The result of a High Court battle against government plans to cut Civil Service redundancy packages is expected to be announced today.
The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) launched a judicial review of the government’s proposed changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS), which would lead to cuts in the packages paid out to government staff made redundant.
The government proposes to cap Whitehall severance pay 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.
The government had intended the changes to take effect on 1 April.
If the PCS is successful in its legal challenge, the government could be forced to redraft its changes to the CSCS, delaying its ability to make up to £500m of savings in Whitehall over the next three years.
The PCS sought a judicial review after alleging the government failed to consult unions over the changes, and planned to implement the changes with only an order in parliament – not an act of parliament, which would require debate on the changes and a vote in favour of their implementation.
The planned cuts have already led to strikes by up to 250,000 civil servants in March.