DEFRA finally cuts link between pay and performance

DEFRA finally cuts link between pay and performance

Basic pay increases in the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will no longer be linked to performance.

Prospect, which has opposed performance-related pay being linked to basic pay, has welcomed the move.

The controversial “guided distribution” system for rating the performance of civil servants was introduced by former Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude in 2012.

Civil service managers were required to rate a set proportion of their staff as either having “exceeded” expectations, “met” them, or told they “must improve”.

Prospect, PCS and the FDA have been discussing a replacement for the current performance management system, which has been widely discredited as divisive and discriminatory, over the past six months.

National secretary Geraldine O’Connell said: “Prospect has pushed for the link to be broken for years. We believe that money which funds differences in base pay would be better spent on pay progression and consolidated pay increases to the maxima of the pay bands.”

“How pay increases will be calculated in 2018 will be a matter for pay negotiations, but Prospect has already tabled concerns about the current pay matrix arrangements and the need to make changes in this year's pay negotiations,” O’Connell added.

“We are sure members will welcome the news that the performance management system will now focus on individuals and their development. This is a welcome change of focus and culture,” she concluded.

The change covers members across DEFRA and its agencies – the Animal and Plant Health, Veterinary Medicines and Rural Payments agencies.