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Senior Salaries Review Body 2020

The government has announced its decision on pay for the Senior Civil Service (SCS), which can be viewed here.

The government has taken on board the SSRB report and recommendations for 2020/2021.

The SSRB recommended a 2% increase to the SCS pay bill allocated in the following priority order:

  • To mitigate anomalies arising from lack of pay progression and to alleviate other pay anomalies.
  • To increase the pay band minima.
  • To provide increases to those not benefitting from increase to the minima or those benefiting by less than 1%.

The SSRB also recommended incremental steps to reduce the maxima and commented on priority work to be undertaken for the 2021-22 pay award.

We welcome that the government has accepted the SSRB’s recommendations in full and that it will continue to delay work on reducing the maxima until the capability-based pay progression system is in place.

However, we believe the government needs to put its foot to the pedal. Despite the focus of the Cabinet Office on delivering a robust pay progression system - after years of the FDA and the SSRB calling for this - we are concerned that we are yet to see the detail on how the proposed capability-based approach will operate. There is no legitimate reason for the lack of progress on a structural reform other than lack of political will from Government. At a time when the country is relying on the Senior Civil Service like never before, the case for reform has been made and the time for action is now.

2020 Context

Clearly the SSRB work has been undertaken at an exceptional time. All the written evidence and nearly all the oral evidence with which they were supplied related to the pre Covid-19 world. The SSRB reflects that its role requires it to base its analysis and recommendations on the available evidence. The 2020 SSRB report is therefore based on the evidence that they had already received.

However, in view of the unprecedented circumstances arising from Covid-19, the SSRB make the point that they “appreciate that the government will have many additional, and often conflicting, considerations to take into account when making decisions on public sector pay this year”.

The full 42nd Annual Report on Senior Salaries can be viewed here.

Report recommendations and the FDA's response:

Please follow the links below to read the FDA's full response to the report:

Pay and pay progression

Performance Management

Central, devolved and departmental control


Strategic Direction for Pay and Rewards


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