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Civil Service (Voluntary Severance)

Volume 532: debated on Wednesday 7 September 2011

6. What estimate he has made of the number of civil servants who will leave the civil service on voluntary severance terms in 2010-11. (69986)

We aim to minimise compulsory redundancy. We reformed the civil service compensation scheme so that, for the first time, voluntary redundancy was more attractive than compulsory redundancy, which was impossibly expensive under the scheme left in place by the previous Government. We estimate that in early 2010-11 11,200 civil servants left the civil service on the new terms.[Official Report, 8 September 2011, Vol. 532, c. 3MC.]

I thank the Minister for that answer. Let me place on record the fact that he will share the objective that all severance packages are voluntary. Nevertheless, I am receiving from civil servants who work in my constituency evidence that they have been dissuaded from volunteering for a redundancy package because parts of their accrued service do not count for the final compensation package. Will the Minister ensure that maximum flexibility is deployed in order to allow us to reach the goal of all departures being voluntary?

I can confirm that staff in the Crown Agents have always been outside the civil service compensation scheme. In April, I used the powers available to me under the scheme rules to allow service in the Crown Agents to count for compensation purposes for the voluntary schemes currently being run by the Department for International Development. I am aware that there are a few cases in which questions have arisen around service before joining the Crown Agents. My officials are actively engaged in clarifying what commitments were made at that time to these staff.