Public sector pay policy 2019-2020

Scottish Government's public sector pay policy for the year 2019 to 2020 for devolved public bodies.

Staff Pay Remits

Pay Metrics

The following sets out details of each of the key pay metrics which apply in 2019-20.

Support for Lower Paid Staff

The Scottish Government recognises the importance of supporting lower paid staff within the public sector and the Pay Policy continues our commitment to meeting the requirements of the new real Living Wage rate.

Pay increases and thresholds

We will provide a guaranteed minimum 3 per cent pay increase for public sector workers who earn £36,500 or less. There will be a 2 per cent limit on the increase in baseline paybill for those earning above £36,500 but less than £80,000. Within those limits, public bodies will have discretion to submit proposals to vary the levels of basic pay increases across this cohort of staff to take account of local circumstances, such as the impact of the £36,500 threshold, staff and trade union priorities and affordability.

The Technical Guide will detail smoothing arrangements around the £36,500 threshold to avoid any 'leapfrogging'. The increase for those earning £80,000 or more will be limited to £1,600.


Nothing in this Pay Policy is intended to interfere with pay progression arrangements for staff in the pay remit nor to constrain discussions between employers and staff and/or their representatives on this issue. Decisions taken to pay progression should be based on business needs, headcount and affordability.

Additional flexibility

Public bodies will can continue to choose to use paybill savings of up to 1 per cent of baseline salaries, beyond those limits set out above to deliver:

  • non-consolidated payments amounting to no more than 1 per cent of salary for employees already on the maximum of their pay range (and who no longer benefit from progression) or those on spot rates; and/or
  • a cash underpin of up to £750 for those earning below £25,000; and/or
  • other affordable and sustainable changes to their existing pay and grading structures to address evidenced equality issues.

Non-consolidated performance related pay

All access to non-consolidated pots for payments linked to performance (bonuses) continues to be suspended for 2019-20.



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