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Departmental Pay

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 28 January 2010

To ask the Solicitor-General how many staff in the Law Officers' Departments received bonus payments in each of the last five years for which information is available; what proportion of the total workforce they represented; what the total amount of bonuses paid was; what the largest single payment was; and if she will make a statement. (300379)

Non-consolidated performance payments are an integral element of the reward package for staff. These payments are used to drive high performance and form part of the pay award for members of staff who demonstrate exceptional performance, for example by exceeding targets set or meeting challenging objectives. They have to be re-earned each year and do not add to future pay bill costs, e.g. pensions. A close and effective link between pay and performance and increased use of variable pay is a key element of the reward arrangements for the civil service and the senior civil service (SCS) in particular.

Reward arrangements, including the criteria for non-consolidated performance pay, below the SCS, are delegated to individual Departments and agencies. For the SCS, Departments and agencies are responsible for their own reward arrangements within a framework set by Cabinet Office. The percentage of the pay bill set aside for performance-related awards for the SCS is based on recommendations from the independent Senior Salaries Review Body.

Tables covering the specific information requested have been deposited in the Library of the House. These tables detail as far as we are able to ascertain from our records the number of people who were eligible for and received a non-consolidated variable pay award, the average and maximum payment for a non-consolidated variable pay award, by civil service band, and the total amount of non-consolidated variable pay awards paid in each of the five most recent performance years for which the relevant payments have been published in the Department's accounts.