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Departmental Redundancy

Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 27 January 2009, Official Report, columns 332-4W, on redundancy, how many staff left his Department under staff exit schemes with a severance package worth (a) between £100,000 and £125,000, (b) between £125,001 and £150,000, (c) between £150,001 and £200,000, (d) between £200,001 and £250,000, (e) between £250,001 and £500,000, (f) between £500,001 and £1,000,000 and (g) over £1,000,000 in each year since 2005-06. (264286)

As a result of structural changes to the Department and to meet cross-Government targets to reduce headcount within Departments DEFRA has managed the exit of a number of staff over recent years. The initial investment in reducing the headcount will lead to significantly reduced future pay costs on staff.

These included both voluntary and involuntary leavers to whom payments were made. As is common to other Government Departments, the structures of these payments were based on the rules contained within the Civil Service Pension Scheme.

For staff leaving on compulsory or flexible early severance terms, or in receipt of a statutory redundancy payment, the size of the package represents the lump sum compensation payment made.

For staff leaving on compulsory, flexible or approved early retirement terms, the size of the package includes:

any lump sum compensation payment made on departure (compulsory terms only);

the capitalised cost of paying a pension or annual compensation payment (ACP) before pension age;

the cost of any pension enhancement (compulsory and flexible terms only) and the cost of bringing forward the payment of the pension lump sum (for those in classic).

These figures are therefore the initial provision for the early departure liabilities caused by the staff’s departures and include any cash payments made during the period.

Packages also include any payments made on an ex gratia basis.

Breakdown of figures

The split of the 245 voluntary leavers and two involuntary leavers who had severance packages of over £100,000 in the last three financial years is:

Voluntary leavers

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Grand total

Pay range

S

ER

S

ER

S

ER

S

ER

£100,000-£125,000

1

4

5

4

14

33

20

41

£125,001-£150,000

4

3

8

4

21

7

33

£150,001-£200,000

9

4

12

14

38

18

59

£200,001-£250,000

7

2

5

5

14

7

26

£250,001-£500,000

1

2

4

3

6

16

11

21

£500,001-£1,000,000

1

1

2

Voluntary total

2

27

18

32

43

123

63

182

Involuntary leavers

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Grand total

Pay range

S

ER

S

ER

S

ER

S

ER

£100,000-£125,000

1

1

£150,001-£200,000

1

1

Involuntary total

1

1

1

1