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Government accused of ‘steamrollering’ arrangements on NHS exit payments

Plans to reduce the amount paid to public service staff upon leaving employment have been criticised by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) for ignoring existing arrangements.

Under the proposals, the tariff for calculating exit payments for public sector workers will be capped at three weeks’ pay for every year of service, with a ceiling of 15 months on the maximum amount.

Currently, NHS redundancy lump sums are calculated on the basis of four weeks’ pay a year and capped at 24 months.

Jon Skewe, director for policy, employment relations and communications at The Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: “The RCM completely opposes this move by the government. The government intends for this to hit high earners, but this will actually affect midwives and other middle-earners in the NHS with long periods of service. To treat dedicated midwives who have spent their entire working lives caring for women and their families is not only unfair, but completely unjust.

“The NHS has a national agreement for redundancy payments that was negotiated by the NHS trade unions, including the RCM, with employers and it is utterly inappropriate for the government to legislate to steamroller this agreement.”

In addition, the government will increase the minimum age at which an employee is able to receive an employer-funded pension top up, and limit early access to pensions within exit packages.

The changes will apply to workers who leave their jobs voluntarily, by mutual agreement or through compulsory redundancy.

The Treasury said the proposals “would make public sector exit terms fairer, more modern and more consistent”. It added that the plans are intended to deliver £250m savings a year, address increased life expectancies and make redundancy payments more consistent with different public sector factions and the private sector.

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Colin Bray   28/09/2016 at 11:51

This was negotiated as part of a change to our previous pension and we gave up certain rights and paid more for the benefit, so if they renege we should have the old terms back

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