CSCS timeline


17 July

PCS sets out priorities for government comprehensive spending review

With a comprehensive spending review now increasingly likely in the coming weeks, we call upon the government to ensure that either:

  • There are no detrimental changes to the current CSCS terms; or
  • A guarantee of no compulsory redundancy for workers covered by the CSCS; or
  • The government is able to agree the terms of the counter proposal submitted by the 4 unions, including PCS, who defeated the government in the High Court.


23 May

Fighting changes to civil service redundancy pay

PCS will use all possible political, legal and industrial means to oppose changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme, our national conference resolved.


22 March

Government urged not to slash Civil Service Compensation Scheme

The Cabinet Office is urged in a parliamentary debate not to proceed with cuts to civil service redundancy pay through changes to the civil service compensation scheme.

18 February

PCS proposes plans to protect redundancy pay of lowest paid 

A plan that would benefit civil servants in most need of redundancy compensation has been proposed by PCS along with Unite, GMB and POA in the face of government attempts to reinstate cuts to redundancy terms.


15 March

Talks on civil service redundancy pay set to continue

Negotiations on the future of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme to continue for the next few weeks.

25 January

Redundancy pay talks latest: PCS continues to defend members against further attacks

PCS continues to defend members from proposed attacks from the government on your hard-won civil service redundancy terms.


17 November

Fighting for best possible redundancy terms

We are determined to defend your terms and conditions and get a better civil service redundancy scheme than the government imposed in 2016, is the message from PCS following the third round of talks on the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.

28 September

Further consultation on redundancy cuts announced 

PCS is disappointed that the Cabinet Office has chosen to re-open consultation over cuts to civil service redundancy pay – the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.

6 September

Manzoni confirms 2010 redundancy pay reinstatement

The Cabinet Office has written to PCS confirming that, as a result of our victory in the High Court, redundancy pay cuts imposed in 2016 have been quashed, and the 2010 civil service redundancy pay scheme (Civil Service Compensation Scheme) has been reinstated.

4 August

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 published; the court quashes the cuts to the scheme, refuses the government a right to appeal and makes a full costs award against the government.

18 July

PCS wins a judicial review at the High Court which rules that the government failed to consult our union with a view to reaching agreement as required by law.

4-5 July

Judicial review heard at the High Court over the government’s failure to consult with PCS over changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.

23 May

PCS conference agrees the union should continue to explore legal challenges to cuts to redundancy payments to our members.




13 December

We call on the Cabinet Office to reopen talks on cuts to civil service redundancy terms after an overwhelming vote by our members.


29 November

PCS members vote to reject the government's huge cuts to their civil service redundancy pay in a consultative ballot.


28 November

Parliamentary debate highlights huge cuts to civil service redundancy pay.


8 November

Government imposes its massive cut to redundancy pay


3 November

PCS urges members to vote 'yes' in a ballot starting on 7 November on the Cabinet Office's planned deep cuts to civil service redundancy terms to register their disgust at government refusal to extend an arbitrary deadline for unions to respond.


26 September

Without any prior notice the Cabinet Office writes to the civil service unions confirming its 'offer' on a revised Civil Service Compensation Scheme.


3 August

PCS reiterates its refusal to be forced into accepting a minimum 25% cut in civil service redundancy pay as other unions, who have signed up to the proposals as an outrageous government pre-condition for negotiations, call for talks to be delayed.


29 July

Details of outrageous plans to slash civil service redundancy pay by more than 25% are shown in correspondence between Cabinet Office and civil service trade unions published by PCS.


8 July - Restated case

The Cabinet Office replies simply to restates their position on the CSCS.


4 July - Suspected sham 

PCS, POA and Unite respond to the Cabinet Office, stating:

  • Their letter did not provide any answers on the issues the 3 unions raised
  • Their assertion that information required to inform further talks would only be provided after those talks had taken place was bizarre
  • Our concerns over the way this exercise was being conducted led us to suspect that it was a sham
  • The unreasonable restrictions and illogical sequencing undermine the entire concept of free collective bargaining
  • No justification had been provided for proceeding with the changes.

All of this notwithstanding, we were prepared to engage in further talks with a view to seeking agreement; but we would do so unfettered.


23 June to 22 September

13 further meetings take place between the Cabinet Office and the unions that had agreed to the conditions.


21 June - Cabinet Office fails to give answers

The Cabinet Office responds to civil service unions but fails to provide answers to the issues raised by PCS, the POA and Unite. They simply reiterate their earlier position that talks would be conditional on unions accepting their terms; and say an analysis of the consultation responses and equality impacts would only be provided after further talks take place.


19 June - Joint response

PCS gives a joint response to the Cabinet Office with the POA and Unite stating that the 3 unions - PCS, POA and Unite - represent an overwhelming majority of civil servants who are union members and a majority of  civil servants affected by redundancy situations in future years. 

The letter, signed by PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, calls for the Cabinet Office to explain the situation and says: "We are at a loss to understand how the minister can be minded to amend the scheme if the government has not yet reached a decision on what changes to make to the CSCS, or any changes to other public sector schemes."

It also asks for an analysis of how the minister's view is based on consideration of consultation responses, including those expressed by trade unions.

We also call for details of a full equality impact assessment to "inform our discussions going forward".

And we make the point that it is "simply illogical to conclude what the outcome of discussions will be before those discussions have taken place".


13 and 14 June - Further talks

FDA and Prospect write to the NTUC to say they would be responding to the Cabinet Office on their own. 


7 June - FDA and Prospect accept terms

At a meeting of the National Trade Union Committee, the single body which undertakes consultation and engagement with the Cabinet Office, FDA and Prospect, whose members make up a relatively small percentage of the staff affected by the cuts, indicate that they are prepared to sign up to the terms for further talks. 


3 June - Terms of talks 

A letter from the Cabinet Office sets out the government's planned changes and terms for any further talks, including:

  • Reforming the Civil Service Compensation Scheme to "produce significant changes"
  • Imposing a tariff of 3 weeks redundancy pay for each year of service
  • Reducing the compulsory notice period to 3 months
  • Limiting voluntary exit and voluntary redundancy payments to 15 months' salary
  • Making employer-funded early access to unreduced pensions available from the age of 55 and then tracked 10 years behind state pension age.

The letter invites unions to confirm that they accepted the terms to allow them to enter talks.


26 April

A PCS petition aiming to stop the government cutting civil servants' redundancy pay has been signed by more than 10,000 people meaning the government must respond to it.


23 February

PCS calls for a coordinated response across the public sector to oppose the government's attacks on redundancy pay.


11 February

PCS encourages members to say why they oppose Cabinet Office plans to slash civil service redundancy pay.


5 February

Tory ministers again seek to cut redundancy pay just a few years after they celebrated making the system "affordable and sustainable".

The move has echoes of the way public sector pensions were slashed despite the government's own report proving they were affordable now and in the future.

A consultation for public sector workers, which runs until 3 May, confirms ministers want to further cut the terms for voluntary exits.


1 February 2016

The government plans to place a £95,000 cap on public sector exit payments which could affect many loyal, long-serving civil servants.

The move, which signifies another change to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS), is being sneaked in via the government's enterprise bill following a rushed consultation of only 4 weeks during a holiday period.

Updated 26 March 2018

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