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Departmental Pay

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy that temporary and permanent employees of his Department employed at the same grade receive the same hourly rate of pay. (248412)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) pays staff whom it employs directly on temporary contracts exactly the same rates of pay as permanent members of staff.

Some temporary staff are supplied by agencies. These staff are employed and paid by the agency concerned, which then charges a fee to the FCO. Individual agencies determine the rates of pay for their agency staff.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much has been spent by his Department on staff reward and recognition schemes in each of the last three years. (248711)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) uses non-consolidated, non-pensionable bonuses to encourage high performance. We pay annual bonuses to staff in the delegated grades (all except senior managers) based on appraisal evidence of annual performance. The highest rating and bonus award is given only where performance has significantly exceeded challenging objectives and may have radically transformed delivery of policy and/or services.

Variable pay (bonus) arrangements for staff in the Senior Management Structure/Senior Civil Service (SMS/SCS) of the FCO follow a framework set centrally for Whitehall Departments by the Cabinet Office.

The total amounts spent by the FCO in the last three years are as shown in the following table: