Civil Service redundancy pay dispute: High Court reserves judgment

The High Court has reserved judgment in a legal dispute about the reduction of civil servants’ redundancy packages.

The government and the Public and Commercial Service union (PCS) were in court today to hear a final ruling on the dispute and the implications of the High Court decision last month that the government’s changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS) were unlawful.

In May, the judge Justice Sales found the government could not change employees’ accrued benefits without union agreement.

Following that ruling, both sides were asked to make final legal submissions to agree the terms of an order to quash amendments the government had said were effective from 1 April. No agreement was reached so the parties returned to court today for a final hearing.

The government had hoped to impose the revised CSCS in a bid to make up to £500m worth of Whitehall savings in the next three years.

The intention was to change the scheme so that Whitehall severance pay would be capped at a maximum of two years’ salary for employees earning £25,000 or more (civil servants who have worked in Whitehall for 20 years are currently entitled to three years’ pay), while people who rejoin the Civil Service after receiving a severance payment will be required to pay some of the money back.

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