Public Sector Pay Policy set for 2019/20

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Friday, November 1st, 2019

The Department of Finance (DoF) has determined public sector pay policy for 2019/20.

In keeping with the overarching policy set by the UK Government, the Department has confirmed the policy continues with the same approach set in 2018/19 of moving away from a cross-public sector pay policy of limiting average awards to one per cent.

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Instead, pay awards can be informed by a range of factors, including recruitment and retention.



In particular, it is recognised there may be flexibility in return for improvements to public sector productivity.

The planning assumptions for Budget 2019/20 were generally predicated on a one percent revalorisation increase.

When added to the pay progression many public sectors workers will also receive, this typically translates to around a two percent increase on the 2018/19 baseline pay position.

Funding for these pay awards will have to be found within existing departmental budgets and prioritised against the other pressures facing essential public services.



There is also flexibility for higher awards in return for cash releasing efficiency savings through improvements to public sector productivity.

With pay policy now in place for 2019/20, this will enable public sector employers to engage with their staff groups and develop pay proposals for implementation and approval. The Department of Finance (DoF) aims to improve the pace with this round of negotiations.

For next year they will be agreeing pay policy much earlier and will align its setting with the publication of the Budget.



This means pay policy for 2020-21 will be set at the same time as the Northern Ireland Budget and should also enable some employers to consider a multi-year deal.

The NICS Board is keen that there is engagement prior to the setting of the 2020-21 Budget.

As part of this, DoF will be commissioning a study to examine the labour market and other issues that affect public sector pay in Northern Ireland.



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