Scotland’s public sector pay policy

09 January 2017

Alongside the Scottish Draft Budget published in mid-December, the Scottish Government published their public sector pay policy for 2017-18.

The Scottish Government's Public Sector Pay Policy for Staff Pay Remits sets the framework for public sector pay. It applies to the Scottish Government and its associated departments, agencies, non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), public corporations and NHS Scotland Senior Management posts (Grades A-C only).

Due to spending cuts across the UK, the Scottish Government’s resource budget will be around 9% lower in 2019-20 than at the start of the decade. Their pay policy has been formulated to be balanced and reasonable, and works to improve pay particularly for lower paid staff. The low pay threshold has been maintained at £22,000 which will continue to benefit around a third of staff covered by the policy. The policy includes a requirement to pay the Scottish Living Wage and, in line with the Scottish Government’s ambition to see further increases in the number of accredited living wage employers, supports public bodies wishing to gain this status. Progression remains at the discretion of individual employers.

Additional flexibility is also being provided for employers to use paybill savings to address evidenced issues with their pay and grading structures. The commitment to the Scottish Government’s unique policy of No Compulsory Redundancy is being maintained which is protecting public sector jobs and front line services.

The pay policy provides the assurance that the Scottish Government’s employment terms and conditions are fair and equitable and that they will make improvements where they can. An example used is part of the agreed 2016 pay deal where contractual maternity and adoption pay were increased and paternity leave and contractual paternity pay were increased.

Government will also consult on the future management of severance of employment in the public sector, following the devolution to Scotland of regulatory powers over the level of payments for early severance/early retirement and clawback arrangements.

Scotland’s public sector pay policy 2017-18