Pay awards in the main public sector workforces are set following recommendations made by independent Pay Review Bodies to the government. The Pay Review Bodies take written and oral evidence from the government, employers and trade unions in making their recommendations on pay.
The Review Bodies operate in the public interest by offering a transparent, independent mechanism to inform pay setting for key workforces in the public sector. All parties can put forward their views on pay and independent recommendations are then publicly offered to government.
Different mechanisms are always possible, and have been used in the past, but the Review Body system has proved its value over decades in balancing the interests of all the different parties – notably workforce, employers and government – for workforces where there is a strong and continuing public interest in the outcomes.