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Reforms to civil service exit payment rules unlawful

In 2016 the government published a consultation on reform of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS), regarding entitlements relating to redundancy, voluntary exits and payments applying in some cases of termination for poor performance or attendance. While the government has the power to amend the terms, this is subject to a duty to consult representatives of those likely to be affected, which in practice means the trade union.

The government initially consulted with the unions, and having completed that consultation, proposed further talks. This was subject to the unions agreeing in principle the government’s broad aims. Sime unions declined to provide that agreement and were excluded from further talks. The High Court has held that this breached the statutory duty to consult and, accordingly, has held that the CSCS reforms are unlawful.

The government had proposed caps on public sector exit payments and create clawback powers but despite draft regulations in 2015 and 2016, there is currently no indication if or when the government will pursue finalising the regulations.

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