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Pay and workforce reform policy

These pages provide an overview of government policy and strategy on public sector pay and workforce reform.

Key workforce challenges for public services

The Government's public service reform strategy focuses on giving service users the opportunity to shape services in ways that meet their needs. This can only be achieved with the commitment of a highly motivated, flexible, diverse and skilled workforce, capable of providing high quality, personalised public services. Getting the relationship right between employers and employees so that staff are supported and enabled to deliver those services is key. Developing the right workforce policies and new ways of working underpins this relationship.

Strategic workforce planning

Strategic workforce planning is critical to effective reform and delivery of public services - to ensure that front line public service workers (nurses, teachers, police officers, social workers), who are responsible for achieving that reform and delivery, are recruited, well trained and continuously developed, appropriately rewarded and well managed.

Effective strategic workforce planning will encompass the following:

Recruitment and retention

The public sector workforce is changing. Since 2004, the number of public service employees has grown , in line with increased investment in schools, the NHS and the police. The composition of the workforce has also changed, reflecting rapidly changing demographics, the development of support worker roles to free up professionals to focus on their core tasks, and challenging targets to increase workforce diversity.

In recruiting to meet these challenges, public service employers need to: