Government Departments: Bonuses

House of Lords written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Lord Newby Lord Newby Spokesperson for the Treasury

To ask Her Majesty's Government for each of the last three years for which figures are available, how many people were eligible for performance bonuses and special bonuses in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and its agencies, by civil service band; how many people received each type of bonus, by civil service band; what the average payment was for each type of bonus, by civil service band; and what the maximum payment was for each type of bonus, by civil service band

Photo of Lord Young of Norwood Green Lord Young of Norwood Green Government Whip, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Government Whip, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Postal Affairs and Employment Relations) (also Lord in Waiting)

An element of the BIS overall pay award for staff below the SCS is allocated to non-consolidated variable pay related to performance. These payments are used to drive high performance and form part of the pay award. There are two types of award: in-year bonuses, which consist of special individual performance awards and non-pay rewards that recognise strong performance in particularly demanding tasks for situations. Staff in receipt of a special bonus may also have received an annual performance award. Annual performance awards are paid to members of staff who receive a highly successful performance rating.

Non-consolidated variable pay awards are funded from within existing pay bill controls, and have to be re-earned each year against predetermined targets and, as such, do not add to future pay bill costs.

Performance awards for the SCS are part of the pay system across the whole Senior Civil Service, and are used to reward high performance sustained throughout the year, based on judgments of how well an individual has performed relative to their peers. The performance-related pay scheme is designed to help drive high performance and support better public service delivery. Performance awards are non-consolidated and non-pensionable. The percentage of the pay bill set aside for performance-related awards for the SCS is based on recommendations from the independent Senior Salaries Review Body.

BIS was formed through a Machinery of Government change that occurred in June 2009. The department was created by merging the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). DIUS and BERR were themselves created as part of a machinery of government change in June 2007. This means that BIS in its current format did not exist to award performance awards in any of the previous three years. The information below has been drawn from various data sources and provides details for both of the former departments that were merged to create BIS.

BERR End of Year Variable Pay Awards
Financial Year 2006-07 Financial Year 2007-08 Financial Year 2008-09
SCS Non-SCS SCS Non-SCS SCS Non-SCS
Number of staff who received a non-consolidated performance payment 152 1,134 143 922 141 830
Average value of non-consolidated performance payment £7,520 £1,225 £7,874 £1,236 £8,582 £1,242
The value of maximum non-consolidated payment £15,000 £1,950 £16,500 £1,950 £17,000 £1,950
Percentage of SCS paybill set aside for non-consolidated performance payments 6.50% N/A 7.60% N/A 8.60% N/A
DIUS End of Year Variable Pay Awards
Financial Year 2006-07 Financial Year 2007-08 Financial Year 2008-09
SCS Non-SCS SCS Non-SCS SCS Non-SCS
Number of staff who received a non-consolidated performance payment DIUS was not created until May 2007 20 4 33 180
Average value of non-consolidated performance payment £9,141 £888 £7,401 £1,188
The value of maximum non-consolidated payment £20,000 £1,700 £20,000 £2,166
Percentage of SCS paybill set aside for non-consolidated performance payments 7.60% N/A 8.60% N/A

In addition, during these years a small number of individuals were employed by BERR and DIUS on non-standard SCS contracts that linked a higher percentage of their pay to delivery-based objectives. In 2006 the highest 2006 non-consolidated award was £27,794, in 2007 the highest non-consolidated award was £31,000 and in 2008 the highest non-consolidated award was £45,000.

In-Year Variable Pay Awards
Financial Year 2006-07 Financial Year 2007-08 Financial Year 2008-09
BERR DIUS BERR DIUS BERR DIUS
Number of staff who received a non-consolidated performance payment 919 DIUS was not created until May 2007 1,238 N/A 1,218 N/A
Average value of non-consolidated performance payment £535 £560 £482
The value of maximum non-consolidated payment £5,000 £5,000 £4,721

1. In 2007-08 the majority of DIUS staff received a performance award from their previous department where they had spent the previous reporting year.

2. For DIUS staff, in-year performance awards are given as vouchers and are administered locally at group level so we are unable to provide a detailed breakdown by grade. The total spend on in-year performance awards in 2007-08 was £21,125 and in 2008-09 was £13,855.

3. We are unable to provide combined in-year and annual performance data as we are unable to identify the number of staff who received both an annual and an in-year reward.

4. In all three years the total value of the bonuses paid was approximately 1.5 per cent of the total department's pay bill.

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