The DVLA’s top performers have received bonuses totaling more than £2million – despite the organization apologizing earlier this year for long delays in processing paper driving license applications. It is understood that these additional payments have been granted while the government agency still has a huge backlog in cases of more than 300,000 claims, although the Swansea-based DVLA said claim processing times are now at normal levels.
Department for Transport records show a whopping £2,163,414 was paid in ‘unfunded bonuses’ to Agency staff for the financial year 2021 to 2022, according to the Daily Express. was despite a reported huge backlog of 1.2m delayed applications earlier in the pandemic – and also follows claims earlier this year that thousands of staff have received their full salaries at the Agency despite they did not perform any work while home-based.
Commenting on staff bonuses, Tory MP David Jones called the situation “outrageous”. “The perception of the DVLA is at rock bottom,” he said. “There are people across the country who are bitterly inconvenienced. If we were talking about payments to MPs, the country would be angry. The country would also be angry because £2million in bonuses are being handed out to people who have let them down so badly.” You can get more Swansea news and other story updates by subscribing to our newsletters here.
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A DVLA spokesperson defended the bounties and said: “Our staff have worked incredibly hard to help keep the country moving throughout the pandemic and, despite a number of issues including industrial action coordinated, our services are operating within normal turnaround times. Paper applications are being processed within three to four weeks.”
News of the bonuses comes two months after the Agency was forced to respond to claims by The Times that 3,400 of its 6,200 staff were sent home during the first lockdown and placed on ‘special paid leave’ – allowing them to be fully paid despite not having to work at all. You can read the full Times investigation here and for more stories about the DVLA go here.
The newspaper also claimed that in the nine months of the past two years, more than 500 staff members had been officially declared out of work because they were either on strike or on special paid leave. An undercover journalist from the newspaper worked for the DVLA in February 2022 and discovered that millions of drivers had been affected by a massive backlog of license applications and renewals.
Some staff reportedly said they spent many working days in bed watching their favorite television programs and doing nothing, while working staff said they felt frustrated that their colleagues who pretended to be too vulnerable to enter the office “were not working, but they were outside and mingling with others and going on vacation”.
But the DVLA told WalesOnline at the time that the allegations did not reflect the diligent behavior of DVLA staff throughout the pandemic. Although there was still a large backlog of applications as of March 2022, the agency said at the time that it intended to bring application wait times “back to normal” from May. 2022 approximately for standard driving licenses and from September 2022. , for applications involving medical forms. Yes You can read the DVLA’s full commentary and our full report in a previous article here.
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