Bonuses: DoH

House of Lords written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Lord Hanningfield Lord Hanningfield Shadow Minister, Transport

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many staff working for the Department of Health were paid a bonus in each of the past five years; and what was the total amount of bonuses paid by the department.

Photo of Lord Darzi of Denham Lord Darzi of Denham Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

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:

Year Number Amount (£)
2007-08 618 1,947,319
2006-07 420 1,400,049
2005-06 581 1,252,141
2004-05 679 1,064,463
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.

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