https://civilservice.blog.gov.uk/2015/11/25/the-spending-review-and-what-it-means-for-the-civil-service/

The Spending Review and what it means for the Civil Service

Today, the Chancellor announced the results of the 2015 Spending Review, which sets out the Government’s spending plans for each year of this Parliament.

The first thing to say is that the Spending Review reflects a huge amount of work by civil servants up and down the country. Public sector workers put forward more than 22,000 ideas on how to reduce waste, exploit technology to improve services, and work more collaboratively. Many of these will be implemented.

We would like to thank everyone involved, and above all the finance teams in departments, agencies and arm’s-length bodies for bringing it all together. This was the new finance profession in action.

Priorities

The Spending Review prioritises, among other things, national security, the National Health Service, schools and pensions.  And it emphasises important cross-cutting themes, such as infrastructure, devolution and public service reform and efficiency.  The independent Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts tax receipts to be higher and debt interest to be lower than in the Summer Budget.  This has enabled the Government to reduce overall departmental spending more smoothly, as well as to channel extra resources to other priority areas, such as counter-terrorism and frontline policing.

The fiscal consolidation begun six years ago has involved a lot of difficult decisions. And even with all the action taken so far, last year the national debt reached its highest level in relation to national income since the late 1960s. But we are making progress, and the Government remains on target to return to budget surplus in 2019-20.

One of the great successes of the last Parliament was the ability of the Civil Service to deliver more with less – better, more responsive services, at lower cost. And efficiency and modernisation lie at the heart of the plans for the next four years, whether through exploiting digital technology to move services online, improving and consolidating office space, or selling surplus land.

Reforms and innovations

Many departments have developed important reforms and innovations to help achieve the savings required in the Spending Review. For example:

  • BIS plans to fund the growing number of apprenticeships through a new levy on the largest employers, which will raise £3 billion for HMG by the end of the Parliament and encourage more companies to offer higher quality placements
  • MoJ has a bold programme of investment and transformation, to bring about a speedier, digital, justice system and a modernised prison estate more able to focus on rehabilitation and education
  • HMRC will become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world, with its digital tax accounts allowing individuals and small businesses to see all their tax affairs in one place
  • The Strategic Defence and Security Review published on Monday announced 7 new joint units, part of a concerted effort to break down departmental silos and promote more efficient joint working
  • DWP will complete the reforms started in 2010 – Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Child Maintenance and the new State Pension – and transform the way it delivers public services through better use of technology

In the last Parliament, the number of civil servants fell by about 20%. While today’s Spending Review inevitably means that the service will continue to get smaller, our best assessment is that it will do so more slowly.

In weighing up priorities for delivering excellent public services and getting the best value for taxpayers’ money, each department will determine the necessary size and shape of its workforce. But it’s worth saying again that there is no planned target for reductions in the numbers of civil servants. Where headcount reductions are necessary we will manage them as far as possible through natural wastage and voluntary redundancies. In some areas, staffing levels will actually rise.

Modernised terms and conditions

The Spending Review confirms the approach to public sector pay announced in the Summer Budget: an average of 1% annual pay award for the four years from 2016-17. While we are only too aware that pay restraint impacts on the living standards of civil servants, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that it has protected approximately 200,000 jobs. Inflation remains at very low levels and is not projected to return to the 2% target until 2019.

The Government has also announced its intention to modernise further the terms and conditions of public sector workers, including civil servants, to bring them more into line with those in the private sector.  So, it will consult on further action on exit-payment terms across the public sector, to reduce the costs of redundancy pay-outs and ensure greater consistency between workforces. A review of sickness absence in public sector workforces has also been announced in advance of a consultation on how to reduce its impact on public service delivery. In the Civil Service we have done well, reducing sickness absence by 15% since 2010. But there is always more that we can do to improve, and to help colleagues with health problems to get better and return to work more quickly.

Building capability

The Civil Service’s biggest asset remains its people, and we are committed to maintaining the Civil Service as a highly efficient, capable, dynamic and diverse organisation, able to meet changing demands and priorities. Continuing to build our capability is crucial to successful reform and the future delivery of public services in a tough economic and spending environment.

Over the coming months the Civil Service Board will be developing a clearer blueprint for the Civil Service in 2020, building on the tremendous progress already made in recent years. By 2020 the Civil Service will be a leaner, more efficient organisation and more focused on implementation - but also an institution in which our traditional values of honesty, integrity, objectivity and impartiality are still at the heart of all we do.

As Minister for the Cabinet Office Matthew Hancock says:

“We are working hard to build a One Nation Civil Service that is thoroughly representative of modern Britain, one that backs innovation and delivers world-beating public services.”

The Civil Service is a precious national asset. Our work over the last few months has demonstrated that once again. Now, let's get on and make the country proud.

[This blog post has generated considerable interest and comment. Jeremy Heywood and John Manzoni have written again to address some of the issues you have raised. You can read their response here.]

210 comments

  1. Comment by HMRC_Minion posted on

    Yes, the spending review had a lot of positives for the Civil Service... with the exception of staff jobs and morale!!!

    The bell is tolling for the end of the Civil Service...

    • Replies to HMRC_Minion>

      Comment by broke whilst working for the CS posted on

      Typical spin on a disastrous announcement for both the staff and the users of the civil service. Ask any user of HMRC's services if they believe the service has improved over the last 5-10 years and they will laugh in your face - especially if they try to contact us by phone. Forcing everybody to file and d/w HMRC almost entirely digitally is courting disaster for the large chunk of the population.

      The forthcoming attacks on pay and conditions is no surprise. I warn all my friends as well as anyone I know not to consider joining the civil service - far from being a modern employer trying to engage it's staff it seems to view the human beings working for it as an unfortunate expense.

    • Replies to HMRC_Minion>

      Comment by S Fitzpatrick posted on

      I answered the spending review by suggesting that MP's be paid for the work they do and their attendance at parliament and giving an actual opinion on the subjects discussed in the house. They should not get subsidied food or drinks as we do not and they are paid substantially more than us and i don't get a kit kat for free, also all MP's houses should be billited like army properties and remain in the crown's ownership with all necessary items contained in them. The lack of value for money we get from MP's is shocking and they have a life time pension as well, it's a disgrace.
      New rule's and laws are passed that we have to implement and civil servant's who are the face of DWP get threatened and assaulted for enforcing them and now we are being threatened by the government by being told our jobs are in jeopardy and we could be joining the queues of the unemployed that we have helped to sanction. This is a disgrace and all this for an extra 1% a year if were still employed by the department.
      MP's should hang their heads in shame at awarding a 10% pay rise to themselves but no doubt will be busy in the restaurant at the house of commons having their subsidised dinner and drinks discussing how to reduce our numbers and standards of living.

