Scottish government introduces pay rise for public sector employees

Scottish government public sectorThe Scottish government has implemented a pay rise for public sector employees worth an average of 9.3% over the next three years.

The 2024-25 Public sector pay policy details a framework for pay increases for civil servants and other public sector workers. Apart from senior civil servants, it applies to those working in 71 public bodies, including the Scottish Prison Service, the Risk Management Authority and Historic Environment Scotland. They have the option of following it for one, two or three years.

The policy stated that the 9.3% increase, which consists of three lots of 3% rises, is comparative to forecast 5.7% inflation rates over the next three years. It was calculated using the average of forecasts from the Bank of England and the Office for Budget Responsibility for 2024-25, 2025-26 and 2026-27.

The framework offers public bodies the flexibility to draw up their own pay proposals, which consider workforce planning and local pay issues such as recruitment and retention, equality, and the impact of the low pay measures on other staff. It encourages them to consider their own staffing profile, local evidence, views of employees and unions, and equality issues, and consider a pay approach that could include setting a cash underpin, a higher percentage uplift, or a non-consolidated cash payment.

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Shona Robison, cabinet secretary for finance and local government, said: “This pay policy balances flexibility with fairness and affordability, and offers multi-year pay metrics above forecast levels of inflation from 2024-25 to 2026-27. A multi-year, above inflation approach provides certainty for the public sector workforce and an opportunity for Scottish government, employers and trade unions to plan for and transform our public services to improve outcomes for the people of Scotland.

“I am proud that our approach to public sector pay in recent years means that people in key public sector roles in Scotland are now paid more than in the rest of the UK and that we have supported public sector workers during the cost of living crisis. This framework for a multi-year pay policy continues our commitment to the public sector workforce with pay metrics set above forecasted inflation rates and continues our journey to build and boost the Scottish economy and create the prosperity necessary to support people in Scotland.”