Departmental Pay

Health written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Conservative, Wokingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of staff of his Department and its agencies did not receive the maximum bonus possible under a bonus scheme applying to them in the last two years.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Department and its agencies have 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. In 2006 and 2007, 85 per cent. of SCSs in the Department and its agencies did not receive the maximum bonus possible under the scheme. Bonuses for 2008 have yet to be decided.

For staff below the SCS, the Department and its agencies operate 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. Bonuses are generally small in value, but there is no specified maximum size of award. As a result, it is not possible to answer the question for this scheme.

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