    • Replies to HMRC_Minion>

      Comment by Paul G posted on

      totally agree with most on here. Worst day of the year for the civil service. This government are the worst employer in the country, they preach fairness, looking after hard working people and supporting families in their glossy brochures and media bites but punish their employees for being just that. Disgraceful. Can't wait to retire.

  2. Comment by T J Bailey posted on

    I note that no mention is made of the potential privatisation of the Land Registry.

  3. Comment by Paul Roberts posted on

    I accept that people are the biggest asset for the Civil Service, but I remain to be convinced that the true value of the asset is appreciated when pay is being restricted to 1% in the public sector, which is below the rate of inflation, jobs are being cut and the Pm thinks it's OK to back a pay rise for MP's of 10%.

    • Replies to Paul Roberts>

      Comment by Jo posted on

      Absolutely agree with this and similar comments re terms and conditions. it's all words and flowers we hear. Jo

    • Replies to Paul Roberts>

      Comment by Georgie posted on

      so when will they implement the pay benchmarking, last time I looked I was about £10k short...https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pay-benchmarking

    • Replies to Paul Roberts>

      Comment by Thomas Frail posted on

      I have to agree that it does seem a bit of a liberty for MP's to agree to pay themselves well above the inflation levels of both RPI & CPI, while preaching restraint and austerity to the country, however I have to hope, misguided or naive as it may be, that the impact upon the civil service over the recent past, job cuts, pay restraint, t&c's adjusted etc etc, has made some contribution towards the Government being able to preserve funding for those in our society with the greatest need. I can only hope.

      • Replies to Thomas Frail>

        Comment by stewart posted on

  4. Comment by Phil posted on

    The thanks we get for the work done outlined in Sir Jeremy's blog is a max of 1% pay increase for the next five years, an increase in National Insurance from April because of the cessation of Contracting out, and also another hit on our T & Cs. Its great to be appreciated!!

  5. Comment by Philip Lightwood-Jones posted on

    The continuing erosion of our pay, terms and conditions will have a significant negative in the long run. This kind of short term thinking is damaging HMRC.

  6. Comment by David posted on

    Re the comment "But we are making progress, and the Government remains on target to return to budget surplus in 2019-20". Some might say this sounds a bit too much like a political statement - something I'm sure as civil servants we would want to be careful to avoid.

    It is also interesting that the statement "The Civil Service’s biggest asset remains its people, and we are committed to maintaining the Civil Service as a highly efficient, capable, dynamic and diverse organisation" doesn't mention a highly motivated workforce. Does this not matter? Perhaps it would be a step too far given the commitment to an average 1% pay award for the next four years and work to "modernise" our terms and conditions, which in reality probably really means "erode".

  7. Comment by Sandra Williams posted on

    "But it’s worth saying again that there is no planned target for reductions in the numbers of civil servants" - the fact that the government is looking to privatise departments would surely reduce the numbers of civil servants drastically.......

  8. Comment by Chris Barker posted on

    I'm afraid that this article did not deliver the promised, "how . . . affect civil servants over the next five years." The Autumn Statement threatened 30% of cuts in the Civil Service, but this article mentions only the 20% lost in the last Parliament. To tempt me to read these articles the author(s) have to deliver on the promise of useful or informative content. This contains neither.

  9. Comment by Tracy posted on

    No planned target in the reductions in civil servants? How about 4500+ Land Registry staff?

  10. Comment by M Carroll posted on

    Doesn't the statement, "But it’s worth saying again that there is no planned target for reductions in the numbers of civil servants." completely contradict what was published in the SDSR? I quote, "In
    line with wider Government measures, we will be reducing the number of MOD civil
    servants to around 41,000" and "Over the course of this Parliament we will reduce our civilian workforce by 30%".
    Both look suspiciously like targets to me!

    • Replies to M Carroll>

      Comment by Paul posted on

      The MOJ is going from 17,000 staff to 11-12,000 over the course of the Parliament according to our CEO, having gone from 22,00 to 17,000 over the last Parliament. Sounds like reduction to me... But the great saviour of digitisation will bring a utopia of efficiency which means the remaining workforce won't miss their departed colleagues...

  11. Comment by Sophie posted on

    Nothing in here about the potential privatisation of Land Registry and how that will affect the civil servants working there....

  12. Comment by Marney Evans posted on

    Modernising terms and conditions to bring them more into line with those of the private sector - I eagerly await my pay rise, Christmas bonus and other private sector perks. Oh drat the rose tinted specs have just fallen off.

    • Replies to Marney Evans>

      Comment by DB posted on

      Indeed. I'm not sure that my cost of living increases in the private sector over the past 5 years would have totalled less than the 2% I have received over the period, or that I would have found my band maxima arbitrarily reduced, such that I would be unlikely to receive any future increase.

      Smart move on the voluntary exit front, since the number of hands going up each year will only increase from here. But, of course, that's the ambition and plan.

  13. Comment by John Armstrong posted on

    "HMRC will become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world, with its digital tax accounts allowing individuals and small businesses to see all their tax affairs in one place."

    This is good to know. Meanwhile this morning I'm sitting in an HMRC Contact Centre where many of us are unable to log on to make or receive phone calls. But it's a "National Issue", so that's all right then.

    • Replies to John Armstrong>

      Comment by Muzzy posted on

      So why is it that when I tried to ring HMRC the other day I got a recorded message saying there is a wait of at least 40 minutes and then when I was directed to a line which was supposed to deal with any written correspondence sent in over 5 weeks ago, I got a recorded message saying my correspondence was important and will be dealt with, but there is no need to call - Pathetic! What sort of customer service is this??

      This is no criticism of the staff, as I'm sure this is all down to a lack of resources.

  14. Comment by Kenny Welsh posted on

    The Spending Review confirms the approach to public sector pay announced in the Summer Budget: an average of 1% annual pay award for the four years from 2016-17. While we are only too aware that pay restraint impacts on the living standards of civil servants.............The Government has also announced its intention to modernise further the terms and conditions of public sector workers, including civil servants, to bring them more into line with those in the private sector.

    So why isn't the PM urging a pay rise for civil servants as he does for the private sector? Why are civil servants deliberately excluded from our "One nation booming economy"?

    But the biggest irony of all, is that they want "more with less" - this from an employer that detests the "something for nothing culture".

    Since 2010, every civil servant has been expected to do more in return for an erosion in their living standards. It is a truly appalling and shameful example of how to employ people - as reflected in this year's People Survey.

