Civil Serpants £300M bonuses


Book Reviewer
Widely reported in the media (to early to muck about with links) that this year alone our MOD Civil Servants (CS) received £47M in bonuses and the father of a 21 yr Private is outraged.

Not sure I can get hugely over excited about this but already it seems the reporting is one sided - 21 years old Privates gets £16-20K, most CS I suspect are on less than £25k, but the Privates salary isn't the real figure - cheap housing, cheap schooling, free medical care etc.

And in any case, when the bonuses appear to be an average of £1K I'm even less bothered if it keep someone else doing jobs that are usually as bone and dull as you like and free up Service personnel to do the pointy end stuff. Otherwise we'd end up like most of our European colleagues with hugely bloated Armed Forces but with massive amounts who can't deploy because they are our CS equivalent.

I'm sure there will be a wide range of views following................
I think the problem with this is that I assume this is part of the CS wage bill anyway. When I last worked with them, half of them were awarded a bonus at the end of the year.....the most stupid idea ever thought of. Makes good news headlines in today's climate but it's a crap system which has been in for years.
Less than £25k - you're not kidding!

Try less than £16k after 5 years service. Not like I'm a school leaver either - 15 years previous Military service count's for nowt.
asr1 said:
I couldn't care less. A taxed bonus of 1k is an expenses claim, not a bonus!
No expenses claims, overtime or courses either!
I am a MoD civvie. I have been in the MoD for 13 years. My basic is 18k a year. My bonus this year was £380.

The lowest bonus paid this year to MoD staff was £250. I am not sure what the highset figure was (about 2k I think). Only 10% of staff across all grades got the higher rate the other 90% were at the lower end.
There is a bonus system purely because they cannot afford to pay pensions; by not being part of salary it does not accrue towards pensionable pay. It is totally iniquitous (spelling?) and rather than actually rewarding proper endeavour it rewards those at the higher end of the pay scale with greater sums of money. They would be better off doing away with it all together and just giving every civil servant three or four days extra leave that must be taken at Christmas (because they switch all the heating off anyway and no green suits are in work except duty personnel!).
Not sure I can get hugely over excited about this but already it seems the reporting is one sided - 21 years old Privates gets £16-20K, most CS I suspect are on less than £25k, but the Privates salary isn't the real figure - cheap housing, cheap schooling, free medical care etc.

Tell me about this cheap housing schooling and medical care? Housing is the average of all council house rents in UK. (see AFPRB report) Medical care is the same as civilians get and they pay the same NI for it. Cheap schooling really? Please explain?
Is there such a thing as "cheap schooling"??
I see no problem with paying bonuses to everyone who has a job provided by the government in addition to salaries, provided they are pre budgeted from a bonus 'pot' and that there is a correct agreed process in place to ensure that only those that deserve them get them. The prospect of a decent bonus can be a mighty incentive to good performance

I have worked in the private sector where in theory about a fifth of my final pay can be made up by bonus'. In twenty years I have never yet got the full amount but have fluctuated between nothing and 15% depending how well I have done and my dept has done that that year in terms of meeting a whole series of pre-agreed departmental and personal targets. Provided the process is clear to all employees then there can be little opportunity for favoritism. Under most well run schemes, nearly everyone gets something even if it is just £50 for having a good attedance record. :wink:

As someone else said the downside of this mechanism is that Bonuses are not pensionable and that suits the employer. I guess if a suitable well run system were in place it might suit the taxpayer as well.

Provided the system is pre-budgeted with real achievable targets then I don't have a problem.
'cheap housing, cheap schooling, free medical care etc.' - A2_Matelot seems to be confusing the British Forces with the Americans. He will be telling us that the forces don't pay tax next (another commonly held belief).
I think the "cheap schooling" comment refers to the Continuity of Education Allowance. Certainly a set of golden handcuffs for most senior officers, but less of a concern for fresh faced privates (in some cases, not all).
The bonus is a dreadful system, foisted on the MOD by HM Treasury. Most MOD CS that I know (including myself) are deeply opposed to the scheme on the grounds that it is very divisive, and that it doesn’t achieve its aims. The only reason we have it is because HMT knows that bonus payments are non pensionable, and as such would rather pay out a one off lump sum, rather than life long increasing payments through actual pay rises.

The sums involved are pretty small too – the vast majority of people get the normal bonus, which is rarely more than a few hundred quid before tax. I’ve dug out the bonus amounts – they range from £350 for an admin clerk, to £1000 for a Band B2 (Col level) – this is before tax. We are not exactly being paid banker level bonuses here, and most people would rather that they used this pool of money to pay us properly, rather than this current sham of a scheme.

This issue has linked into the wider problem of CS pay – now at a junior level, CS pay is reasonably competitive for the work it involves – usually in the £14 - £19K per year range for admin staff. My old clerk has done 22 years, and is on £22,500k per year – less than a reasonably experienced private. Retention is a major problem at mid level management, and one of the reasons why the CS often screws up is because we don’t pay experienced people enough at a time when they have mortgages and families to look after, and the private sector can headhunt with ease. As a comparison, a C1 band CS is paid roughly £35k - £41K per year – their military equivalents start on £60k per year, and that is without allowances. You can see why the private sector seems so tempting to so many of us who have wives and children to support.

Still waiting for mine.
Whilst I am not a servile serpent, I do work(?) for the British Army in Germany as a civvy, no bonuses, but the pay is a bit more than 16k. I dare not say how much in case some clown gets the bright idea of making an adjustment, downwards.

It would appear that from the figures mentioned by other Arrsers, some civil serpants are almost on starvation pay.
As Jim30 says, CS pay is a laugh, as a wearer of green blotchy clothes, one of the (very few) upsides of being in a predominantly CS workplace is comparing pay, or "accidentally" leaving payslips on your desk :twisted: . One of my colleagues, a WO2, is reported on (1st RO) by a C2 CS on about £8k less than him.
This turd has been floating in the bowl for a while now. The thirty second piece on this morning's BBC Breakfast news has just poked it with a stick, that's all.
Over the last few years, the MoD Performance Pay scheme has evolved into an exercise in report writing; and even that didn't necessarily guarantee you an award as numbers were capped and spineless reporting officers failed to grow a set and put every man and his dog through on recommendation to leave the Award Groups with the onerous task of deciding the First Among Equals. It adds no value, it is non-pensionable, it is unfair and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's scrapped because of course it's worth more than half a dozen Chinooks. To round off the analogy, someone flush the bog...
My employer has cancelled bonuses this year due to the recession. Needless to say there was particular pressure to scrap the top-level discretionary bonuses.

With regard to MoD bonuses, it beggars belief that these were to be paid at the same time that committed TA training was to be scrapped.
Where does the £300M figure in the heading come from? Is it a cross-government figure? I can't see it anywhere in the story. Incidentally I gave a quick interview on this subject on BBC R Scotland this morning, and a separate interview on BBC R Wales on a different subject - for which I may be able to claim one of the first broadcast uses of the term "outrage bus". ;)
When I was in the CS FSA the reason I was given for PRP bonuses was that it meant annual pay rises could be shown to be within limits whilst at the same time giving above limit pay rises.

The trouble with this system is once you start it's very hard to stop or change it without giving a massive genuine pay rise.

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