Dominic Cummings may want to seize control of the Civil Service recruitment machine but his scope to operate is probably limited to Number Ten patronage. He asks applicants to send a one-page letter and CV to a Gmail address, and says he ‘will try to answer as many as possible … but can’t promise an answer’. It’s an odd way to go about recruiting people, especially for someone who claims to be committed to ‘data-driven intelligence’.
Cleaning and catering staff at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have been on indefinite strike since 15 July, having taken selective action over the preceding months. They are not employed by BEIS: the cleaners work for one private facilities management company, ISS; the catering staff for another, Aramark. What was once an integral part of the business of government delivered by civil servants, all entitled to the same terms and conditions fought for and won by trade unions, is now a complicated patchwork of contracts, often owned by large international corporations, with workers on vastly differing rates of pay, entitlement to holiday and sick leave, and other benefits.