  15. Comment by N Kennard posted on

    This is yet another bad message for all Civil Servants and will only increase the frustration we have in trying to deliver the best possible service to the most vulnerable in society while still trying to maintain a decent level of living for ourselves and our families. The statement indicates 'The Civil Service’s biggest asset remains its people, and we are committed to maintaining the Civil Service as a highly efficient, capable, dynamic and diverse organisation, able to meet changing demands and priorities.' but also states 'The Spending Review confirms the approach to public sector pay announced in the Summer Budget: an average of 1% annual pay award for the four years from 2016-17.' together with a comment that 'The Civil Service is a precious national asset. Our work over the last few months has demonstrated that once again. Now, let's get on and make the country proud.'

    I take these comments as really meaning the institution of the Civil Service relies on its people resource but the government is not prepared to pay a decent salary for those existing Civil Servants and will continue to hold back pay for a further four years as it has done for the last 6 years. In effect Civil Servants will have another series of pay cuts (taking into account increased Pension , NI and Tax payments) but will be required to deliver more. This will only cause a further erosion in the quality of service we are able to provide to those that most need us.

    Has the Chancellor and the Priome Minister not heard the expression "If you pay peanuts you will only attract Monkeys"?

  16. Comment by Jo posted on

    I'm not sure how to reconcile "we are only too aware that pay restraint impacts on the living standards of civil servants" with "modernise ... [their] terms and conditions .... to bring them more into line with those in the private sector". Seems like being squeezed at both ends to me.

  17. Comment by Steve S posted on

    So, take the worst aspects of the private sector and transplant them to the Civil Service-see "Modernised terms and conditions". Conveniently glossed over as "an improvement" in this party political broadcast.

    No mention of the proposed privatisation of Land Registry in the Autumn Statement, presumably as it doesn't fit in with the vision of the Civil Service as a precious national asset. Never mind the potential higher exposure to fraud of every single owner of a registered title.

    Furthermore, can anyone explain to me how this country can have "world-beating public services" with an employer that treats those that deliver them as third class?

    No wonder Civil Service morale is at an all time low and consecutive staff surveys have shown that there is no concerted effort to improve it.

  18. Comment by Irene Sharp posted on

    If we have saved so much money and the number of people working with in the DWP is falling why do we have to take the short fall of 1% while you have a nice 10%. Here is an idea on how to save money you take a 20% pay cut then you will beable to give us the Civil Service a 3% pay rise and still have money in the bank.
    i'm living just on the bread line I don't smoke, drink, gamble, or have a computer, no Sky TV, no house phone, no Holidays to go on hoiday it would take me four years to save just the fare. Now I'm lossing my job as you are getting rid of my grade and when my job is gone I will be wrose off so next time you go on a well deserved hoilday to somewhere nice and sunny take a tin of bake beans open and eat them on the beach and think of me that has worked hard for the last 15-16 years and has absolutely nothing to show for it.

    • Replies to Irene Sharp>

      Comment by George B posted on

      totally agree with this we are all supposed to be in it together so it should start at the top with a BIG BIG saving with them not us showing the lead, as we have already done our share of cutting and saving I and many of my colleagues have not had a single pay rise in the last 8-10 years just our incremental increases No PAY increase, as to modernising we have just had updated equipment put in place which believe it or not was all built 2 years ago according to al the date tags on the side of them SO MUCH for modernising using outdated equipment .

      • Replies to George B>

        Comment by Jude S posted on

        You are fortunate to be getting your increments. In our department they have been stopped so after 7 years I am still on my minimum and being paid the same as someone who has just been promoted and has yet to undertake the rigorous learning schedule. Not great for motivation, or for being able to pay my ever-increasing bills. Civil servants aren't (generally) after massive payrises - just sufficient to keep the same level of purchasing power. So uncompassionate and so unfair.

  19. Comment by Hannah posted on

    Universal credit went well didn't it. And PIP went down a treat with all the claimants that were left disabled and without benefit or the option to work. Now I won't lose my tax credits but might lose my job.

  20. Comment by Jan Blake posted on

    We have been told in the MOD that as part of the SDSR the number of Civil Servants in the MOD ie headcount is to be reduced by 30%, SDSR 1025 Defence Key Facts leaflet: "In line with wider Government measures, we will be reducing the number of civilians employed by the MOD to around 41,000. Defence will in future be drawing more heavily on people and skills within the private sector." This has been briefed verbally as a headcount target and not a financial one.

    This seems to contradict what you have said in this Blog about 'wider government measures': "In weighing up priorities for delivering excellent public services and getting the best value for taxpayers’ money, each department will determine the necessary size and shape of its workforce. But it’s worth saying again that there is no planned target for reductions in the numbers of civil servants. Where headcount reductions are necessary we will manage them as far as possible through natural wastage and voluntary redundancies. In some areas, staffing levels will actually rise."

    It would be helpful if you could clarify this apparent discrepancy? Thankyou.

  21. Comment by Danny posted on

    And here we go with the 'modernising' contracts again. Bringing us in line with the Private Sector... except we won't be, will we? It will be the usual case of inflicting anything detrimental upon is, because that's what the Private Sector do, but any of their benefits? Oh no, can't be having that, taxpayers money, nooo... you just run along with your reduced T&C's and awful pay and be happy or go work for Tesco.

    • Replies to Danny>

      Comment by Nick posted on

      We were told to "go and work for Tescos" if we didn't like the NWOW ( new way of working/ "fair and sub stainable") during a Full Staff meeting?!

  22. Comment by Alan Clark posted on

    "While we are only too aware that pay restraint impacts on the living standards of civil servants, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that it has protected approximately 200,000 jobs. Inflation remains at very low levels and is not projected to return to the 2% target until 2019". Is this the same OBR who suddenly found £27Billion down the back of the sofa? Says a lot about the confidence we can have in their estimates / projections.

  23. Comment by Keith Reeder posted on

    So more hacking away at our compensaton scheme, regardless of the fact that it formed part of our "contract" with the employer...

  24. Comment by Bill posted on

    Why don't they just privatise the the civil service, and spare all the pain of years of doing it by the back door?

    Reading that story above, the private sector is our saviour.

  25. Comment by Confused posted on

    "...an average of 1% annual pay award for the four years from 2016-17."

    Please forgive my lack of confidence in the figures quoted elsewhere, unless you can use non-Einstein-ian language to explain how 2016-17 is four years?

    • Replies to Confused>

      Comment by CW posted on

      I can only assume that it means four years starting with 2016-17, that is 16-17, 17-18, 18-19, and 19-20.

  26. Comment by John Brett posted on

    Why does it always take something like a Spending Review or, as a couple of years back, an ODR, to shake management in to developing cost reduction and performance improvement plans? Surely cost effectiveness is a management priority every day of the year not something to address only when our masters say so.
    Where are these "protected approximately 200,000 jobs." ? They are presumably not essential jobs otherwise they wouldn't need protecting and if they are not essential they should be the first to go. I don't say this lightly as of course these are 200,000 livelihoods.

