Government Response to Senior Salaries Review Body Recommendations for 2017/18 :Written statement - HCWS57

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 18 July 2017
Made by: Damian Green (First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Government Response to Senior Salaries Review Body Recommendations for 2017/18

The 39th report of the Senior Salaries Review Body is being published today. This makes recommendations about the pay of the senior civil service, senior military officers, the judiciary, and Executive and Senior Managers in the Department of Health’s Arm’s Length Bodies.

The Government greatly values the important work that public servants do in delivering essential public services. We understand the need to ensure that we are able to recruit, retain and motivate staff with the right skills and experience. However, there is a trade-off between pay and jobs in many public services, and pay restraint is one of the many difficult choices the Government has had to make to help put the UK's public finances back on track. Senior public sector workers, like everyone else, will have to continue to play their part to ensure we deliver job security for working people across the country. This will help us to strike the right balance between protecting people’s jobs, being fair to public sector workers and being fair to those who pay for it.

Senior Military Officers

The Government has accepted the recommendation of a 1 per cent increase to senior military salaries with effect from 1 April 2017. The Government has also accepted the recommendation that there is no change to the current pay differentials for senior medical and dental officers.

Judiciary

The Government accepts the review body’s recommendation of a 1 per cent salary increase for the Judiciary.

Senior Civil Service

The Government accepts the recommendation on developing innovative pay and workforce proposals. The Government supports the development of workforce strategies and supporting reward objectives within public sector pay policy. The Government agrees that there is a need to target resources to address any specific recruitment and retention issues that arise and that there should be a greater focus on the total reward package. This will ensure the right balance between ongoing pay restraint and the need to attract and retain people of the right calibre.

The Government accepts the recommendation on using the 1 per cent award in full. Workforce groups will implement the average 1 per cent award in full unless there is a strong rationale to do otherwise.

In line with the SSRB recommendation, the Government will keep under review the evidence for making pension packages more flexible, alongside the fiscal implications.

The Government accepts the recommendation to conduct a review of the Senior Civil Service pay framework. The Government invites the Senior Salaries Review Body to contribute towards the review of the Senior Civil Service pay framework that the Cabinet Office is currently undertaking. The Cabinet Office would welcome any expertise that the Senior Salaries Review Body can provide on this review over the coming months. The intention is that the outcome of this review will underpin fully considered proposals for a more strategic approach to Senior Civil Service pay in the Government’s evidence to the SSRB, with the potential that some recommendations could be implemented from April 2018.

Executive and Senior Managers in the Department of Health’s Arm’s Length Bodies

The Government accepts the recommendation that the 1 per cent available for basic increases this year is used in full for Executive and Senior Managers in the Department of Health’s Arm’s Length Bodies, unless there is a strong and explicit rationale to do otherwise.

The Government accepts the Senior Salaries Review Body’s recommendation that Arm’s Length Bodies use the whole available budget for non-consolidated awards for the top 25 per cent performers and that any individual Arm’s Length Bodies who decide not use their full allocation must make a formal case to the Department of Health Remuneration Committee explaining the rationale for their decision.

The Government accepts the SSRB’s recommendation to develop a coherent proposition on how best to set the pay of Executive and Senior Managers in the Department of Health’s Arm’s length Bodies in the future and agrees with the recommendation that Executive and Senior Managers are removed from the Senior Salaries Review Body remit whilst a scoping exercise is undertaken to consider the inclusion of Very Senior Managers in the wider NHS.

The Government accepts the Senior Salaries Review Body’s recommendation to give active consideration to developing innovative pay and workforce proposals that are focussed on maximising outcomes for lowest cost rather than limiting basic pay increases across the board and will consider proposals within public sector pay policy.

The Government accepts the recommendation to closely examine the options for making pension packages more flexible where there is a compelling case to do so.

Copies have been laid in the Vote Office, the Printed Paper Office and the Libraries of both Houses. We are grateful to the chairman and members of the review body for their work on this year’s report.

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