The redundancy terms that currently apply to civil servants were the subject of an agreement between the Coalition government and five of the six main civil service trade unions in 2010. Despite the then Minister describing those terms as “fair for civil servants and fair for other taxpayers” the government reneged on that agreement in 2016.
The background to the 2016 negotiations on further reform of the redundancy terms was incredibly difficult but Prospect and a number of other trade unions were able to come to a new agreement that was ultimately endorsed by members. The 2016 terms were less generous than the 2010 terms but were a significant improvement over the government’s original proposals.
However the 2016 terms were challenged by the PCS trade union and ultimately struck down by the High Court due to failings in the way that government had handled the negotiations.
By striking down the 2016 agreement, the High Court effectively re-instated the 2010 terms.
However the government’s response has been to instigate further reforms and in September it launched a consultation on changes that are much more detrimental than the 2016 terms.
Garry Graham, deputy general secretary of Prospect, said:
“By consulting on reforms to redundancy compensation that go even further than the 2016 terms, the government appears to be punishing members of Prospect and the other trade unions that were party to that agreement.
“This is completely inappropriate because Prospect members entered into agreements on civil service redundancy compensation terms in both 2010 and 2016 that the government has either been unwilling or unable to honour.
“It is time for government to match the good faith that has been consistently shown by Prospect members and finally stick to its word on redundancy compensation.
“Prospect’s submission to the Cabinet Office consultation sets out compelling arguments for a new agreement on redundancy compensation based on the 2010 terms and allowing for certain developments since then.”
* Read Prospect’s submission: https://library.prospect.org.uk/download/2017/01826