Public sector pay policy 2021-2022 (superseded)

This was the original pay policy document as announced on 28 January 2021. Following negotiations during the passage of the draft Budget Bill, a revised pay policy document was issued in March 2021.

This document is part of a collection

Staff Pay Remits

Pay Metrics

The following sets out details of each of the key pay metrics which apply in 2021-22.

Support for Lower Paid Staff

The Scottish Government recognises the importance of supporting lower paid staff within the public sector. The 2021-22 pay policy continues to require employers to pay the real Living Wage and provides a guaranteed cash underpin of £750 for all staff who earn £25,000 or less.

Pay increases and thresholds

The 2021-22 pay policy provides a guaranteed minimum 1 per cent pay increase for public sector workers who earn up to £80,000. The increase for those earning £80,000 or more will be limited to £800.


Nothing in this pay policy is intended to interfere with pay progression arrangements for staff in the pay remit, or to constrain discussions between employers and staff and/or their representatives on this issue. Decisions taken on pay progression should be based on business needs, maintaining headcount and affordability.


The Scottish Government is committed to promoting wellbeing in the workplace and a healthy work-life balance. This pay policy provides employers with the discretion to consider standardising to a 35 hour working week, if and when it is practical to do so, in return for productivity improvements and wider changes to terms and conditions.

Additional flexibility

Beyond those limits set out above, public bodies will be able to use paybill savings of up to 0.5 per cent of baseline salaries in 2021-22 to consider affordable and sustainable changes to their existing pay and grading structures to address evidenced equality or pay coherence issues. Public bodies will also be able to carry forward the ability to use any unused paybill savings from 2020-21 for this purpose, potentially taking total flexibilities for 2021-22 to a maximum of one per cent.

Non-consolidated performance related pay

All access to non-consolidated pots for payments linked to performance (bonuses) continues to be suspended for 2021-22.



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