Last updated: 29/11/2007

I am a civil servant

Pay in the Civil Service

Like any good employer, the Civil Service aims to offer a fair and flexible reward package - of which pay is a vital part.

Here are some key facts on the Civil Service as an employer:

  • Around 505,160 people are employed by the Civil Service at an annual cost of approximately 13 billion.
  • 45% of non-industrial staff are employed in clerical grades.
  • 56% work in the large network departments (e.g. Department for Work and Pensions, Revenue & Customs etc.).
  • Nearly three-quarters of all civil servants work outside London and the South East.

Organisation of pay

There are two distinctive features of the way people are paid in the Civil Service:

  • Responsibility for pay, grading and performance management arrangements is delegated to departments and agencies (this does not apply to staff in the Senior Civil Service).
  • The almost universal application of a system of individual performance pay.

This is different to the way the wider public sector generally works. For example, pay for National Health Service workers, local authorities, teachers, police and fire services are subject to national pay bargaining arrangements whereas each Civil Service department and agency negotiates pay for its own staff.

Full delegation for terms and conditions was granted to departments in the 1990s. Performance-related pay was also introduced around the same time to establish a closer link between performance and reward.