No cuts to civil service redundancy pay

Court quashes redundancy scheme cuts

The full extent of our victory in the High Court over the government’s cuts to civil service redundancy pay (civil service compensation scheme) is now clear; the court has quashed the cuts to the scheme, refused the government a right to appeal and made a full costs award against the government.

On 18 July we won a judicial review at the High Court, ruling that the government failed to consult our union with a view to reaching agreement as required by law. This stunning and comprehensive victory means that the more generous 2010 civil service compensation scheme (CSCS) has been reinstated, and will apply to those who have left on redundancy since the new terms were imposed.      

Cuts to redundancy pay

The government had chosen to slash civil service redundancy pay by about 30% just 6 years after the current civil service redundancy scheme was introduced in December 2010, in an attempt to reduce the costs of cutting staff.

The terms in 2010 were described by then Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, as "fair, affordable and sustainable; they offer protection to the lowest paid and those nearing retirement, and put a cap on the total amount which can be paid out to any one individual."

PCS, along with Unite and the POA, refused to be bullied by the Cabinet Office into agreeing the cuts to civil servants' redundancy terms as a pre-condition of entering talks and we were excluded from the talks.

With the civil service planning thousands of job cuts and office closures, PCS firmly opposed cuts to redundancy terms. PCS members voted to reject the government's huge cuts to their civil service redundancy pay in a consultative ballot.

The Cabinet Office therefore refused to negotiate with unions representing the overwhelming majority of civil servants.

Regrettably two smaller civil service unions, FDA and Prospect, agreed to the pre-conditions, and talks on cutting redundancy terms took place with them.

The court has refused the government leave to appeal, stating that any appeal would not have real prospects of success. However the government may try to overturn that ruling in the Court of Appeal. They may also decide to open consultation on a new redundancy scheme. However, while we will always be willing to negotiate, we will continue to oppose arbitrary cuts to civil service redundancy payments; and this time we cannot be excluded from negotiations.

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