What is Public Sector Pay Policy?
1.1 Public Sector Pay Policy sets the parameters for public sector pay increases for a range of public bodies in Scotland. Public bodies seek approval from the Scottish Government for their proposals within these parameters and then negotiate detailed pay settlements with trade unions and staff.
Who is it for?
1.2 Public Sector Pay Policy applies to you if you are in one of the following organisations in Scotland (referred to as "public bodies" in the policy):
- The Scottish Government and its associated departments;
- Non-Departmental Public Bodies ( NDPBs);
- Public Corporations; and
- NHS Executive and Senior Managers.
A full list of all public bodies subject to the policy is set out in Annex A.
1.3 The policy is written for public bodies in Scotland, referred to as 'you' throughout the policy document. Trade unions and employees of these bodies will also find this policy of interest.
1.4 The policy for 2009-10 applies to you, if you are due to enter into a new pay settlement commencing between May 2009 and April 2010 (inclusive). In this period 28 public bodies will be reaching agreement on a new pay settlement for their staff. If you are not due to submit a pay remit during the 2009-10 pay round you should specifically refer to paragraphs 1.26 to 1.28.
1.5 Public bodies determine the pay and conditions for their staff that are appropriate for their business needs and which take account of the Scottish Government's policy on public sector pay set out in this document.
Who is not covered?
1.6 The pay increases for the rest of the National Health Service, teachers and the police and fire services in Scotland are determined through other arrangements. The UK Government determines the pay of the Senior Civil Service. The pay of local government employees is a matter for Scottish local authorities.
1.7 The remuneration of Chief Executives, Chairs and Board Members of public bodies in Scotland is not covered by this policy but by the Scottish Government's policy on the remuneration of senior public appointments. Where appropriate, you will be expected to submit the proposals for your Chief Executive (and in exceptional circumstances, Directors) at the same time as you submit your staff remit proposals. Where this is not possible you should provide a brief explanation as to why not along with an indication of when you will submit the proposals.
What other information do you need?
1.8 You should read the "Public Sector Pay Policy: Technical Guide" with this policy. It contains details of the proformas which you need to complete and what information should form part of the business case, together this makes up your pay remit. The Technical Guide also explains the terms used in the policy and its proformas.
1.9 A Glossary of terms can be found at the end of the document. All words in bold italics are explained in the Glossary. You will find a printed version of this document more easy to use if printed in colour.
What do you need to do?
1.10 The policy sets out what you need to do in order for the Scottish Government to approve your pay remit proposals. You can clearly identify the things that you must do as they will be set out in the red text circles. They are summarised in the checklist at Annex B paragraph 1.
1.11 The policy also sets out the information or supporting evidence that you will need to provide to support your pay remit proposals and help make sure that they are approved. You can clearly identify the information that you should provide as they will be set out in the blue text boxes. They are summarised in the checklist at Annex B paragraph 2.
What do you need to provide?
1.12 Your pay remit proposals will consist of:
- A statement from your Chief Executive on the outturn of your last pay remit;
- completed pay remit proformas which provide financial information on and your current remit proposals; and
- a business case that provides information and evidence that supports your proposals. The business case should be prefaced by a foreword from your Chief Executive confirming that the outturn for your previous remit is in line with what was approved and a summary of the current proposals. This foreword will form part of the formal submission that is put forward seeking approval to your pay proposals.
1.13 The content of your business case will depend on the proposals that you are making. If you are proposing a remit that simply seeks to continue the existing progression and bonus arrangements and make a Basic Award then the business case will be short and descriptive in nature. However, if you are seeking to make more complex proposals then the business case will require to be more analytical and evidence focused.
1.14 The Supporting Technical Guide and Business Case Template sets out the requirements for the proformas and the business case in more detail.
Who is involved in the pay remit process?
The Public Body
1.15 The public body is responsible for determining the pay and conditions for its staff that are appropriate for its business needs and which take account of the Scottish Government's policy on public sector pay as set out in this document. Public bodies are encouraged to engage in early and informal discussions with their Trade Union representatives in preparing their pay proposals. When a public body is ready to submit its pay proposals for formal it approval they should send them to the Finance Pay Policy Team by the agreed submission date.
1.16 The Chief Executive, as Accountable Officer, has the responsibility to provide the assurance that your pay proposals are in line with the 2009-10 pay policy and that any paybill savings projections are realistic and will be delivered in the year they are being re-used. The Chief Executive also has the responsibility to confirm that the outturn is within the approved remit and if you are part-way through a multi-year settlement that the assumptions made in regard of paybill savings to fund your pay award are still valid and achievable.
