Public Sector Pay

December 2017

Thank you for contacting me about public sector pay.  

Public sector workers, like anyone else, deserve to be fairly rewarded. The Government has confirmed that it will now be moving away from the 1 per cent public sector pay policy, towards a more flexible approach on pay.

Of course, we still need to deal with our country’s debts to ensure we have a strong economy to enable us to invest in our public services. The Government will consider each specific workforce separately to ensure pay is set so that the public sector can continue to both attract and hold on to the excellent staff that support our world-leading public services.

Before Ministers make final decisions on pay awards, they will seek the views of the eight independent Pay Review Bodies. They will report in 2018, at which point the Government will consider their recommendations and announce public sector pay awards for each of those workforces.

On the issue of funding for pay settlements, it would be wrong to pre-empt the wider process around the Pay Review Bodies by centrally determining public sector pay. Secretaries of State will shortly issue remit letters to the relevant bodies to begin the pay round process for 2018-19. These will be followed by submissions of workforce-specific evidence to the review bodies, which will cover recruitment and retention and scope for productivity. Pay Review Bodies will consider specific issues within each workforce and make recommendations based on the evidence.

In the interim, several departments have chosen to fund pay rises for those working in front line services. For example, prison officers received an above 1 per cent pay award last year. Due to the unique pressures faced by the NHS this year, a specific commitment was made in the Autumn Budget of additional funding for the NHS as a whole.

Since 2010 the deficit has been cut by two thirds, helping secure our economy for the future. Although there is more to be done, thanks to the actions that have already been taken, the Government can now apply greater flexibility to public sector pay. Ministers will continue to ensure that the overall package for public sector workers recognises their vital contribution and ensures that they can deliver world class public services, while also being affordable and fair to taxpayers as a whole.