Justice system update

Ministry of Justice written statement – made at on 13 July 2023.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

I am today confirming the Government’s decision on pay awards for both prison staff and the judiciary.

Prison Staff Pay Award 2023/24

Having carefully considered the Prison Service Pay Review Body’s (PSPRB) recommendations on the 2023/24 pay award, we are accepting in full the 13 recommendations made by the PSPRB for all staff within their remit for implementation in this financial year. The pay award will also apply to some non-remit group staff within the Prison Service grading structure. Nearly c.39,000 staff will benefit from the pay award, based on internal estimates.

I am grateful for the continued hard work and dedication of all Prison Service staff, who play a vital role in helping to rehabilitate prisoners and keep the public safe.

The award delivers headline pay increases of:

  • 7% for Prison Officer grades (Bands 3-5)
  • 5% for Managerial and Prison Governor grades (Bands 7-12)
  • £2,000 for our lowest paid staff, Band 2 Operational Support Grades

This pay award will be paid this autumn and will be backdated to 1 April 2023.

Accepting all recommendations from the PSPRB in full reflects my commitment to supporting the recruitment and retention of prison staff and recognises the essential contribution they make every day. In recognition of the significant cost-of-living pressures on staff, this pay award especially targets the lowest grades.

The pay award this year has been made affordable by reprioritising spending within the existing budgets, including at the Efficiency and Savings Review, with consideration of the inflationary pressures across the Department’s budget, the wider economic position, and alongside the additional cost of the pay award in 2022/23. It is affordable in the context of the Department’s Spending Review settlement which provided an extra £3.2 billion across this Parliament, taking total funding to £11.5 billion in 2024/25. This award is consistent with the Government’s priority to halve inflation and recognises the primacy of investing in people.

I would like to thank the PSPRB for their valuable advice and response to the Government’s evidence.

The report has been laid before Parliament today 13 July 2023­­­­ and a copy is attached. I am grateful to the Chair and members of the Review Body for their report.

Judicial Pay Award 2023/24

The Government received the Senior Salary Review Body’s (SSRB) report on 8 June 2023. This will be presented to Parliament and published on Gov.uk.

The Government values the independent expertise and insight of the SSRB and has considered the advice in the report.

The recommendation made by the SSRB for the judiciary is for a pay award of 7% for all judicial office holders within the remit group for 2023/24. I have decided to accept this recommendation, which will be applied equally to all salary groups backdated to April 2023.

This award is over double that of last year and will apply to 1922 salaried judicial office holders. The award will help address judicial recruitment shortfalls, and I have considered affordability and the Government’s priority to halve inflation alongside the need for ongoing investment into improving the wider criminal justice system.

This increase demonstrates the value the Government places on our independent judiciary and their crucial role as we continue to deliver court reform and tackle the outstanding caseload.