Prison Service: Pay

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 the statement in the Prison Service Pay Review Body 2021 report on England and Wales, published on 19 October 2021, that we consider this restriction to be incompatible with the role of an independent Pay Review Body and a compensatory mechanism, which is to make evidence-based recommendations, and as such prevents us from performing that role, what assessment he has made of the impact on the (a) independence and (b) functioning of the Prison Service Pay Review Body of the restrictions placed on that Body.

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

The Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB) is appointed under the Prison Service (Pay Review Body) Regulations 2001. Under the regulations it is within the power of the Secretary of State to seek recommendations from the PSPRB only on specific matters.

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 PSPRB’s remit was restricted accordingly for that year.

The Government values the independent advice of the PSPRB. It does not consider this restriction of the PSPRB’s remit to be incompatible with the role of an independent Pay Review Body and nor with the role it plays as a compensatory mechanism in light of the restrictions on the ability of prison officers to take strike action.

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