The Department of Finance (DoF) has today determined public sector pay policy for 2018/19.
In keeping with the overarching policy set by the UK Government, the Department has confirmed that it is moving away from a cross-public sector pay policy of limiting average awards to one per cent.
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.
Apart from the Department of Health, where additional resources have been made available in light of Barnett consequentials received in Budget 2018, any pay increase above one percent will have to be funded from within each department’s budget and paid for by efficiency savings. This is in line with the UK policy.
While Public Sector Pay Policy would normally be agreed by the Finance Minister, the recent Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018 now allows the Department to make this decision.
With pay policy now in place for 2018/19, this will enable Departments and other public sector employers to engage with their staff groups and develop pay proposals for implementation and approval.
The Department has also put a new streamlined approval process in place so that large numbers of public sector staff will receive their pay awards in a more timely fashion in the future.
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