Government shelves plan for targeted pay hike for senior digital professionals

Cabinet Office minister David Lidington reveals that government will not carve out allowance for new pay rate for certain important roles

Credit: Pixabay/Kevin Schneider

The government has shelved plans to introduce higher specialist pay rates for senior civil servants (SCS) in certain key finance and digital positions.

In a submission earlier this year to government’s independent Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB), the Cabinet Office outlined proposals to “introduce a target pay range for SCS in specialist roles”. This new pay range would, at least, cover governments finance and digital, data and technology professions and would allow departments to “increase the pay of those in agreed roles” that were identified as being of particular importance.

The SSRB last month reported back to government endorsing these plans. 

In its annual salaries report for the 2019/20 year, the advisory body put forward proposals for raising the overall wage bill for the senior civil service by 2.2% – with a 0.2% slice of this set aside for the proposed pay boost for digital and finance professionals.

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However, in a written parliamentary response to the SSRB recommendations, Cabinet Office minister David Lidington has now backtracked on his department’s earlier proposal for the targeted pay boost.

He said that government ought to limit the cumulative SCS pay increase to 2% – the same figure as for civil servants at lower grades.

“The overall figure should be limited to an average 2% increase in line with the figure contained in the delegated pay remit guidance,” he said. “The reduction of 0.2% will be taken from the money set aside for specialist pay, which we will not be implementing this pay year.

He added: “The government commits to develop and evaluate a credible robust capability-based pay progression system, continuing to review the SCS performance management system as a priority, and keeping under review the impact of the interaction between civil service pensions and the current tax rules on recruitment and retention.”


Sam Trendall

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