PCS judicial review of redundancy changes to begin 22 April

Legal action brought by PCS union over changes to Civil Service redundancy terms will start on 22 April, the union announced today.

The judicial review follows the Cabinet Office’s announcement in February that compulsory redundancy packages will be capped at £60,000 for those earning less than half that amount, affecting four-fifths of the workforce.

Those earning more than £30,000 will see redundancy payments cut from up to three years’ pay to a maximum of two years’ pay.

While the changes to the redundancy terms were accepted by the five other trade unions representing public sector workers after changes were made to the original proposal, the PCS continued to oppose the move.

It has sought the judicial review, arguing that the Cabinet Office was wrong to make “detrimental changes” to the civil service compensation scheme without agreement.

The union believes that, under the 1972 Superannuation Act, the government needed to implement the cuts to the redundancy scheme with the agreement of civil service trade unions representing the majority of staff (it represents 270,000 workers, compared to the 100,000 covered by the other five unions).

If the judicial review is successful it would make the new arrangements illegal and invalid.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “Legal action is another tool in our campaign against these cuts, which will rob loyal civil and public servants of their entitlements if they are forced out of a job.

“We will be arguing, because the changes rob people of their entitlements, that in law, the government needed to get the agreement of all civil service trade unions. The government need to recognise the depth of anger and reach an agreement over the changes.”

Gus O’Donnell, head of the Civil Service and permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office, has described the decision by the PCS union to continue opposing the proposals as wholly misguided.

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