Government cap again singles out the civil service for the harshest treatment on pay

22 Jul 2019

This year’s Senior Salary Review Board (SSRB) report confirms the glacial approach to pay reform in the civil service and the need for urgent change both for the Senior Civil Service and for the grades that sit below it.

The SSRB report highlights the “biggest problem” as being the “lack of any form of pay progression” and Prospect welcomes their call for “a credible, robust and simple pay progression system” as a priority. The report also demonstrates the impact of high workloads and 10 years of below-inflation pay increases leading many to feel undervalued.

In addition, the SSRB report shows the glaring gap in pay between in post and external hires. Those recruited externally command a premium of 28.5% over internal candidates which demonstrates just how far pay has fallen behind the wider labour market.

Garry Graham, Prospect deputy general secretary, said:

“Yet again an opportunity has been missed. The terms of reference set by the government for the Review Body has meant that its hands have been largely tied and it can do little more than highlight problems and identify issues which need to be addressed over the longer term. The government has effectively capped the SSRBs recommendations at 2% – again singling out the civil service for the harshest of treatment not only in comparison to the private sector but also the wider public sector.

“At a time when the government has never been so reliant on the civil service, and MPs themselves received 2.7% in April, the government’s approach to pay both for the Senior Civil Service and for delegated grades will be difficult for many to stomach – especially when the coming months are likely to be even more testing.

“Any incoming prime minister needs to stop kicking the can down the road, recognise the invaluable support provided by the civil service and ensure that staff are rewarded fairly.”