  27. Comment by S. Dickman posted on

    “Modernised terms and conditions” - as communication is to be open, honest and transparent why not give this item its correct heading “Further attack on terms and conditions”?

  28. Comment by Owen Carton posted on

    It is only right that the Civil Service be open to change. But when the real rate of inflation has been running at 3 to 4% for the last 5 years - that's about 17.5% over that period. At the same time my pay has only gone up by 7.5 %. Which means that my income has dropped by 10% in real terms!!
    I earn well below the national average salary. Why should I and other civil servants take the hit from a recession caused by world bankers in 2008.
    If the civil service is serious about saving billiions of pounds then we need to move thousands more civil servants out of London. (check the civil servants jobs website still the majority of vancancies are in LONDON!) Civil Servants in London are paid between 10 - 30 % more than civil servants elsewhere in the country!! Plus there are problems recruiting talented individuals in the capital. Plus accomodation costs 3 or 4 times as much in London as the rest of the country.

  29. Comment by Nic posted on

    One Nation Civil Service - sorry all of this translates in to further cuts in staff number, an attack on a pay and conditions (just so it's cheaper to sack us)...hardly a motivational speech.

    As a life long Conservative I am ashamed - why, well others will be worse off BUT in the last 5 years my take home pay is 20% less than it was before the last reforms; I work 50 plus hour weeks 'just to keep up' when I get paid for 36; no job prospects (that is if I still have one after 27 years) ALL of this from one of the few with an 'outstanding' performance marking. OH an by the way having to sell our family home after 20 years of leaving there as YOUR cuts mean that we will have to downsize. ONE NATION - if you are a multi-millionaire or a large company avoiding TAX. PS my conservative card is in the bin.

  30. Comment by Ap posted on

    Nice to know that as Civil Servants we are continuing to fund the bailout with no support or recognition from those above. With the increase in the pseudo NMW at least the cleaners will be paid as much as many Civil Servants so at least therer is an upside for some.

  31. Comment by John posted on

    I'm sorry but this reads like a party political broadcast-not an impartial and objective view of the spending review...

  32. Comment by Terry Holden posted on

    Under the Modernising Terms and Conditions it says "The Spending Review confirms the approach to public sector pay announced in the Summer Budget: an average of 1% annual pay award for the four years from 2016-17". Is this a misprint, 2016-17 is only 2 years?

    • Replies to Terry Holden>

      Comment by winston smith posted on

      4 years from 2016-17; so 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 & 2019-20

  33. Comment by Stuart Ward posted on

    The Civil Service is a precious national asset may not be the manner that many civil servants may consider the latest spending review. We reduce the workforce by 20%, put forward 22K of ideas to reduce waste, move towards a far greater digitized service, come in on many target areas and yet we are rewarded with a 1% pay increase for the next 4 years. Whilst I understand that we have to do our bit to put the country back into a better fiscal position, I find that this article is somewhat misguided in its approach.

  34. Comment by Colin posted on

    I'm pleased to see that Government intends to "...modernise further the terms and conditions of public sector workers, including civil servants, to bring them more into line with those in the private sector...". Can't wait for my pay rise, new car, meaningful bonus, share options, Mortgage discount, shopping discounts, private health care, hospitality at sporting events, and all manner of other perks, freebies and goodies. But then again, none of that was ever my priority: all I ever wanted was a career in public service and the peace of mind of knowing that, while the in-life financial rewards were limited, my family had a good safety net in place during the bad times - good sick pay arrangements in the event of falling ill; a good redundancy / compensation scheme if the worst came to the worst; and, after a lifetime of public service, a good pension when I retired (assuming I was lucky enough make that is). Did I want too much? Not sure where it all went wrong really?

    • Replies to Colin>

      Comment by Andy posted on

      Colin has called it correct, it is just another kick in the teeth for us civil servants. They really do not like us at all despite all the rubbish they keep telling us about how great we are. The Eton boys despise us, just watch a film called The Riot Club.

    • Replies to Colin>

      Comment by John Henry posted on

      Well said Colin, everyone I work with would agree with this.

    • Replies to Colin>

      Comment by Nicola posted on

      Couldn't agree more Colin, very well put. I don't think any of us became Civil Servants for the glamourous lifestyle!

  35. Comment by Andy Brookman posted on

    'modernised' seems to be a euphemism for worsened

  36. Comment by The unhappy IO posted on

    And so the race to the bottom continues for civil service terms and conditions

  37. Comment by Paul Ellis posted on

    The comment about bringing some of the civil service terms and conditions in line with the private sector assumes that the private sector manages it's staff, and their associated terms and conditions, in a better way. Shouldn't the approach be to bring the private sector in line with the civil service where we are shown to have best practice?

  38. Comment by C McKeand posted on

    When you say 'Modernise' the conditions for Civil Servants what you actually mean is make things worse. Can I just say that there still a number of us who have been in the civil service for a very long time and what attracted us and kept us are the very things that you are now trying to destroy, Pensions, sick pay etc. Wages have never been great, but we have stayed anyway due to the other benefits. Now the Government seems determined to bash its loyal servants.

  39. Comment by Daniel Stapleton posted on

    So,

    'The Government has also announced its intention to modernise further the terms and conditions of public sector workers, including civil servants, to bring them more into line with those in the private sector.'

    Does it also intend to modernise public sector pay, by an upward increase, to bring them up to and more line with those of the private sector? It seems not.

    • Replies to Daniel Stapleton>

      Comment by Jude S posted on

      Quite right Daniel. Also how about modernising the PMR stack-ranking system, long ditched by all those good, modern employers who tried it 15-20 years ago? Now THERE is a massive waste of time and effort and balance of mind for no identifiable benefit.

  40. Comment by Paul Harcombe posted on

    'Now, let's get on and make the country proud.'
    Seriously? You end with that? After all we've been through and achieved the last few years despite what the goverment has done to us and our various departments? I don't have the words ...

    • Replies to Paul Harcombe>

      Comment by M Carroll posted on

      Sir Jeremy seems to be adept at striking exactly the wrong tone.

  41. Comment by Martin posted on

    With 'modernisation' to reduce sickness benefits and redundancy payouts in a race to the bottom with the private sector, what private sector benefits will we have?
    Larger bonuses? Private healthcare? Salary increases? First Class travel? Complementary refreshments? Spacious comfortable offices with a range of recreational facilities? Subsistence allowances that allow you to stay in reasonable hotels and eat healthy food while travelling?
    No? Didn't think so.
    Maybe we can get rid of the discredited and hated annual Performance Management System with 'guided' ratings, that so many private sector employers are throwing out in favour or much lighter touch constant feedback with efficient systems to support requesting and giving feedback.
    No? So we taking the worst bits of the private sector and keeping the worst bits of the civil service?

