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Departmental Pay

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been spent by his Department on staff reward and recognition schemes in each of the last three years. (248712)

DEFRA and its Executive agencies operate a number of different non-financial reward and recognition schemes for staff (excludes bonus schemes) at grade 6 equivalent and below.

These provide DEFRA and its agencies with the flexibility to recognise and reward their employees, with small/symbolic awards.

Details of the costs associated with each scheme are outlined as follows:

DEFRA Team Awards (including Executive agencies)

The DEFRA Team Awards identify and celebrate success across DEFRA and its agencies.

Each year an annual awards dinner and ceremony is held, to which short-listed teams from across DEFRA are invited.

The winning teams in each category receive a certificate of congratulations and are awarded a trophy, made from recycled materials, that has no commercial value.

The cost of staging the event in each of the last three years are given in the following table.








‘Achieving the Best’—Animal Health (AH), DEFRA Executive agency

‘Achieving the Best’ is the agency’s scheme for recognising and rewarding good performance and long service at local and agency-wide level.

The scheme was introduced on 1 April 2007.

There are two recognition and reward schemes that operate under the ‘Achieving the Best’ scheme:

the Animal Health Instant Award; and

the Animal Health Long Service Award.

Animal Health Instant Award

This takes the form of a voucher up to a value of £50 per employee. The minimum voucher award is £10 and the maximum is £50.

The total cost of providing the Instant Awards for 2007-08 was £89,518.

Animal Health Long Service Awards

Two awards (a 25-Year and a 40-Year Long Service award) are presented locally to individuals who have completed the requisite service in the civil service (including any previous service in MAFF, DEFRA, the State Veterinary Service, Animal Health or any other Government Department).

Recipients receive a certificate and are granted two days special paid leave (for the 25-Year award) or five days special paid leave (for the 40-Year award), which are awarded at the agency’s bi-annual awards ceremony that celebrates success.

For 2007-08, 16 25-Year awards were made to Animal Health staff, at a cost of £5,758.02; three 40-Year awards were made at a cost of £3,299.57.

The costs shown are inclusive of a proportion of the costs for staging the Long Service Awards part of the event.

Voucher Scheme—Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), DEFRA Executive agency

The agency operates a voucher scheme, which is designed to recognise one-off achievements throughout the course of the year. These are awarded in £50 lots.

The cost of operating the scheme in each of the last three years are given in the following table.








Non-Pay Reward Scheme—Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), DEFRA Executive agency

The scheme is designed to act as a motivational award to an individual or team, which underpins VLA’s organisational values, aims and objectives. It encourages and rewards good performance, promotes team building or recognises outstanding contribution.

Responsibility for deciding on the award is delegated to Heads of Departments/Units, who are each allocated a share of the non-pay reward budget, relative to the size of the team.

The cost of operating the scheme in each of the last three years are shown in the following table.






2008-09 (to date)