Foreword by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy
I am pleased to set out the Scottish Government's Public Sector Pay Policy for 2022-23. This continues our focus on sustainability, reducing inequalities and promoting wellbeing, in an extremely challenging fiscal context. Our commitment to tackling poverty is again underlined by specific measures set out to address low pay, including the introduction of a Scottish public sector wage floor of £10.50 per hour.
This pay policy balances the need to recognise the value of Scotland's public sector workforce, as we look to emerge from the pandemic, alongside the continuing challenging outlook for public finances. Fair and progressive, the policy places specific emphasis on measures to tackle low pay balancing the impact of rising living costs and supporting delivery in respect of the National Performance Framework.
Accordingly, as well as the new £10.50 wage floor, the policy introduces a guaranteed cash uplift of £775 for those earning £25,000 and below. This delivers a pay increase of more than three per cent to the lowest earners and represents another step on our journey to pay restoration for the lowest paid. The policy also delivers a progressive headline pay increase of £700 for those earning over £25,000 and up to £40,000, with a £500 pay uplift to those earning over £40,000.
The October 2021 UK Spending Review provided multi-year spending plans between 2022-23 through to 2024-25 which gives us more fiscal certainty, albeit reducing our overall funding from the UK Government in every year compared with 2021-22. I am launching the Scottish Government's Resource Spending Review Framework alongside this pay policy. When the Review itself is published in May, it will support the option I have introduced in this policy for employers and trade unions in partnership to consider a multi-year approach to pay which facilitates the delivery of public service reform.
In response to the pandemic and the commitment to create a greener, fairer and more resilient Scotland, the public sector has adopted new ways of working. This presents an opportunity for all public sector employers to consider how, where and when work is defined and delivered and the impact on the wellbeing of the workforce. The pay policy continues to provide the discretion for employers to work towards standardising to a 35 hour working week and, in the context of a strategic, reform focused approach to pay, the option to explore a four day working week. Accordingly we will look to take forward public sector pilots in respect of a four day working week, and will set out detail in due course.
The policy also introduces an expectation that employers will have meaningful discussions with staff representatives about introducing a Right to Disconnect, providing a balance between the opportunities and flexibility offered by technology and our new ways of working to support the need for staff to feel able to switch off from work.
I wish once again to acknowledge the contribution of public sector workers in Scotland for their ongoing response to the pandemic and their approach to changes in how we work. I value the strong working relationships I have with trade unions and employers, and remain committed to building on these as we continue our journey towards economic transformation in Scotland.
Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy
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