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.”
Joshua Chambers is Civil Service World's Deputy and Online Editor.