    • Replies to Martin>

      Comment by John Henry posted on

  42. Comment by Stu Holttum posted on

    "there is always more that we can do to..... help colleagues with health problems to get better"

    I wasn't aware we were medical professionals! Can you give some examples please of how as a manager I can help colleagues with medical problems to get better?

  43. Comment by Dissapointed Civil Servant posted on

    The civil service is a disgrace. Another kick in the teeth for public sector employees - inevitably there will reductions in staff (Richard Heaton MoJ Permanent Secretary has already confirmed there WILL be voluntary redundancies in 2016/17 in a statement) and for all the years of commitment to public service, when the time comes to essentially losing ours jobs we will get less of a payoff. Nobody wants to work in the civil service already in certain geographical areas because of pay and conditions errosion and this just componds the problem. All because those in the Houses of Parliament could manage the finances. It's not surprising Parliament is literally crumbling at the walls.

  44. Comment by Andy posted on

    "The Government has also announced its intention to modernise further the terms and conditions of public sector workers, including civil servants, to bring them more into line with those in the private sector."

    I shall look forward to my performance reporting system improving and my reward package increasing to bring them more into line with those in the private sector then. Do we have a timeline for this?

  45. Comment by Alex G posted on

    If our T&Cs are to be brought more in line with the private sector (and I think we all know that means they will be worsened), I wonder if there is a plan to bring our payscales in line too?! For a lot of public sector workers, our lower pay is offset by better terms and conditions. Sounds like the drive downwards continues.

  46. Comment by Vince James posted on

    Can someone please answer a question for me

    MP's typically receive an 11% payrise. Civil Servants receive a 1% payrise. Also if inflation is not even at 2%, why do MP's have a pay increase over 5 times the rate of inflation. This does not appear to be fair what so ever and in my opinion a clear abuse of power. Are all civil servants not in this together?

    Thanks

    Vince James

    • Replies to Vince James>

      Comment by Paul posted on

      Because when it comes to the top, the argument is that they have to pay high salaries to attract and retain the best people. When it comes to the bottom, the approach is there's no money in the pot, and if you don't like it, there's the door. Just be glad you've got a job. We've seen over the years how well that policy has worked out! It would certainly motivate me if I was able to negotiate my pay!

    • Replies to Vince James>

      Comment by K J posted on

      After I read the statement I asked myself, IS THIS FOR REAL? no mention to reductions of the workforce, no mention to why MPs are receiving 11% rise (I forgot they are not civil servants, they are GODs), a 1% rise in my salary is like someone buying me a pint at the end of the month, are they insulting us by this. If civil servants are to suffer this humiliating rise it should be across the board including MPs and senior civil servants. The morale is so low across departments, and if anyone tries to raise a concern he or she will get the cold shoulder, or will get "we will look into it". If truly the civil service want to reduce cost, look at the spending on contractors and consultants who some of them earn 10 times the rate of a mid-grade employee, ah, I nearly forgot to mention the failed projects.

  47. Comment by Neil posted on

    Dont forget that "Sir" Jeremy is just a tool of the government and not our friend.

  48. Comment by Paul Goodwin posted on

    A 1% payrise is an insult, for most civil servants, whats even worse is the fact that the Prison Service is in complete melt down. Year on year we make the savings asked of us and the reward we are given is a 0% pay award, if your an experienced member of the prison service and are a closed grade, while MPs award themselves 11%. All in this together, i guess not.

    • Replies to Paul Goodwin>

      Comment by Matthew posted on

      At this rate, the only hope many low paid civil servants will have of getting a pay rise will be when the the raise in the minimum wage starts to overtake current salaries. This may well happen in the next 4-5 years. How is the 1% cap going to be able to work then?

  49. Comment by dougy p posted on

    The Ons staff have been waiting since August 2014 yes August 2014 to receive the 1per cent payrise and todate are no nearer in getting the rise so I will leave it at that??

  50. Comment by N Goodwin posted on

    By changing terms and conditions to modernise is merely masking the fact that in reality the government wants to impose regressive changes. The problem is that in a department such as HMRC where you want and need skilled tax professionals to close the tax gap you will not retain or recruit the talent needed to do this by further eroding real terms pay, increasing the timeframe when you can actually get your pension (are private pensions and company pensions linked to state pension age?) and then further eroding terms and conditions...... In the next 5 years we will face a massive exit of experienced staff and if we cant retain or recruit the result will be obvious !

  51. Comment by Martin posted on

    With 'modernisation' to reduce sickness benefits and redundancy payouts in a race to the bottom with the private sector, what private sector benefits will we have?
    Larger bonuses? Private healthcare? Salary increases? First Class travel? Complementary refreshments? Spacious comfortable offices with a range of recreational facilities? Subsistence allowances that allow you to stay in reasonable hotels and eat healthy food while travelling?
    No? Didn't think so.
    Maybe we can get rid of the discredited and disliked annual Performance Management System with 'guided' ratings, that so many private sector employers are throwing out in favour or much lighter touch constant feedback with efficient systems to support requesting and giving feedback.
    No? So we taking the worst bits of the private sector and keeping the worst bits of the civil service?

  52. Comment by Barry Owen posted on

    The race to the bottom gathers pace.

  53. Comment by Pope Gregory IX posted on

    A party political Political broadcast by the Conservative Party.

    Full privatisation of the civil service awaits

    • Replies to Pope Gregory IX>

      Comment by M Carroll posted on

      It would seem so, Your Holiness.

  54. Comment by K Smith posted on

    IT and office closures being targeted in the 26% reduction costs, so field staff will have not have the latest IT solutions to make them more efficent and no reliable support staff . Welcome back to the days of Pen and Paper and customers being left to scratch around for advice from Call centres

  55. Comment by Mark L posted on

    Funny how Civil Servants are restricted to 1% a year yet MPs recently awarded themselves an 11% increase, in addition to all their perks..... They are slashing the redundancy costs so they dont have to pay out to loyal civil servants who have many years of service - I have 21 years, I cannot get promotion, my NET pay in April was actually lower than March - this is all a slap in the face!!! We complete a People Survey and they cleverly "highlight" the few "positives" like engagement, when the main trend of the results are negative, pure spin!

  56. Comment by Job Seeker. posted on

    A recent visit to our unit by SCS proved just how much they appreciate our efforts, when questioned about the pay restraints the reply was " if you don't like it go somewhere else". I do hope Sir Jeremy Heywood reads all of these comments.

  57. Comment by Andrew posted on

    For goodness sake Hancock. You people make me want to throw up.
    You want to modernise the Public Sector exit conditions? You mean slash the terms so that most people with many many years of loyal low paid government service will be dumped and immediately be in danger of losing their homes.
    BUT HEY! What do you care? We'll have made the country proud....just like you did when you took your 11% pay rise. The private sector are higher paid, are getting over 3% (gvt figures) rises, flexi-time, bonus, shares, discounts, healthcare etc. So what if they are not in line with a redundancy. BRING THEIR TERMS UP TO OUR TERMS. We do not deserve to be punished again.

    And why do people keep going on about their 1% pay rises. I am an AO and my first rise in the last 3 or 4 years (after 2 or 3 falls) was 0.5% this year. Hurrah!

  58. Comment by Buster Friendly posted on

    What it means is people not being replaced, the extra work dumped on those of us left, coupled to further years of pay cuts and attacks on our remaining terms and conditions. Meanwhile "leaders" in Whitehall only hear what sycophantic minions tell them, whilst they reap the benefits of being tough on staff. It's interesting that it's never senior management that have to make sacrifices, just those of us who don't spend our days flitting from meeting to meeting.

  59. Comment by Robert posted on

    After 5 years of measly payrises we have another 5 years to look forward to, does anyone else feel they would be better off on benefits?

  60. Comment by Jerry posted on

    Another example of a senior civil servant (in this case the most senior civil servant) being completely out of touch with ordinary civil servants and instead of standing up for the contractual rights that we all accepted in good faith, is hell bent on supporting a government that praises the work we do whilst treating us like employment lepers. For one I would be grateful if Sir Jezza and his PUS cronies stopped communicating with us. We have all got your message - "if you don't like it here then go somewhere else, preferably in the private sector."

    • Replies to Jerry>

      Comment by M Carroll posted on

      Like and Vote up!

  61. Comment by Holga posted on

    The irony, of course, is that the above overtly political proclamation has been distributed with a document reminding the rest of us that the ‘Civil Service Code’ includes the core value ………….‘impartiality’. You simply could not make it up.

  62. Comment by Elizabeth O'Donovan posted on

    How insensitive, to announce the review of exit packages so soon after the Regional Announcement when so many of us are outside of RDT of the Regional Centres and the only thing we could hope for was an exit package based on the current terms. I suspected this would happen but to say it so soon after is really sickening.

  63. Comment by Barry posted on

    The private Sector is doing a really splendind job where it has taken over as "provider of choice" in the Public Sector. G4S, Serco, ATOS. Meanwhile, those of us that are actually left (the REAL Public Sector) are expected to clear up the mess. Still, all these reductions are necessary if "Our Glorious Leader", is to be able to attend World Summits in a style befitting his stature. "Ah, but that will be PRIVATE and won't cost the taxpayer anything" I hear you all shout, "yes, and so is Easyjet". Does a\nyone ever remember when the cost of the Royla Yacht was ever questioned, we were forever told that in times of conflict, it would be used as a hospital ship, Come the Falklands, and what happens? Lo and behold the fuel consumption made it useless to operate over such a distance

  64. Comment by Matthew posted on

    The 1% cap is not targeted at individuals, but as a percentage of the departmental budget as a whole. Therefore, a minority (such as those on F&S) could receive something close to a 2.3% increase while the majority (pre-F&S) can receive nothing.
    Someone has made a clear choice at how the 1% is allocated, which is somehow not in the same spirit of what is promised to civil servants each year or what is reported in the media.

  65. Comment by T.A Gordon posted on

    This joint message, coming on the back of yesterday's speech, coupled with the 12 November announcements in HMRC of office closures and job losses around the UK, is just a bit insulting to all the hard-working civil servants who serve this nation and our society.

    We delivered more WITH less for next-to-no reward. Now you proclaim even more future changes of the goalposts to deny us any entitlement to the basic terms and conditions we have always had.

    It is ethically and morally wrong to treat your staff in this fashion. It is in fact a betrayal.

  66. Comment by Poirot posted on

    "The Civil Service is a precious national asset. Our work over the last few months has demonstrated that once again. Now, let's get on and make the country proud."

    But it doesn't make any money so let's break it apart and save all the money for us.

  67. Comment by Mandy posted on

    I have been working as a Civil Servant since 1981 in at present called DWP Jobcentreplus. l have worked full time and currently P/T l have a major brain disorder called Schizencephaly & Cerbal Palsy using a powered wheelchair to move around. l have NEVER known staff BE SO Stressed out & De-moralelized , in all my working life. l AGREE with all the other comments we have been 'dumped' on from a great height. l have been affected by the cuts on both sides (my wages & our term of employment which have changed SO MUCH since l started they are not at all the same & when l move onto U.C. in the near future my benefits will be slashed) They are knocking us down because THEY CAN.

  68. Comment by Anthony posted on

    Surely if the Government is planning to review further, the terms and conditions of Civil Servants with a view to bring them inline with the private sector, they will face the need to increase the pay of Civil Servants to that of their equivilents within the private sector?

    If the Civil Service is to remain viable and wishes to attract proffesionals it needs the tools with which to do so. Without a comprehensive benefits package the low salary will drive potential recruits into the arms of the private sector.

  69. Comment by Jim Walter posted on

    The blog was very politically biased and shows just how out of touch our government and the senior civil servant advisors to government really are.

    It is funny that the follow up blog is about the civil service code, what a shame our politicians are not expected to follow the same standards as us and actually start to treat us fairly and impartially.

    We are all asked to see the bigger picture and keep in touch through blogs such as this but to be honest I wish I hadn't because my day has just got worse for reading this tosh.

  70. Comment by Paul Roberts posted on

    Just re-read what the SR means for CS.

    It seems that there is no planned target in the reduction of CS and any reduction will be managed though natural wastage and voluntary redundancy. Firstly, natural wastage assumes people will want to leave at retirement age ... oh that's right the default retirement age has been phased out. Secondly let's also rely on voluntary redundancy schemes ... but, keep this to yourself ... lets try to see what else can be done to reduce the costs of redundancy pay-outs first.

    The CS used to be a good place to work.

  71. Comment by allan posted on

    i would like to ask that the government at least start telling the truth to us the terms modernise and reform dont mean that , they mean cut and burn not once has the chancellor or prime minister used these terms and has resulted in an in an increase to our pay an improvement in our conditions or leaving our pensions alone. the autumn statement was just another kick in the teeth for hardworking and stressed public sector workers. never mind we are all in this together and i'm sure any MP worth his or her salt will willingly and eagerly give up thier 10% pay for us

    • Replies to allan>

      Comment by Si posted on

      Love reading all these comments, thought I was the only one thinking these things. The thing i've notice with these blogs, especialy around t and c's, performance etc is that you have to have your estate agent interperatation filter on and read into what is being said. seems everyone is already ahead of the game hear though.

