Staff working on Brexit are more over-worked and under-resourced than in any other government department, a survey has revealed.
The Civil Service People Survey shows the Department for Exiting the EU (DexEU) has the lowest satisfaction ratings for “resources and workload” and third lowest for “pay and benefits” out of 18 government teams.
It scored just 61%, with the Department for International Trade (DIT) and Home Office both receiving the second lowest score of 66%.
Brexit secretary David Davis admitted staffing issues were a challenge at a Commons committee in early December, when MPs quizzed him on the absence of 58 impact assessments on various economic sectors.
“The usefulness of such a detailed impact assessment is near zero … given how we were stretching our resources,” the cabinet minister said.
The National Audit Office also reported that churn - or staff turnover - at DExEU is running at 9% a quarter.
The civil service average is 9% a year - prompting concerns about the department’s ability to build up a long-term bank of institutional knowledge and memory.
Jon Trickett, Labour’s shadow cabinet office minister, said: “It seems that the closer you are to Brexit negotiations, the less faith you have that the government is capable of delivering a successful Brexit.
“After a year in which the Tory’s chaotic handling of Brexit has left negotiations months behind schedule, fuelled uncertainty and risk economic damage, this government has shown that it is simply not up to the job. And now it’s clear they can’t even inspire confidence in their own civil servants.
“The Tories need to stop putting our exit from the EU in peril and get their act together.”
A DExEU spokesperson said: “DExEU is a newly-established, fast-paced department and we are committed to making it a great place to work.
“We recognise that this is a challenging environment as we work hard to achieve the best possible outcome from the Brexit negotiations so we continue to make sure our resources match the demands we face.
“We want all of our staff members to thrive which is why we actively support their wellbeing and promote internal policies that recognise their hard work.”
The full list of the Civil Service People Survey results on resources and workload and pay and benefits is below:
Resources and workload
Pay and Benefits
Work and Pensions
Average (not weighted)