Cabinet Office backs down on terms and conditions reform
The Cabinet Office has backed down over plans to reform the terms and conditions (T&Cs) of all civil servants, CSW has learned. In a letter sent this month to all civil servants, civil service head Sir Bob Kerslake and Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: “The proposed changes will apply to new entrants and, potentially, staff on promotion.”
Last year, departmental HR directors were charged with reviewing the terms and conditions of all civil servants – including their holidays, sick leave and flexible working. In January Katherine Kerswell, director-general of civil service reform, told CSW: “Each department, as its own employer, is pursuing its own negotiations around its terms and conditions of service. They’re all beginning that now, and it’s going to be a tough conversation but it’s a very positive process”.
In the event, the only reform being made to all civil servants’ T&Cs is the rebranding of ‘privilege days’ as a mainstream part of civil servants’ annual leave.
Departments are negotiating with trade unions over whether promotion will affect T&Cs, including annual leave. The FDA union told CSW that the Department for Work and Pensions has already decided that it won’t. “We are arguing that it will be a disincentive to go for promotion,” said FDA assistant general secretary Rob O’Neill. However, the DWP refused to confirm this, telling CSW that it has yet to make a decision.
In their letter, Kerslake and Maude said: “When we talk to civil servants, terms and conditions are often raised. The civil service will continue to offer employment terms that are among the best available.”