Cabinet Office agrees pay deal with up to 10% wage boost for lowest paid

Written by Richard Johnstone on 3 December 2019 in News

Department is the latest to get permission from the Treasury to exceed 2% pay guidance

Photo: PA

Staff in the Cabinet Office are to get a salary increase of up to 10% after the department received permission from the Treasury to exceed the 2% pay guidance for 2019-20.

The department's pay deal, agreed after talks with the FDA trade union, will see the lowest-paid staff receive an up to 10% pay bump, while all staff will receive an increase of at least 2%.

The agreement is based on a 3% increase of the Cabinet Office paybill. The deal will see the lowest pay level in the department – the bottom end of band C – rise by 10% from £20,594 to £22,653. The band C minimum outside the capital will increase by 8%, from £17,489 to £18,890.

The bottom rating of all other pay bands – from B1 to A+ – will increase between 4% to 9%. Nearly half of all Cabinet Office staff (48%) will benefit from the uplift to the minima, according to the FDA. The union said this will address some of the lowest starting salaries in Whitehall, which it said have been a stumbling block for recruitment and retention.

Pay Band Current
2019 minimum Percentage uplift Current

2019 maximum (unchanged)

National Band C £17,489 £18,890 8% £20,796 £20,796
  Band B1 £21,808 £22,700 4% £26,570 £26,570
  Band B2 £29,083 £30,500 5% £35,794 £35,794
  Band B2+ £34,265 £35,635 4% £40,248 £40,248
  Band A £43,039 £47,000 9% £56,524 £56,524
  Band A+ £54,430 £57,000 5% £65,308


London Band C £20,594 £22,653 10% £24,491 £24,491
  Band B1 £24,759 £25,997 5% £30,168 £30,168
  Band B2 £31,339 £31,339 5% £39,100 £39,100
  Band B2+ £36,930 £38,700 5% £43,889 £43,889
  Band A £48,965 £52,500 7% £60,635 £60,635
  Band A+ £58,562 £61,900 6% £70,877 £70,877

Staff above the pay band minimums will receive an award of between 1% and 3.75%, dependent on their position in the pay range.

Position in Pay Range        Consolidated Award Non Consolidated Award
On or Above Maximum 1% (one-off pensionable award) 1%
75.1-99% percentile 2% 0%
50.1-75% percentile 2% 0%
25.1-50% percentile 2.5% 0%
10.1-25% percentile 3%  0%
0.1-10% percentile 3.75% 0%

In a statement, the FDA said its members in the Cabinet Office were working tirelessly on major projects from preparing for Brexit to implementing political and constitutional reform. The union welcomed the Cabinet Office making the case to the Treasury for a pay increase above the 2% pay guidance.

Treasury pay guidance for 2019 set out that departments could increase paybills by 2%, but any increase beyond this level required Treasury approval. As well as the Cabinet Office, approval has been given for higher increases to the Department for Exiting the European Union, but the Department for International Trade's bid has not been approved. HMRC chief executive Jim Harra has also revealed that his department is in talks with the Treasury about agreeing a higher increase.


The FDA told CSW that the Cabinet Office deal is “only a start”.

“Much more is needed to bring all civil servants up to a proper level after years of pay restraint, and to ensure the civil service can attract and retain the best people,“ they said.

The FDA, whose members approved the deal, told CSW that it is “only a start”.

“Much more is needed to bring all civil servants up to a proper level after years of pay restraint, and to ensure the civil service can attract and retain the best people,“ they said.

Payments under the new pay structure took place in November.

Responding to the pay deal, Garry Graham, Prospect deputy general secretary, said: “The headline increase from the Cabinet Office is welcome, especially because there is no link to negative changes to terms and conditions, and those at the bottom end of the scale are getting more.

“For too long the civil service has had stagnant pay growth with workers expected to do more for frequently a real-terms pay cut. With the Cabinet Office taking the lead in this way we hope other departments will adopt this as a minimum standard.”

About the author

Richard Johnstone is CSW's deputy and online editor and tweets as @CSW_DepEd

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