The Sponsor Team
1.17 The Sponsor Teams of NDPBs and Public Corporations are responsible for making sure that their public bodies are aware of the Scottish Government's policy on public sector pay and that bodies are working towards submitting proposals on time. Sponsor Teams also draft the submission to officials, and if required, the Remuneration Group and Ministers for approval. They will be copied in to all communication between the Finance Pay Policy Team and the public body.
The Agency / Associated Department
1.18 If you are an Agency or Associated Departments you will submit your proposals for approval, respond to queries and draft the submission seeking approval for your remit proposals.
Director / Director General / Permanent Secretary
1.19 The Director of the sponsoring Directorate is responsible for making sure that public bodies submit proposals to the Finance Pay Policy Team on time; for requiring public bodies to supply further information or adjust their proposals to bring them in line with Scottish Government policy if they remain rated as Red at the end of the fourth week following their submission to the Finance Pay Policy Team; and to comment on proposals, including whether they offer value for money, in any submission to the Remuneration Group and Ministers. The relevant Director General or Director (where this responsibility has been delegated) will take on this role in relation to Agencies and the Permanent Secretary for Associated Departments.
The Portfolio Finance Team
1.20 If you have a Sponsor Team within the Scottish Government you will also have a dedicated Portfolio Finance Team who provides advice to Sponsor Teams on all budgetary matters. In terms of the pay remit process, the Portfolio Finance Team is responsible for providing confirmation that your proposals are affordable within your existing budget allocations (taking into account delivery of efficiency savings) and comment on whether your proposals are value for money where relevant.
The Finance Pay Policy Team
1.21 The role of the Scottish Government's Finance Pay Policy Team is to ensure that your pay proposals are in line with the Government's policy on public sector pay as set out in this document and the accompanying Technical Guide. Before you submit your pay remit, the team can help you make sure that your proformas and business case include all of the necessary information. When you submit your pay remit for approval by the Scottish Government, the team will assess your proposals and provide advice on the approval rating of your proposals (see Chapter 6). The Finance Pay Policy Team provides the main interface between public bodies and Remuneration Group. It is their role to advise Senior Officials, Remuneration Group and Ministers on all pay proposals.
The Remuneration Group
1.22 The Remuneration Group is chaired by David Fisher, a non-executive member of the Scottish Government's Strategic Board. Members of the Remuneration Group are: the Director General of Health & Wellbeing, the Director of Finance, Director of Change and Corporate Services and a portfolio Director, currently, the Director of Children, Young People and Social Care. Its remit includes making sure a consistent approach is taken to approval of pay remits.
1.23 When required, the Remuneration Group will consider your proposals and will decide whether or not proposals need to be approved by Ministers. If Ministerial approval is required your proposals will continue to require the approval of the Portfolio Cabinet Secretary or Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth.
Where should you send your remit proposals to?
1.24 When you are ready to submit your remit proposals for approval then you should send your completed remit proformas (outturn and current proposals) with the accompanying business case to the Finance Pay Policy Team at email@example.com and copied to your sponsor team, if relevant.
When should you send in your remit proposals?
1.25 You should send in your remit proposals in line with the timetable in Annex D. This timetable takes into account responses made by public bodies to the draft timetable circulated by the Finance Pay Policy Team in February 2009. If for any reason you are unable to meet the published submission date you should contact the Finance Pay Policy Team to discuss an alternative date.
What do I need to know if I am not due to submit a pay remit during the 2009-10 pay round?
1.26 If you are not due to submit a pay remit during the 2009-10 pay round: you must complete an outturn proforma, for the pay year ending during 2009-10, within 2 months of the pay year end; and your Chief Executive (as Accountable Officer) must provide a brief statement of assurance that the outturn is within the approved remit and that any assumptions made in regard of savings to fund your pay award are still valid. If this is not the case you should provide an explanation and detail of any action being taken.
1.27 The Scottish Government encourages employers to offer staff childcare vouchers or assistance with green transport initiatives and the costs of such schemes will not count against the Public Sector Pay Policy limits in 2009-10 (paragraphs 4.6 to 4.8). Whilst approved pay settlements must not be re-opened, if you propose to offer staff childcare vouchers or assistance with green transport initiatives during the period of a multi-year settlement, you do not need to seek approval for a revised remit but need only provide the Finance Pay Policy Team with details and administrative costs of setting up the proposed scheme.
1.28 The 2009-10 policy allows for small 1 public bodies to make a case to analogue to another appropriate existing pay regime (paragraphs 3.3 to 3.5). Public bodies wishing to put forward a case should speak with the Finance Pay Policy team in the first instance and well in advance on their next due settlement date.
Who should you contact for help?
1.29 If you need help at any stage in the process, please contact the Finance Pay Policy Team:
General Queries: 0131 244 7341
1.30 We will make this policy document and the technical guide available on the Scottish Government's Website.
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