Public Sector Pay Policy Guidance 2023-2024 published

Date published: 31 May 2023

The Department of Finance has set out the process and guidance for the approval of public sector pay remits in 2023/24.

With budgets highly constrained a similar approach is being adopted to 2022/23. While it is recognised the difficulties and the challenging budget environment will have in determining 2023/24 pay awards, it is important to put the guidance in place now to enable formal engagement to commence between departments and public sector employers with their staff groups.

The overarching approach is awards must be affordable in the context of each Department’s Budget settlement as set out in the Secretary of State’s Written Northern Ireland Budget for 2023/24 so that essential public services and public sector employment can be sustainably funded going forward. 

Employers should be mindful of legal entitlements of individual staff groups and give due regard and consideration to the established principles in previous years’ pay guidance in relation to fairness. This should include how awards can be targeted to address low pay and the payment of the Living Wage as calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission. 

Notes to editors: 

  1. Pay Remit Approval Process and Guidance 2023/24 is available at Finance Director letters (FDs) 2023 | Department of Finance (
  2. Link to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland’s statement. 
  3. Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Finance Press Office on Tel: 028 9081 6724 or email
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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