Two pieces of legislation that continue to be delayed by the Government’s preoccupation with all things Brexit are the implementation of the Public Sector Exit Payment Cap, and the proposed changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.
The Public Sector Exit Payment Cap
Back on the 1st February 2017, The Enterprise Act 2016 (Commencement No. 2) Regulations 2017 came into force by way of statutory instrument (SI 2017/70). Section 41 of that legislation inserted sections 153A, 153B and 153C into the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. Given this, the Government has had the necessary powers to implement the Public Sector Exit Payment Cap since the the 1st February 2017. However, despite this, no steps have been taken over the last 18 months to implement it. This is down to the loss of the Conservative majority at the June 2017 election, its dependence on the DUP, and the prioritising of all things Brexit. Moreover, given recent events, should Theresa May’s Government fall shortly, and be replaced by a Labour Government, then the Public Sector Exit Payment Cap may never be implemented, at least not in the near future whilst the Conservatives remained out of power.
As things stand, there is no news on when or even if the Public Sector Exit Payment Cap will be implemented.
The Civil Service Compensation Scheme
The Government had also been looking to make cuts to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme. The main proposals were to reduce payments from 1 months pay for every years service to 3 weeks, to reduce the cap for voluntary redundancy/exit from 21 months pay to 18 months, and to reduce the cap for compulsory redundancy from 12 months pay to nine months. A framework had been agreed with some unions following consultations that had begun in February 2016, and the changes were introduced in November 2016. However, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) had not been consulted, and they launched judicial review proceedings. This resulted in a High Court ruling in July 2017, that the proposed changes were unlawful on the basis that the Government had failed in its “duty to consult with a view to reaching agreement” (i.e. because unions such as the PCS, Unite and the Prison Officers’ Association had not been properly consulted). Fresh consultations were begun, but as with the Public Sector Exit Payment Cap, there is no news on whether the Government plans to make the proposed changes, and the proposals may fall by the wayside should the Conservative Government fall from power.