Thanks to our campaigning, the law was changed and senior staff leaving public sector roles have payouts capped at £95,000.
Our Public Sector Rich List 2015 publication sparked a national debate on golden goodbyes, with mandarins and council staff leaving their jobs with eye-watering payoffs. Quite often, the same people would then walk into another senior public sector role not long after. We thought that was just totally unacceptable!
The government put a cap of £95,000 into law through the Enterprise Act, which was introduced to Parliament in September 2015 and received Royal Assent in 2016. In April 2019, the Treasury finally announced that it was implementing the cap on public sector ‘exit payments’. This was a huge victory for us – and it is, of course, good news for taxpayers. You can read about our reaction here: Daily Telegraph, The Times, City A.M. and Daily Express.
For that to be enacted fully, though, politicians had to then enact secondary legislation. This was done in July 2020, coming into force from November.
Then in February 2021, after pressure from a number of public sector trade unions and lobbying organisations, the Treasury announced that there had been “unintended consequences” and the regulations would be revoked.
So the golden goodbyes continued. We are keeping up the pressure, both when speaking directly to Treasury ministers and when commenting in the media, to ensure the government delivers on their promise to reintroduce the cap.