Headlines: January 11th, 2002

Senior Civil Servants are to move onto performance related pay from April 1. From that point, poor performers among the top one per cent of the service – about 3,300 people – will face little or no pay rise. The good news for those involved is that the new pay scales offer extra rewards for success.The pay scales announced by the Cabinet Office are based on the recommendations of the independent Senior Salaries Review Body, and are an attempt to make the service more attractive to the best calibre of recruit. It’s widely acknowledged that current pay rates are not sufficient to attract people in from the private sector.

The majority of senior civil servants will transfer on their existing salary, and from that point on their pay awards will be based upon their contribution to their department’s success.

A person joining at the bottom of the new scales, on 50,000 pounds a year, could then, just by satisfactory performance, achieve a salary of just under 70,000 pounds a year. Real excellence offers the chance to top that up by a further 8,000 pounds.

Higher up the pay scales the rewards are even greater. A person joining the scale on 85,000 pounds annual salary can turn that into 121,000 pounds with satisfactory work, and 142,000 pounds through excellence.

There’s also an extra 3,500 pound London weighting available in special cases. There is no advice laid down for how quickly people can progress to the top salaries.

It is envisaged however that only a small minority of people will ever reach the top of their pay band, the majority clustering over time around the top of the ‘satisfactory’ performance band.

Permanent Secretaries – at the very top of the civil service tree – have their own pay system, and so are not included in the new pay bands. The SSRB will make recommendations on their pay in its next report later this year.

Link: www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/civilservice/scs/index.htm