The numbers of departmental staff who have been paid bonuses in each of the past five years, and the value of these bonuses, are provided in the following table:
|2003-04||Not available||Not available|
The department changed payroll provider contracts in 2003-04 and the cost of retrieving bonus information for 2003-04 would be disproportionate.
The department has two sets of arrangements under which bonuses can be awarded. For senior civil servants (SCSs), pay arrangements are common across all government departments. The department's senior pay strategy, which conforms to these common arrangements, explains that bonuses may be awarded for delivery of personal objectives or other short-term personal contributions to wider organisational objectives. Individuals are required to agree their priorities with their manager at the beginning of the performance year. Line managers then make recommendations for performance bonuses which are considered by the department's pay committees at the end of the performance year. The pay committees, which meet annually, make the final decision on whether a bonus should be awarded, relative to the performance of others.
For staff below the SCS, the department operates a special bonus scheme whereby managers may award a bonus to recognise an outstanding contribution in a particularly demanding situation. This can include a temporary and substantial increase in job loading, dealing with pressures arising from temporary vacancies or job requirements, a high level of commitment and resolution to get a job done, difficulties requiring a special effort to overcome or a contribution over and above what would normally be expected for the job and of the person, or team, concerned.