

The staff involved in the move already have outsourced contracts, but their future employment position is legally complex. Although 17 staff could be made redundant it is likely some will move into a new larger client team, selected from Sutton and Kingston.

Last week Merton council announced it was merging its legal team with Richmond council. For more: Click here.

February 28, 2011