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21 June 2010

Government launches review of fair pay in the public sector led by Will Hutton

The Government today confirms the launch of an independent review of fair pay in the public sector headed by leading economist Will Hutton.

The review will investigate pay scales across the public sector, and make recommendations on how to ensure that no public sector manger can earn more than twenty times the lowest paid person in the organisation. The review will publish an interim report in Autumn 2010, and a final report in Spring of 2011.

Mr Hutton has a wealth of experience of pay and workforce fairness issues from eight years of leading and now working for The Work Foundation, as well as great expertise in the fields of organisation and management theory. He brings an outside perspective to this review, independent of Government.

The HM Treasury website contains more information on the Review, including Terms of Reference.

The Chancellor said:

"Fairness should be at the heart of all public sector pay policy - there is no reason why public sector managers should routinely be paid more than twenty times the wage of the people working in their organisation. Will Hutton has a wealth of experience in this area and I am delighted he has agreed to lead this important review. His work will play a crucial role in delivering fairness in public sector pay."

Will Hutton said:

"Ensuring fairness in public sector pay in current economic circumstances is a national priority, and I am delighted to be invited to lead this review. My approach will be to make recommendations rooted in tried and tested principles of fairness supported by as much evidence as can be gathered. There are multiple causes of growing pay disparity and the terms of reference permit the review to fully investigate them - and, of course, the consequences. Broader social norms have been changing over pay. One aim of this review apart from its recommendations on public sector pay, as the Prime Minister notes, will be to contribute to shaping those wider norms in future."

Notes for editors

  1. Will Hutton is well-established as a leading economist as well as commentator on the role of government in the economy, fairness in society and organisation/management principles. His current executive vice chair position at The Work Foundation follows eight years leading it. Previous roles include editor-in-chief of The Observer (where he is still a regular columnist), economics correspondent on Newsnight and as a stockbroker in the City. He is a visiting professorial fellow at LSE’s Global Governance and a member of the Scott Trust. His books include The State We’re In, The State to Come, The Stakeholding Society, The Writing on the Wall: China and the West in the 21st Century and Them and Us:- Why we need a Fair Society (to be published in September).
  2. His CV is available at:

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