  72. Comment by L posted on

    At least Dick Turpin wore a mask

  73. Comment by David Cox posted on

    You've got to hand it to the Government. They might be bastards but they're clever bastards. The MOD along with some other Departments says there are no plans for redundancies at this stage. That's to allow time for the Cabinet Office to defraud civil servants again by unilaterally changing contractual T&Cs again just like last time. This article talks about "consulations" on "modernising" T&Cs. We all know what that means. Consult, fail to agree, impose, get defeated in the courts and then use a Pariiamentary majority in our sham democracy to change the law to legalise Government theft. Once they've got that on the statute books then we will see the redundancies, voluntary or otherwise.

    At the same time the MOD is planning to cut its civilian workforce (30% over four years) mainly (so they say) by privatising large numbers of its staff and relocating others, no doubt expecting many people to leave for free rather than move to another part of the country.

    All very clever, unless you put some value on staff morale or the quality of service you can expect to get from such a demoralised workforce.

    • Replies to David Cox>

      Comment by Jean posted on

      They don't even consult now they talk directly to the staff and try to cut out any union consultation. A classic example - the doctors dispute.

  74. Comment by Ray Stephenson posted on

    Honesty, integrity, objectivity and impartiality. In terms of this communication from our leaders, it is not. It is pure propaganda and they should be ashamed to call themselves civil servants.

  75. Comment by Gordon posted on

    Sir Jeremy you leave yourself looking foolish at best by spouting such obvious claptrap. You disappoint me.

    • Replies to Gordon>

      Comment by HMRC_Minion posted on

      Couldn't agree more.

    • Replies to Gordon>

      Comment by Max posted on

      I'm not disappointed...but only because I didn't expect anything else

  76. Comment by Alan posted on

    A Condiscending article from in my opinion our morally bereft leadership

  77. Comment by Charmaine posted on

    It's all been said!

  78. Comment by Shahid posted on

    You said it all Andrew - could not put it any better myself. Nower days Employer like John Lewis, Lloyds bank (not comparing with local authorities) offers better packages i.e pay, pension and terms and conditions than the civil service. I sincerely hope someone would listen.

    I can no longer recognise the civil service I joined nearly 24 years ago. I and many colleagues have given years of our youth serving in the civil service, now can not wait to leave with our dignity intact. That is why DWP isn’t offering voluntary exit for all, because they know very well what the outcome would be.

    I heard from high ranking colleagues that there are no bars on the windows. My response is, yes there are, not only bars, the door is also vaulted. I will not, neither should any one leave the civil service empty handed leaving behind years of our contribution.

  79. Comment by Jennifer posted on

    No mention of a move to fair or equal pay for the hard working civil servants who are clinging on to their jobs within DWP / Jobcentre plus. Or the fact that many civil servants are relying on tax credits to suppliment their income, or the fact that 1% pay rises (if that) for around the last 7 years and for the foreseeable, effectively mean we have taken pay cuts as the cost of living rises!
    Our hard work is acknowledged by empty words and spin doctor terminology! No actual reward or recognition.
    Yet MPs are not to feel the "all in it together" austerity measures with a whopping 10% pay increase. Outrageous and offensive!
    I'll take comfort in the Chancellors words when I'm making the most of the 2 hours per evening I can afford to have the heating on, and sitting with my 2 children having 0.25p noodles for our evening meal as it's still 4 days till payday!!!

  80. Comment by Paula posted on

    So last week we get informed that HMRC are reducing to 13 regional centres, and none within reasonable travel. Then they hint that they may increase reasonable daily travel to force us to commute long distances, and now they are consulting on further action on exit-payment terms across the public sector, to reduce the costs of redundancy pay-outs.

  81. Comment by Andrew posted on

    How can staff in office not in RDT of Regional Centres plan ahead when they threaten changes to the exit packages. It is a kick in the teeth for staff who in a lot of cases have served for decades. I didn't join a good modern employer 30 years ago I joined the Civil Service because of the terms offered. They have screwed with my pension, already halved my redundancy package and now threaten our exit packages again - CRUEL!

  82. Comment by Grumpy posted on

    To me this smacks of discrimination! "Britain deserves a pay rise..." but only if you work in the private sector or are an MP it would seem!
    How much more can those working for the various Government departments take before the elastic breaks and slaps our Politicians in the face? Will that make them wake up and take notice?

    Bring on the redunancies I for one will be first in line perhaps then I can protect my pensionsand work for someone who offers a career, bonuses for performance, and a pay rise!

  83. Comment by Janine posted on

    What I always find amusing, is the talk of the Civil Service being bought more in line with that of the private sector....In many areas of the private sector, where rules/working environments are harsh there is adequate compensation/motivation (carrot not stick)...so as the CS will be looking to be in line with the private sector will this mean there will be the same motivational perks also found there? Paid for Christmas parties, private health care, stocks/shares, company car, discounts on goods/services, business class travel, huge bonuses, etc, etc....what am I thinking? Of course not!

  84. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    Well I don't feel like a "precious national asset". I deeply regret choosing to join the Civil Service. I am tired of being told that we must accept all the negative aspects of private sector terms and conditions and none of the benefits. I am tired of ministers praising us internally and complaining about us in public. I am tired of hearing about 'transformation' when all I experience is an increase in workload. I am tired, and I will be leaving just as soon as I am able. I suggest everyone else who is able does the same.

  85. Comment by Patsi posted on

    Something we should all be aware of...Consultation outcome published 3 November 2015 re Public Sector Exit Payment Cap:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-a-public-sector-exit-payment-cap/consultation-on-a-public-sector-exit-payment-cap

    No one should even think that experience, loyalty or long service are appreciated anymore. We are fast becoming the pariah of public spending by those who think they know the cost of everything, but in fact know the value of nothing. As long as everything is measured by cost it can be cut, regardless of its value to this country and its people. As we shall see in the next few years.

  86. Comment by Richy posted on

    Blah, blah, blah, blah. Don't try to patronise us by saying that you understand the impacts of all these cuts on us. It's all weasel words and until this persecution (and I name it as I see it) of Public Sector workers stops, no-one will be taken in by the positive spin. So, let's put this into some from of context. A couple of weeks ago The Queen came and gave a rousing speech about how we all do such a good job and how proud we should be of working for the public sector. Now we are being reminded of how we are being punished by our pay being capped until AT LEAST 2020 (and no promises of milk and honey after that) and that our Ts and Cs are going to be slashed even further (please, no more rubbish about "Modernisation" as we all know what that is). What a reward for all our contributions and efforts............

