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New Employment Terms For UK Commonwealth War Graves Commission Staff

It comes after British staff were told in December they must return to the UK or face significant pay cuts.

New employment arrangements for British Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) staff working in Belgium and France are set to be implemented by the commission.

Johnny Mercer MP, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, said the CWGC would also be providing all the staff with "financial support to assist with the transition" to the new arrangements.

He said the commission was also considering options to improve the support package and said of the 30 staff based in Belgium and France, who are directly employed by the CWGC, 21 will remain in Europe, seven will return to the UK and two will retire.

This comes after British CWGC staff based in the two countries were told in December they must return to the UK or face significant pay cuts.

Watch: What is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission?

The CWGC said, as the staff were under UK-based contracts, they had to be moved onto local contracts in line with the laws of their host countries due to Brexit.

Mr Mercer also outlined in December that £30,000 and removal costs would be given to those who moved back to the UK, with up to £10,000 given to those who chose to stay in Europe.

The CWGC employs about 550 staff to look after cemeteries where those killed in both the First and Second World Wars are buried.

These include the Somme, Ypres and Passchendaele, Normandy and Dunkirk. 

Cover image: Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme in northern France (Picture: CWGC).