Departmental Pay

Defence written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff in his Department received bonus payments in each of the last five years for which information is available; what proportion of the total work force they represented; what the total amount of bonuses paid was; what the largest single payment was; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Secretary of State for Defence

An element of the Ministry of Defence overall pay award is allocated to non-consolidated variable pay related to performance. Non-consolidated variable pay awards are funded from within existing pay bill controls, and have to be re-earned each year against pre-determined targets and, as such, do not add to future pay bill costs.

For details on the maximum and average payments for staff in the senior civil service (SCS) I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to Mr. Leech on 26 January 2010, Hansard, column 796W. These are also the maximum payments made to any MOD civil servant. In 2006-07, 271 SCS staff were eligible for a non-consolidated performance payment, and 181 received one. In 2007-08, 266 were eligible and 186 received an award. In 2008-09, 268 were eligible and 187 received an award.

For staff below the SCS, performance awards are paid to those who meet the eligibility criteria. Higher levels of award are available for those who have contributed most to the business. These awards are distributed on the basis of relative assessment among peers and are designed to encourage continuous high attainment against stretching objectives. All MOD broader banded and Skill Zone staff below the SCS are eligible for a non-consolidated performance payment. The majority of MOD civilian staff earn less than £20,000 per year.

The MOD also operates an in-year non-consolidated payment scheme-the Special Bonus Scheme-which rewards eligible MOD civilians for exceptional performance in a specific task or for the achievement of a professional qualification, the use of which benefits MOD and the individual. Additionally Ministry of Defence police officers may be awarded a payment for exceptional performance when dealing with particularly demanding, unpleasant or important one-off tasks or situations.

The following tables detail how many people received a non-consolidated performance related pay award (both in year and end of year), and the proportion of the total work force they represented, for the five most recent financial years.

Number of staff receiving a bonus payment
Performance award Special bonus
2004-05 36,195 10,074
2005-06 38,962 10,131
2006-07 46,592 8,747
2007-08 54,881 6,997
2008-09 62,261 9,679
Proportion of the work force receiving an award
Performance award Special bonus
2004-05 37.1 10.3
2005-06 40.7 10.6
2006-07 51.4 9.6
2007-08 65.4 8.3
2008-09 79.3 12.3
Note: The criteria for awarding performance-related pay have changed significantly during the period 2004-05 to 2008-09. It is therefore difficult to make direct comparisons of the annual figures although the trend has been towards more civil servants receiving smaller individual performance related payments.

For the total amount of bonuses paid to all civilian staff, I refer the hon. Member to the ministerial correction dated 25 March 2010, Hansard, columns 3-4 MC.

This response excludes information on staff below the SCS in MOD Trading Funds, which have separate pay delegations.

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