Willing to take a case against age discrimination in the Civil Service Compensation Scheme?

14 Jan 2020

PCS is looking for ordinary and associate and retired members willing to bring cases following an employment tribunal ruling that the 6 months cap on compensation for redundancy for those over their civil service pension age within the Civil Service Compensation Scheme is not proportionate and is therefore direct age discrimination.

Within the CSCS as it is currently written, once you are 15 months from your civil service pension age, your entitlement to compensation for voluntary exit or redundancy begins to be tapered and then, from pension age, capped at 6 months. Tapering works to reduce the amount, month by month, from 21 months maximum to 6 months by the time you reach pension age. Similar restrictions are placed on the compensation payable to those dismissed for efficiency reasons.

In a judgment handed down in November, an employment tribunal ruled that the 6-month cap on compensation for redundancy for those over their civil service pension age within the Civil Service Compensation Scheme is not proportionate and therefore is direct age discrimination.

In Ms J Elliot v Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman: 2200464/2018 the tribunal decided that, although the aim of the compensation scheme was legitimate, cutting compensation back to 6 months only for those over pension age was not proportionate.

Although the government has decided to appeal that judgement now, anyone who might have a case needs to submit this now, just in case the original ET judgement is upheld.

PCS has instructed its lawyers to support the claimant in defending the appeal.

Legal possibilities

This case opens up legal possibilities for anyone facing redundancy, whether voluntary or compulsory, or voluntary exit within the age range that attracts the cap or tapering. There are legal time limits involved in such cases but at this stage PCS is proposing to advance legal claims regardless of precisely when someone left employment under these terms.

We are also looking to open a dialogue with the employer, through the Cabinet Office, to seek a central relaxation of the age cap, pending determination of the remedy in this case.

This dialogue is taking place outside of any talks that may start on any proposed new redundancy scheme. The union’s starting position in any such talks will be that the 2010 redundancy terms must remain in place. 

Want to submit a case?

If you want to submit a case you can fill in our web form if you:

• Are aged 58 and 9 months – or older.

• Are about to leave employment with a compensation payment for early severance, voluntary or compulsory redundancy, or with compensation on an efficiency dismissal, or left under such terms recently.

• Are departing under such terms in the future, if the departure date has been set.

• Have left employment with a package under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.

• Have left employment through an efficiency dismissal.

• Had compensation that was tapered to be below that which is appropriate to someone younger than you, or capped at 6 months because you are over 60.

We will support former members who have left their jobs in the civil service and did not immediately take out PCS ARMS membership, but we would expect them to take out such membership now and maintain it for the duration of the cases.

Retired members can join over the phone at 0800 317 464.

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