Cabinet Office considering higher pay bands for civil service

The Cabinet Office is reportedly developing plans to introduce higher pay bands for commercial project managers within the civil service.

The plan was originally floated by civil service chief John Manzoni last year and Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock has voiced support for the idea.

Senior civil service pay typically tops out at £200,000, with the head of the civil service, Sir Jeremy Heywood, getting £195,000 a year. There are a small number of senior officials paid more, but civil service posts with renumeration above £145,000 a year are currently subject to Treasury approval.

Under the proposed higher pay bands, commercial specialists spanning finance and IT could earn in excess of £300,000. The plans to increase pay is designed to attract a base of specialist commercial skills to push forward major projects, such as High Speed 2, which are often outsourced to contractors instead.

Bespoke terms and conditions would be drawn up along with the new pay bands, and details such as whether these commercial specialists would be eligible for civil service pension entitlements are yet to be decided.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “Developing commercial, digital and other specialist capability is a key priority for the civil service, to ensure that we attract and retain talented specialists.

“We are developing proposals to build clear career paths, high quality learning and development products, and reward packages that allows the civil service to improve specialist capability and therefore the delivery of public services.”

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, responded to the news saying that taxpayers would likely be ‘instinctively concerned’ about the new salary bands. He warned that ‘ministers must be mindful of the need to keep a lid on unjustifiable large pay packages’.