Charity Commission 'has contingency plans for threatened strike'

Chief executive Andrew Hind says industrial action over redundancy compensation could hit "business continuity"

The Charity Commission has contingency plans in place if members of the UK's largest public service union vote to strike over cuts in the amount of compensation to civil servants who are made redundant.

The Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents about 60 per cent of the commission's 500 staff, said the changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme, announced before Christmas, would rob civil servants of up to a third of their entitlements and allow the Government to cut jobs "on the cheap".

The PCS is balloting all 270,000 of its public sector members about industrial action and plans to challenge the legality of the changes in the courts. The ballot, which opens today, will run until 25 February.

Andrew Hind, chief executive of the commission, admitted in a board paper last week that strike action had the capacity "to impact both on employee relations and business continuity in the commission in the coming months".

A commission spokeswoman said that it was still unclear what the result of the strike ballot would be. "Commission staff have occasionally been involved in industrial action in the past, and we have contingency plans to manage any reduced staffing that may occur as a result of strike action and to minimise the disruption to our customers," she said.

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