Prison Officers: Retention and Recruitment

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 22nd October 2021.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to Prison Service Pay Review Body 2021 report on England and Wales, published on 19 October 2021, what assessment he has made of the impact on prison officer (a) morale, (b) retention, and (c) recruitment of his decision not to respond to Recommendations (i) one and (ii) five.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister for Afghan resettlement

As announced in 2020 by the former Chancellor, the Government imposed a temporary pay pause for the majority of the public sector for the 2021/22 pay round. This has assisted Government in protecting public sector jobs and investment in public services as Covid-19 continues to have an impact. The Prison Service Pay Review Body’s (PSPRB) remit for the 2021/22 pay round was restricted in line with the pay pause.

The Government response to the PSPRB was announced on 19 October, stating that recommendations made by the review body for implementation in this financial year have been accepted in full. For clarity, these are recommendations 2, 3 and 4.

Recommendations 1 and 5 concern matters which were considered to be outside of the PSPRB’s remit for the 2021/22 pay round, and therefore there is no obligation on Government to formally respond.

I value the independence and contribution of the PSPRB and will consider the totality of their expert advice as we move into the next pay round.

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