One wonders whose benefit payments will support the latest DWP failure at the High Court.
This one can’t even be considered a surprise. The DWP, along with other ministries, had scrapped the “check-off” system for collecting trade union subscriptions – a decision that had been ruled illegal previously, after the Department for Communities and Local Government tried it in 2013.
It seems more money is being spent by the Work and Pensions department in court than at work.
And which of our dwindling number of benefit claimants will Stephen Crabb force to pay the damages for loss of income to the trade unions?
A crackdown by the Department for Work and Pensions against its own employees’ trade unions has been declared unlawful by the High Court.
The DWP had scrapped the “check-off” system for collecting union subscriptions – which previously allowed employees to pay their dues through their salaries without extra bureaucracy.
But the scrapping, described by PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka as “vindictive”, was ruled unlawful at the High Court on Friday.
Judge Elisabeth Laing said DWP staff had a contractual right to have their subscriptions paid by check-off and it should not have been scrapped without agreement.
The department scrapped check-off a year ago along with HM Revenue and Customs, Home Office, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Defence.
In 2013 a similar ruling prevented the Department for Communities and Local Government from ending the system.
At the time of that judgement the then Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said there was no fiscal case for scrapping the policy and that doing so would not save any money.
Ending check-off has however cost trade unions significant amounts of money in direct debit fees – opening up the possibility that the PCS could be awarded damages for loss of income.
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