Around 20,000 employees of the six million-strong public sector workforce earn more than £117,523 a year, according to a review conducted by Will Hutton.
The Hutton review of fair pay in the public sector: interim report showed that 4,000 of those in the top percentile of wages are in public managerial roles.
It also found that over the past decade, the pay of top executives has risen at faster rates than those of the lowest earners in a range of public sector workforces. Hutton’s final report on the review will include recommendations on the ratio on which the highest-paid public sector employees’ salaries should be based, for example, whether this should be set at 20 times the salary of the lowest-paid employees.
Pay setting arrangements vary considerably and are not underpinned by a consistent rationale. The report concluded that the transparency of pay and pay setting could be considerably improved, and criticised the public sector for not being strong enough on managing reward and performance.
Hutton also warned that the risk of unfair pay rises may rise as the public sector is reformed, noting that those areas that have seen the lowest growth in senior pay are where ministers, supported by the Senior Salaries Review Body, have the greatest influence over all aspects of the pay package.
There is evidence from the NHS and academies that greater autonomy over pay is linked to higher pay levels.
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