The Bonus Culture In Public Service

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My Flabber was literally Ghasted recently when I read in the News that DWP staff had been paid cash bonuses for basically doing their job.  Approximately £44 Million was shared between about 98% of them

62 people shared £671,000 on top of top salaries adding to a six figure. The average 99,739 staff shared more than £43.8million which comes down to £515 each.

As if that is not enough a huge sum of in-year rewards was handed out in cash and vouchers adding £5.3million

And this from a Department which is in the process of wasting >£100,000,000 due to a defunct IT system for Universal Credit.

Waste money – get a bonus.  I’ll ask again – What is the Bonus Culture doing in the Public Sector?  It’s not even close to healthy in my humble opinion.

But anyway, I digress slightly, this got my old grey cells a-bubbling. “I wonder if my old friends at the Home Office get paid bonuses? They won’t mind me asking will they?”

Dear Home Office, It was reported some time ago that DWP staff had been paid bonuses
from £500 per person upwards.

Do Home Office staff receive bonuses on top of their salaries?

If so

What is the minimum and maximum amount paid out in bonuses?

What percentage of Home Office staff received a bonus in 2012/2013
Financial Year?

What was the total amount paid out in bonuses in Financial Year

Well, blow me down, I actually got a reply today;

“Bonuses are based on performance levels attained and are made as part of the appraisal process. Bonus payments disclosed in this report for 2012-13 are bonus payments for the 2011-12 performance year which were paid in July 2012. Payments relating to 2012-13 are yet to be finalised.

The assessment and review of performance for senior civil servants is based on individual performance. Individuals were ranked in three performance groups in each pay band

  • Group 1 – top 25% of performers
  • Group 2 – achieving 65% of performers
  • Group 3 – bottom 10% of performers

For the 2011-12 performance year, only Group 1 was eligible for a non-consolidated performance payment. The Senior Salaries Review Board (SSRB) determines the percentage of SCS pay that can be used for nonconsolidated performance payments. Following SSRB recommendations, the Cabinet Office set the guidelines on senior civil service bonuses for all government departments. For the 2011-12 performance year Cabinet Office guidelines allowed for up to 5% of the SCS paybill to be used for these payments. The Home Office paid out 1.2% of the SCS paybill which equates to £280,000.

Bonus payments for the 2011-12 performance year were paid in July 2012. These were up to £10,000 (Pay Band 3); £7,000 (Pay Band 2) and £5,000 (Pay Band 1). The assessment and review of performance for the 2012-13 performance year will be undertaken shortly.”

They also revealed that 40% of Home Office staff had received a cash bonus in 2012/2013 and that 11,672 staff bonuses were paid, totalling £6,524,712

“Please note that staff below the senior civil service can receive more than one bonus in the financial year, for example they can receive an in-year special bonus and an end of year performance bonus. Therefore the number of bonuses paid out is greater than the number of employees who received a bonus”

Well that’s alright then, nowhere near as many bonuses as DWP. Didn’t get all the information I asked for, but at least it wasn’t an outright refusal.

Still don’t know why the Bonus Culture exists in the Public Sector though. Maybe it’s just me.

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1 thought on “The Bonus Culture In Public Service”

  1. The bonus culture has spiralled out of control and someone has to put a stop to it. Not just the payment of bonuses but also the culture that has developed of paying golden goodbyes to those in the public sector who are in high positions. The absurdly high salaries some are getting also need to be kept in check and revised.

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