Court of Appeal rules in favour of civil servants

The
Court of Appeal has ruled this week that civil servants transferred into the
Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) from the Department of Employment in
the early 1990s had their employment rights unfairly removed.

The
judgment, which upholds an employment tribunal test case won in 1999 by 19
members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) against the North
Wales TEC, has important implications for the 4,000 civil servants who were
transferred to TECs across England and Wales.

The
Public and Commercial Services Union, which supported the appeal, said that
most TEC staff were moved out of civil service employment without the
protection of the European Acquired Right Directive and, as a consequence, lost
employment rights and the considerable benefits of continuity of employment.

The
union also claimed that staff saw deterioration in their terms and conditions,
pension entitlements and redundancy payments and many had their pay and holiday
entitlement cut.

Peter
Harris, PCS national officer, said: "This judgment has implications for
many thousands of workers who have been denied their employment rights when
their work has transferred from one employer to another. The Court of Appeal
have restored rights that the Conservative Government had no right to remove
from its civil servants.

"PCS
will be pushing for full compensation to be made to our members for the losses
they have suffered. This could run into tens of thousands of pounds for some
staff".

Julie
Owens, PCS representative and TEC tribunal applicant, said: "I’m
overwhelmed and delighted with the decision of the Court of Appeal. It’s been a
long slog but without the support of PCS we would never have had our employment
rights and continuity of employment restored."

By Ben Willmott

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