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Departments: Pay

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 4 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what criteria were used by his Department to determine the paybands of departmental staff; and if he will make a statement. (147293)

All staff employed by Ministry of Justice from the former DCA (including HMCS and Tribunals Service staff) will be invited to opt into a new pay deal which incorporates a regional pay structure. These arrangements do not apply to staff employed by the Home Office or its agencies who transferred to the Ministry of Justice on 9 May 2007.

Regional pay is a reality in the economy as a whole—pay variations by location are not new. The system we are introducing offers greater coherence, greater transparency and enables us to target public money most effectively on those areas where there is greatest need. It will allow us to offer competitive salaries to attract and retain staff with the skills we need, where we need them.

In establishing our pay ranges we have explored pay related data for each of the regions of Great Britain (as defined by National Statistics, excluding Northern Ireland). This has included analysing data on average weekly pay and unemployment rates, salary surveys from reputable sources, pay data from other Government Departments and our own staff recruitment and retention data. We have also taken specialist advice from external consultants.

Decisions on the allocation of an office to a pay range were made using that data and following consultation with senior local managers. The involvement of local managers has ensured that local factors, which the economic data might not capture, can be properly reflected in the decisions.

Since the employment market does change over time, we have agreed an annual review mechanism. If the market changes significantly, the allocation of an office to a pay range can be adjusted accordingly.