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Prison and Probation Service: Pay

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 72391, tabled on 9 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on (a) recruitment, (b) morale and (c) retention of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service staff of the Government’s pay policy for public-sector workers.

Answered on

19 November 2021

Pay awards for this financial year across HMPPS are subject to the public sector pay pause, introduced by the Chancellor in 2020. This has assisted Government in protecting public sector jobs and investment in public services as Covid-19 continues to have an impact.

The Secretary of State announced the prison pay award on 19 October, which delivered a pay increase of £250 to those earning less than £24,000, and progression pay of up to 5% for those who are eligible. Even with the restrictions of public sector pay policy for this year, this year’s award sees over half of prison service staff receive an increase to their pay. My Department is also currently engaging with our recognised trade unions on the 2021/22 pay award for the Probation Service, which – like the prison pay award – will be backdated to April 2021.

I welcome the Chancellor’s recent budget announcement regarding public sector pay, which will see public sector pay from 2022 return to a normal pay setting process. Following this announcement, we are developing proposals for a pay and reward package for all our staff over the coming years.

Recruitment and retention and morale are driven by a range of factors, including pay, staff health and wellbeing, leadership and line management, and how safe, secure and supported officers feel at work. When making decisions over pay, it is important that the department balances investment proportionally across these issues.