The controversial caps placed on civil servant’s redundancy payment has been considered unlawful by a recent court review. The Guardian reported that the new ruling left the government in a tough situation as many civil servants are filing for compensation.
The redundancy payment had been cut in November 2016 by the ministers in the Cabinet Office. The policy also saw the banning of early access to pensions by public sector employees.
However, the court made a review on the case and ruled that the cuts were unlawful. This is because the Cabinet Office had failed to confer with the trade union on the decision to slash off the payments.
The recent court ruling is now expected to leave the government susceptible to legal confrontations from most of the civil servants who had accepted the payment reduction terms. Theresa May’s government, for instance, is expected to receive the biggest blow since it had been under pressure for failing to remove the public sector pay cap.
After adoption of the new scheme, PCS union was rather unhappy and immediately began to battle the case in court. This uproar was fueled by a piece of advice from the CSCS, who claimed that the enforcement of the payment caps was unlawful. After this advisory, the union which consists of 160,000 members called for a judicial review in February. The appeal was heard in court on 4th through to 5th of July this year. The discussion was presided over by Lord Justice Sales and Mrs. Justice Whipple.
When asked to comment, a PCS spokesman uttered that he felt the ruling was clear, and that the caps had to be removed. He further said that the union didn’t care much on whether or not the government should begin consultation on the ruling once again.
The union claimed that the court hadn’t consulted with the employees’ representatives before ruling in favor of the redundancy pay cut bill. They also said that this ruling was illegal because it would unlawfully interfere with public sector employees’ possessions (redundancy fees). Slashing off the payments without the union’s consent was considered as going against the equality duty of the public sector.
In their defense, the Counsel of the Cabinet Office stated that even if they had consulted with the union, the ruling would have been the same. Based on the former ruling, a public worker with thirty years of service and earns an annual salary of £30,000 would receive £45,000 rather than the usual £52,500. Consequently, those with 20 years of service earning £15,000 annually would be entitled to £28,161 instead of £38,333.