The 37th report of the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) is being published today. This makes recommendations about the pay of the senior civil service (SCS), senior military officers, the judiciary, and police and crime commissioners. The SSRB has not made any recommendations on the pay of very senior managers in the NHS. Copies have been laid in the Vote Office, the Printed Paper Office and the Libraries of both Houses. I am grateful to the chairman and members of the review body for their work on this year’s report.
While we are mindful of the need to ensure that we are able to recruit, retain and motivate staff with the right skills and experience, it is important that senior public servants continue to show leadership in the exercise of pay restraint.
Senior military officers
The Government have accepted the recommendation of a 1% increase to base military salaries for all 2 star officers and above with effect from 1 April 2015.
The Government have accepted the recommendation that there is no change to current pay arrangements for medical and dental officers.
The Government have accepted the review body’s recommendation of a 1% increase to the salaries of the judiciary.
Police and crime commissioners
The Government have accepted the recommendation that the current rates of pay for police and crime commissioners (PCCs) should remain unchanged for 2015-16.
I am also grateful to the SSRB for their observations on PCC expenses and we will continue to work with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure PCC expense arrangements are clear.
Senior civil service
The Government have accepted in full the pay review body’s recommendation on a flexible framework for base pay awards that will enable Departments to target the resources available to meet their own business needs. The Government have also accepted the recommendation to continue to mandate a more structured approach to exit questionnaires so Departments are able to effectively capture reasons for leaving.
The Government have accepted in part the recommendation on raising minimum salaries. The Government accept the increase in minima for pay bands 2 and 3. They do not, however, accept the proposal to prescribe a £2,000 increase in the minimum salary for pay band 1 because it does not give Departments the flexibility they have asked for to enable them to target the resources available. Nevertheless, Departments will be encouraged to continue raising the pay band 1 minimum as much as possible so the award is targeted at those lowest in the range and to address overlaps with delegated grades.
The Government have also accepted in part the recommendation on the use of non-consolidated performance-related pay. The Government have accepted the recommendation that gives Departments some additional flexibility to convert up to 0.5% of the non-consolidated performance pay pot for targeted salary re-positioning. They do not however support the recommendation that would require Departments to spend all of their non-consolidated performance-related pay pot. Again this does not provide the flexibility that Departments have requested to meet their own business needs.
This package of proposals for 2015-16 strikes the right balance between necessary pay restraint and the need to recruit and retain people of the right calibre. It gives Departments flexibility to target pay increases within the 1% average award, enables them to reward outstanding performance and will help them to recruit and retain people in business critical roles.
Ministers will consider the pay review body’s recommendations for raising the minima of the permanent secretary pay tiers taking account of the views of the Permanent Secretary Remuneration Committee as part of its consideration of the 2015-16 pay award for permanent secretaries.
Very senior NHS managers
The SSRB was not asked to make any recommendations on the pay of very senior managers in the NHS and they have not done so. I am grateful to them for their involvement in the pay of this important group of staff and for the helpful general comments they have made.
Other review body reports
Separate statements from the Secretaries of State for Justice, Health and Defence will also be laid today on the reports of the Prison Service Pay Review Body, the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body and the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body in respect of pay for the relevant work forces for 2015-16. The Government’s response to those reports is consistent with the need for senior public servants to show leadership in the exercise of pay restraint.