Staff at the Department for Exiting the European Union are to get an average 7.6% pay rise after management secured Treasury backing for a one-year deal that exceeds official guidance limiting departmental rises to 2%.
The department told CSW it had agreed a 6% increase to the department's pay bill with the Treasury, which has been translated into an average 7.6% increase for staff. The move will be worth 11% to some of the Brexit department’s 600-plus staff, and some staff at the top of pay bands may not receive increases.
The deal follows a concerted drive on the part of civil service unions the FDA, Prospect and PCS.
While civil servants in other departments are likely to look on in wonder at a consolidated deal that equates to more than the sum of multiple years of recent Whitehall rises, the FDA said the move was a reaction to disproportionately low pay at DExEU.
National officer Victoria Jones said the pay package, which will be backdated to the beginning of August, was fully funded by the Brexit department and had been designed to address low pay at DExEU and the fact that 80% of the department’s staff earned the minimum rate for their grade.
Jones said the department, created in the months after June 2016’s EU Referendum, had often hired younger staff members in from other departments and promoted them, meaning that they had started at the lowest pay levels possible for their grade.
She added that DExEU pay structures had been based on Cabinet Office rates rather than those in departments that would have been better comparators, meaning that its EU-exit-related roles did not pay as well as similar positions in departments such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Jones said that the new pay regime would make the Brexit department – which is still recruiting for staff – a more attractive place to work.
“Civil servants in DExEU are working flat out to deliver the will of the government ahead of the UK leaving the EU and deserve every penny of this pay rise, which comes after almost 10 years of wage stagnation,” she said.
“From HMRC to the Home Office, civil servants have risen to the challenge of preparing for Brexit, whatever form it may take, while also ensuring the day to day business of government continues.
“At this crucial time for our country, it is essential that the civil service can recruit and retain the best staff for the job, and that can only be achieved if they are paid what they are worth. DExEU has recognised this undeniable fact and it’s high time other departments follow suit.”
She added that the finalised DExEU package also increases professional allowances for economists, analysts and accountants, who will receive up to £5,000 in recognition for their skills and expertise.
A DExEU spokesperson told CSW: “It’s right that we have a good offer that recognises that DExEU staff are central to delivering the government’s priority task of leaving the EU on October 31.
“This pay award brings our staff’s wages in line with the pay offered by other Whitehall departments.”