Cuts to civil service redundancy pay could be illegal
15 July 2010
Following legal advice, the union is urging MPs to question the validity of the ‘money bill’ laid in parliament today by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.
Plans to cut the accrued rights of existing civil and public servants could also be challenged on human rights grounds, the union believes.
The High Court has ruled twice in PCS’s favour that the previous government acted unlawfully when it tried to cut redundancy terms without the union’s agreement
The union also says the Cabinet Office’s claim that civil servants can receive six years’ pay on being made redundant is highly misleading because this applies to almost none of the existing workforce.
Nor is it accurate to say that the ‘average’ payout is three years’ salary. Only staff with 20 years’ service would qualify for this, but the average length of service for admin officers - who make up 47% of the civil service - is just seven years, rising to 14 years for executive officers.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We will be studying the proposed legislation in detail, but our advice suggests the government might be repeating the mistakes of the previous administration in acting outside the law, simply to make it easier and cheaper to cuts tens of thousands of jobs.
“We fundamentally reject the need for these cuts and, as well as challenging them in parliament and the courts if necessary, we will pursue every avenue to oppose them in towns and cities across the UK.”