9 February 2017
For immediate use
Ten government equality staff have this afternoon been sacked by email and told to clear their desks tomorrow. The Equality and Human Rights Commission workers had been threatened with redundancy but such action is unprecedented in the civil service and government agencies, the Public and Commercial Services union believes.
The notices (attached), emailed this afternoon while Public and Commercial Services union and Unite members were on strike over cuts, states: “I therefore give you notice of the termination of your employment by reason of redundancy…Your last working day will therefore be Friday 10 February 2017.”
EHRC says the staff will receive pay in lieu of notice (PILON), but workers did not agree to this because it closes off the opportunity to seek redeployment at the commission or elsewhere in the civil service.
In a letter back to EHRC, the union states: “By imposing PILON you are cutting off this option and effectively consigning BME, disabled, women and trade union members to unemployment. There should only be PILON in cases where the individual concerned has agreed to it.”
Commenting on the cases, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “It’s absolutely reprehensible that dedicated staff have been sacked and told to clear their desks with a day’s notice.
“That this has happened at the government body charged with upholding human rights and fair treatment in our society is an absolute scandal and we will continue to fight it.”
Background to the ongoing dispute is at http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pcs.org.uk%2Fen%2Fnews_and_events%2Fpcs_comment%2Fpcs_comment.cfm%2Fgovernment-equality-staff-to-take-five-more-days-strike-action&h=ATOBXU21Qzvbebr712C1Vm0O51oIrqKRNTV0SiGMECBWMH4Kft-fdRvYFYiIESpWc-2JzwdYj1qW0fScDS30kVzGfmUc3mUs9oCN-2mcinNu9jkQ3fukegV9fvNp8x2DFEIzf8A4olwIi0kTUF9QbvHuJQ
· Contact PCS national press officer Richard Simcox on 020 7801 2747, 07833 978216 or firstname.lastname@example.org
· PCS is one of the UK’s largest unions and represents civil and public servants in central government and in parts of government transferred to the private sector. Mark Serwotka is the general secretary and the president is Janice Godrich – on Twitter @janicegodrich
· Follow PCS on Twitter @pcs_union