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Civil Service Delegated Pay Remit Guidance

Volume 691: debated on Thursday 25 March 2021

Today we publish this year’s civil service pay remit guidance. This document provides a framework for setting pay for civil servants throughout the civil service, including Departments, non-ministerial departments and agencies, as well as for public sector workers in non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) and other arm’s-length bodies for the 2021-22 pay remit year.

Public sector pay context

In November 2020, the Chancellor announced at the spending review that the public sector workforces, excluding the NHS, would be subject to a pay pause for the 2021-22 pay year. The exception to this policy are organisations in legally binding pay deals, including those in multi-year deals.

This pay pause is necessary in order to help protect public sector jobs and protect investment in public services as well as ensuring fairness between the private and public sectors in this time of crisis. Performance pay, overtime, pay progression where it is in place, and pay rises from promotion will continue. Departments may continue to utilise existing allowances.

To protect the lower paid staff earning below the national median, those on full-time equivalent base pay of under £24,000 pa, excluding overtime and allowances, will receive a consolidated increase of £250. For those who will be receiving an increase to the new national living wage rate of £8.91 an hour, which from April 2021 will be extended to individuals aged 23 years and over, they will receive the national living wage increase or £250, whichever is greater.

Civil servants benefit from a competitive employment offer including access to one of the best pension schemes available and flexible working arrangements in managing work and family life.

In addition to this our ambition is for the civil service to be the most inclusive employer in the country, offering opportunities and a chance to progress in challenging roles delivering vital public services across the country.

Strategy for civil service modernisation

The covid-19 pandemic has posed a huge challenge to the civil service over the last year and to civil servants at all levels both through the work required in response, but also through the significant changes to working practices individuals have faced, as well as the impact on their personal lives. The significant task of tackling the pandemic, as well as EU exit transition, has placed an immediate pressure on resources. The civil service has been increasing its capacity and capability to meet this challenge, bringing on its own talent, investing in specialist skills and sourcing external support where necessary. Frequently this has meant the necessary redeployment of staff across and within Departments, as well as the creation of and recruitment to new posts within Departments at both junior and senior grades.

We intend to learn from the experience of both EU exit transition and the covid-19 pandemic, modernising government to respond to the big challenges facing the country and deliver our ambitious agenda. We will ensure that our people are closer to citizens and have the skills and experience to meet the needs of those we serve. We will put innovation at the core of how we work and seize the power of digital systems and data to improve our services. We will ensure the whole of government works together with a common purpose to deliver outcomes for citizens rigorously and efficiently, improving the delivery of our major projects.

The Government have committed to level up across the UK, including relocating roles to the regions and nations of the UK. The places for growth programme within Cabinet Office is driving the necessary planning within Departments and public bodies, with a commitment to relocating a minimum of 22,000 civil service roles over the next decade, with the majority of these in the regions and nations of the UK.

By 2030, large numbers of civil service roles and public bodies will be moved out of London and south-east England, moving whole organisations, and business units and functions of larger bodies and Departments, with a view to reducing our central London footprint but also to:

Strengthen the Union;

Support levelling up of the regions and nations;

Ensure that the civil service and administration of government is better connected with communities across the UK;

Tackle the recruitment and retention challenges of a London-centric civil service;

Reduce costs overall, especially estate and people costs.

A more regionally dispersed workforce has significant benefits for the UK civil service. Places for growth is working closely with Departments on their plans to relocate a number of civil service roles to the regions and nations, providing opportunities for civil servants to progress and build sustainable career paths.