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Departmental Pay

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answer of 30 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1169-70W, on departmental pay, how many people did not receive bonuses. (243385)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answer of 30 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1169-70W, on departmental pay, what procedure is used to decide whether bonuses should be awarded. (243386)

The Northern Ireland Office operates three bonus schemes.

Directors (senior civil service pay band 2) have delegated authority to award special bonuses in their business areas throughout the reporting year, which are available for all staff up to assistant director level. Nominations for special bonus awards can be made by any member of staff at any stage during the year and each director is responsible for assessing those recommendations for staff within his/her directorate and approving payment, as appropriate. This is normally done on a quarterly basis.

Annual performance related bonuses for staff below the senior civil service are part of the NIO's overall pay arrangements. Individual bonus recommendations are made by line managers and moderated by panels across the Department under the supervision of more senior managers.

Bonuses for SCS staff are calculated on the basis of the Government's response to the recommendations of the Senior Salaries Review Body. Individual bonus recommendations are made by line managers and these are moderated by a number of remuneration committees with the involvement of a non-executive director.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answer of 30 October 2008, Official Report, columns 1169-70W, on departmental pay, how many non-pensionable bonuses have been awarded to members of staff in his Department in the last five years; and what the cost was of such bonuses. (243387)

The Northern Ireland Office operates three bonus schemes. All bonuses paid under these are non-consolidated. The Special Bonus Scheme rewards particularly meritorious contributions during the year. The two end of year bonus schemes reward performance and delivery throughout the year for Grade D2 to A staff, and for Senior Civil Service staff. The numbers and cost of these over the last five years are set out in the following tables.

Special bonuses

Number of awards

Total cost (£)

2007-08

811

229,028

2006-07

1,006

209,866

2005-06

773

174,917

2004-05

793

176,217

2003-04

666

133,736

End of year bonuses

Number of awards

Total cost (£)

2008

409

609,875

2007

324

557,270

2006

292

502,667

2005

1,731

476,299

2004

1,670

362,930