UNISON asks exit payments questions of the Treasury

Letter raises questions over the government’s regulations and could see further action

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UNISON has sent a letter to the Treasury’s solicitor that could pave the way for further action over the exit cap regulations.

Last week’s national executive council’s policy development and campaigns committee heard that UNISON has been having discussions with legal advisors and sister unions about the possibility of challenging the regulations.

Late on Friday evening, the letter was sent requesting responses to a number of points. Unite and the GMB have submitted similar letters. The BMA has also submitted a separate letter.

The letter raises a number of questions about the proposals, including whether they involve:

  • a breach of existing contractual or statutory entitlements;
  • a breach of rights under the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • a denial of substantive legitimate expectation;
  • inclusion of certain payments beyond normal termination payments;
  • lack of or inadequate equality impact assessment;
  • indirect age and/or sex discrimination.  

These letters do not commit UNISON and the other unions to further action, but this is possible depending on the response from the government lawyers. It is hoped that this will come soon.

The union is also working on a model response for branches to submit to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in relation to their current exit cap regulations, in case it does not extend the consultation deadline beyond 9 November.