11 March 2016
The Treasury has launched a "consultation on reforms to public sector exit payments" and the Cabinet Office has followed this with a "consultation on reform of the civil service compensation scheme."
The current civil service redundancy scheme was introduced in December 2010. The terms were described by the 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.”
Yet after only 5 years, the government is seeking to make further cuts to redundancy pay to, which will affect every civil servant facing redundancy, and introduce a lower cap on the total amount which can be paid out to an individual to £95,000.
The government is proposing to make huge cuts to departmental budgets over the next 4 years. Cutting redundancy pay is simply an attempt to make those cuts cheaper.
The government's plans pay no regard to the hard work and loyalty shown by civil servants, who have, in the last 5 years, seen:
The consultation on the civil service compensation scheme outlines the Cabinet Office’s objectives. It proposes structural changes to reduce costs, including potentially changing how the amount is calculated or reducing the maximum payable.
Options for improving the use of flexible terms, include potential:
Changes to employer-funded early access to pension, include:
Read the full consultation document on the gov.uk website. The consultation closes on 4 May and we will be making a submission on behalf of members.
We met with the Cabinet Office on 11 February. At the meeting we signalled our opposition to further cuts to redundancy pay. We pressed the Cabinet Office for the evidence-based rationale for the changes being proposed and for a range of data to enable proper negotiations to take place.
The Cabinet Office indicated that they are seeking to reach agreement in negotiations, but that if agreement cannot be reached they will look to introduce changes to the redundancy scheme through legislation.
The NEC has this week agreed a campaign plan, including proposals that we will:
The NEC agreed to convene a meeting of senior lay pepresentatives across the union to explore the possibility of a programme of industrial action should negotiations not produce an acceptable outcome.
The NEC also agreed to urge branches to hold members’ meetings to build support for the campaign, also using them as recruitment and organising events. Branches will be contacted shortly with further details.
Our annual delegate conference from 24-26 May follows shortly after the closure of the consultation. This will provide an opportunity for the union to take stock of progress made through negotiations and campaigning and to democratically determine the next steps in the campaign.
PCS reps can read a full branch briefing about the scheme on our document library.