More setbacks for Britain's passport backlog as staff walk out today over pay dispute

It looks like there will be more setbacks for passport holders needing to renew or change theirs this week, as members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union walk out over staff shortages and pay today.

Seven out of 10 Passport Office workers have gone on strike today, further straining the already heavily backlogged applications processing service.

Holidaymakers who’ve left passport renewals until the last minute will probably be feeling the pain as the serious backlog could get worse. Sources report that in June alone, the Passport Office received around 800,000 applications.

Previously, extra staff had been brought in to help tackle the 30,000 passports awaiting processing.

Britons heading off for some summer sun also need to check that their passport is valid for six months for specific destinations.  Morocco, for example, requires that your passport is valid for six months after the date of your holiday there, and other countries have different rules.

Criticising the walkout today, a Home Office spokesman said the timing of the strike could affect people’s summer holidays, so if you are jetting away from it all soon, check that your passport is up to date…and not due to expire while you’re away!

“Holding a strike at this stage is irresponsible and will only inconvenience our customers and jeopardise their holidays,” he said.

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