POA Circulars

119 | 15.08.2011

Civil Service Compensation Scheme Legal Challenge Rejected

The POA and PCS jointly made an application to challenge the imposition of the new Civil Service Compensation Scheme under Article 1 of protocol 1 of the European convention on Human Rights, which protects possessions and Article 11 on free assembly, arguing changes were imposed without our consent.

The case was heard by Mr Justice McCombe at the High Court on the 20th and 21st July 2011.

On the 10th August 2011 the Judge in his judgement on our legal challenge agreed that existing rights should be protected under Human Rights Legislation as they were a “possession” and should not be “interfered with”, but he ruled that Ministers had not acted unlawfully because they had “justified” the cuts as a way of tackling the budget deficit and it was not for the court to interfere with the Government’s economic or social policy.

This case was always a difficult test because the court was being asked to rule on the introduction of primary legislation as part of the Government’s wider economic policies.

The ruling does confirm the legal protection for other accrued rights, such as pension rights, but does not reverse imposition of the new redundancy terms.

The POA and other affiliated Unions to the TUC will continue to challenge these unfair cuts and indeed our Union is involved in another legal challenge scheduled for October 2011 in relation to the imposition on the calculation of pensions from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Yours sincerely

 

STEVE GILLAN
General Secretary