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Public Sector Employment Exits Will Require Tougher Negotiation Skills

Posted: Friday, 4 January 2019 @ 13:43

Recently the Treasury today set out plans to further restrict public sector redundancy payments by better coordinating the rules for calculating payoffs across the civil service, the NHS and local government.

Chief secretary Greg Hands said the changes could save hundreds of millions of pounds by 2020. They include setting a maximum tariff to calculate exit payments at three weeks’ pay per year of service and capping the period that can be used to calculate redundancy payments at 15 months.

According to the government the proposal which will also apply to teachers, police offers and firefighters, would taper lump sum redundancy payments the closer people got to retirement and set an £80,000 salary cap for calculating exit payments.

Some observations:

1 As you would expect I have done a lot of negotiating on behalf of public sector employees as they seek to secure the holy grail of a good employment exit.

2 Most people at a high level I deal with do have favourable employment terms e.g generous paid sick leave, minimum offer of redundancy though the shift has been against the employee for a long time. This announcement which ties in with cutting the deficit and minimsing access to justice is just part of a trend.

3 Many people come to me tell stories about how their trade union is pretty poor. That said, I have some good trade union conduct as well. It is pretty erratic.

4 Ultimately it does require tougher negotiating now at this level. Of course if a public sector employee does have a valid claim , he or she does have a valid claim so litigation may well be the ultimate solution.