Home Office Pay 2020

02 Oct 2020

The department has published its final offer letter for 2020 Home Office pay.

The offer letter follows negotiations which the department opened in July and continued in August.  The implementation has been delayed by the roll out of Metis.

The Treasury published its pay guidance document in May.  This sets out how departments can implement pay awards each year.  This year the document expected awards between 1.5% and 2%.  However, flexibility to use up to 2.5% of monies was allowed if demonstrable improvements in systems and equality outcomes could be demonstrated.

What’s important to note is that the actual new money available from the Treasury is in fact only 1%.  This means that in order to top it up to 2.5% use of internal recycled funds is necessary.  This exposes the inherent problem with negotiations – the lack of funding from the Government.

The Government have limited the amount of new funding to only 1% meaning that the substantial pay award that our members need cannot be funded.  Our national pay claim was for a 10% rise in order to recognise the years of below inflation pay rises that have been imposed, but the refusal of the Government to properly engage with our national union means discussions locally were in a tough position.

Details of the Offer

At AA and AO levels there is a straight 2% increase to the spot rates.  At EO-G6 grades there is a slightly more complicated process.  The department have again used a stepped approach –

  1. Revalue scales and members on them by 0.5%
  2. Consolidated increase of 1.5% (limited by the max)
  3. Those below the average salary in the grade get a targeted increase up to 1.25% on a sliding scale.
  4. Range minimums are increased to make scales 10% compared to the current 13%

The full details are available on HO systems, but the impact is summarised below.

Offer by Grade  

AA and AO spot rates (except ASO)          

Fully consolidated award, with an increase to the spot rate of 2%

AA – National £353     London Provincial £372     London £435

AO – National £420     London Provincial £438     London £502

EO – G6        

Range minimums and maximums will increase by 0.5%.

Further range shortening will take place to 10%.

All staff will receive a 2% consolidated increase, capped at the pay range maxima.

To utilise the additional 0.5% funding a targeted increase of up to 1.25% will be given to those below the average for their grade and location, with those at the minima receiving the most.

Anyone receiving less than 2% consolidated will receive a non-consolidated top-up payment to 2%.

Specialists     

Ranges will be frozen (including the ASO spot rate).

Staff will receive a 2% consolidated pay increase, capped at the pay range maxima. Anyone receiving less than 2% consolidated will receive a non-consolidated top-up payment to 2%.

Fast Stream ranges   

Ranges will be frozen.

Staff will receive a 2% consolidated pay increase, capped at the pay range maxima. Anyone

receiving less than 2% consolidated will receive a non-consolidated top-up payment to 2%.

Staff below spot rates/pay range mins       

Any staff (including those on legacy shift allowances) who, after the application of the pay award, remain on a rate of pay below the spot rate/min for their pay grade will have their pay uplifted to the new spot rate/range min (with any mark time being reduced).

Staff on legacy shift allowances          

Staff remaining on legacy shift allowances (AAA, SDA (legacy only), SIA, ACIO & IIU) will receive a 2% award through consolidated and non-consolidated payments. Where the consolidated uplift to the new spot rate/range minimum for their grade is less than 2%, they will receive a non-consolidated top-up payment, giving a total award of 2%.

Analysis

In practical terms the offer means that everyone should receive a minimum of 2%, however towards the top of the pay scale this will be restricted and some of the 2% will be made up of a non-consolidated payment.

In fact, the offer is directed towards the bottom of the scales again, however this year mainly focussed on those below the grade average pay point.  Unsurprisingly this is very near the bottom of each scale but will mean well over 50% in each grade will be getting over 2%.  This move will positively impact equal pay disparities and have the effect of closing the scales to 10% which is fairly significant in comparison to only a few years ago.

Once again, no one will be left outside the pay scales or spot rates and although we argued for those on legacy allowances to be fully incorporated in the offer, we welcome that they will be awarded non-consolidated payments.

On the negative side of the offer the maximums are only increasing by 0.5%.  This is the going rate for the role and it is being eroded by inflation.  Additionally, those on the maximums will be receiving part of the offer in non-consolidated payments, although only 6.5% of generalist staff in EO-G6 are actually at the max.

Another issue is that the grades EO-G6 the average award is around the 2.5% mark whereas at AA and AO grade it is 2%.  This means that the extra 0.5% money that has been used on top of the 2% has been directed towards the higher grades at the exclusion of the admin roles.

Whilst PCS acknowledges the department has used differential percentage awards to target those at the bottom of the scales, we have pushed for awards that recognise the difference in the grades.  PCS believe that those in the lower grades must be prioritised in these difficult times.  It’s well reported that inflation disproportionately impacts on the lowest paid, as a higher percentage of income is spent on utilities, travel costs etc.

PCS argued the case for part of the offer to be made up of flat rate increases.  Without these and just using percentages there are some eye-watering differences.  For example, a Grade 6 London at bottom of scale getting £2,163 extra compared to an EO London getting £902 and an AO just £435.  We have serious concerns that at this time of financial constraint that this cannot be justified.

Conclusions

We are now entering the period of consultation over the offer.  Branches will be running pay meetings so that members can have their say and inform our response. However, your Group Executive have met and believe that the offer is unsatisfactory for the following reasons;

  1. There is not enough new money from the Treasury, without this the rises needed cannot be funded.
  2. The average award in admin grades is 2% consolidated, whereas the average in every other grade is above 2.5%
  3. The use of percentage increases creates growing gaps between the grades in a way a flat rate wouldn’t.
  4. The rise at the top of the scale is not inflation proofed and the rate for the role is being eroded.

Please look out for advertised meetings, to have your say.

If you’re not already a PCS member – join on-line today.

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