  87. Comment by Deborah Atkin posted on

    Deborah -26/11/2015

    I have been in the civil Service since 1979 and have seen it all. but I have never felt so unappreciated and demoralised. A 1% wage rise, changes to our pensions, unacceptable targets, draconion sickness policies and the prospect of probably being thown on the scrap heap due to job cuts. I have spent most of my life providing a professional and caring service but now feel that no one really cares how these changes are affecting staff. Everyone I know is suffering from stress. But all the government is interested in is trying to balance their accounts.

    • Replies to Deborah Atkin>

      Comment by Richy posted on

      Unfrotunately we appear to be living in a time where nothing else but money is important.

  88. Comment by James posted on

    Close to 100 comments on this blog in less than a day, and not a single, solitary one in any way positive. Doesn't this speak volumes about how unhappy Civil Servants are feeling right now? But will any of this be heard?

  89. Comment by Owen posted on

    Like others have noted: If the private sector is so brilliant, why are our pensions, T&C's been lowered to match theirs. Should not the Gov't be trying to increase the offer in the private sector for the benefit of the wider society?

  90. Comment by Paul posted on

    I worked in the Private sector up until 10 years ago. I had more stress than I do now and had a weeks less holiday than I do now and worked more hours than I do now.
    Where is this going ? I was paid roughly 3x more than I am now I had medical insurance and a company car (lovely green BMW I do miss it) My performance bonus was about the same as a months salary is here in DWP.
    I do believe that our Government has a Downton abbey view of the private sector.
    The Civil service has always had good terms & conditions , The Civil service should be held up as a beacon to the private sector to show what a modern employer should be like. But the Government seems to think that everyone in the private sector sweeps chimneys and eats stale bread.

  91. Comment by Not Convinced posted on

    The other day I had need to lookup my NINo and had to go back through some old payslips. Idle curiosity then took over and I checked the rise in my take-home pay over the last 10 years. Between Oct. '05 to Oct.'10 my take-home pay had risen by £666. Between Oct '10 & Oct.' 15 it had risen by £29. Thanks very much!

  92. Comment by Scott posted on

    It’s great to hear we are really valued as Civil Servants but we need more than just kind words I am afraid.
    However what really concerns me is the Modernising Terms and Conditions part in line with the Private Sector. I don’t think that will mean modernising our Pay and have it more consistent with the Private Sector will it?
    What angers me year in year out is this government does nothing to allow staff to progress to the maximum of their pay scale despite me serving the EO grade for over 8 years and £3000 of the max.
    To me this is pay discrimination and it is high time somebody challenged this as this is extremely unfair to staff who do the same job for less. Why have a pay scale when you can’t reach the maximum.
    Year in year out the staff survey clearly reflects nobody is happy with their pay but nothing seems to be done to change this.
    The government has to tackle the deficit which I understand and appreciate but that is no excuse on penalising hard working Civil Servants across the country who deliver year in year out. Our departments have done exceptionally well on delivering great results across the country despite vast reductions in their budgets and resources.
    Surely now it is only fair to reward staff by ensuring staff can climb their pay scales to the pay they deserve rather than being stuck at the lower end of the scale for a further 4 years which for me personally will make a total of 12 years serving my grade and no chance of ever reaching the maximum as my peers will continue to go further ahead with 1% increases.
    I would be really keen to hear a response from the Head of the Civil Service on how they intend to end discriminatory pay across the Civil Service over the next 4 years.
    This is from somebody that cares deeply about their career and the work that they do and keen to get on who works for a great department but I think it’s high time somebody challenged the unfair pay system that is at our disposal.

  93. Comment by Bill posted on

    As I sit here with an IT system that is not working while consolidating on yet another change to my job role (the third in a year) waiting for someone who has never worked for my department before (not their fault) to check my work to tell me after 12 years that I can do my job correctly I take solace in thinking about my new son and that he has just started crawling.

    But then i have just realised that he is currently very similar to the Civil Service Leadership as he is unable to explain his reasons for doing anything, blunders around without a clue where he is going. Is a hazard to those all around him. And is easily distracted by new shiney things. And causes stress and worry and sleepless nights (sometimes).

  94. Comment by Neil Sutherland posted on

    "The Civil Service’s biggest asset remains its people" - yet the 'leadership' seems content to let that asset wither and decay. The top three might command some respect if they had the decency to resign.

  95. Comment by Dave posted on

    This is the thanks we get? Thanks for nothing .... no, wait, less than nothing!

  96. Comment by John posted on

    It makes you wonder what they would do if we weren't a "highly efficient, capable, dynamic and diverse organisation". The mind boggles.
    I also had to keep reminding myself that this was written by a civil servant and not a government minister.
    I wonder how this would have affected the staff survey if it had been written before now.

  97. Comment by Emma posted on

    Such insightfull reading. I don't think there's one positive comment...

  98. Comment by BIlly D posted on

    Strangely no positive comments. I've worked in the civil service for 35 years and as far as I am concerned its an absolute joke now. Fortunately, I've been approved for VE so have six months to hang in there. It is patently obvious to me that the Service is becoming like a fat cats club, I wouldn't recommend it as a good employer. The complete flannel by an alarmingly pro Conservative SCS and the lack of decent pay and career prospects make me feel very sorry for those who are left to suffer the inevitable implosion Morale is rock bottom except for the few who get their category 1s or seamless promotions. Don't even get me started on the opaque performance system.

  99. Comment by Francis posted on

    How can they say
    ‘But it’s worth saying again that there is no planned target for reductions in the numbers of civil servants.’
    when the Minister said quite explicitly that the number of civil servants in MOD is to be cut by 30%?

  100. Comment by Caron posted on

    All the comments above are a true reflection of what everyone has been thinking and saying. With a 1% increase set for the next four yeas and imminent redundancies, the morale of civil servants will be lower than it already is. More work with less staff will make stress levels which are already high, go through the roof. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ..... NOT!!!!

  101. Comment by Carl posted on

    lets be honest the public on the whole hate civil servents, they see us as a waist of space and pointless cost. so we will never be treeted well. and the current goverment clearly feel the same. or they would defend our pay and conditions.
    i do think we need to become a better civil service, however that has to go hand in hand with not erroding our terms and coditions.

  102. Comment by Trevor posted on

    The only thing that surprises me about the Governments latest plans to 'reward' the Civil Service for its hard work, committment and dedication, is its employees reaction to them. Sould we be surprised by these pronouncements? The Civil Service has been on the front line of austerity measures since this Government was first elected and none of us should have been under any illusion this policy would not continue unabated. How many colleagues voted for them at the last election? A good number I suspect. Despite treating us so appallingly however, they continue to rely on our innate sense of loyalty and dedication to public service to keep the country running. Still, at least we have the satisfaction of knowing we are all in it together!

  103. Comment by J.Smith posted on

    i remember having this thing called moral!!!

  104. Comment by Paul posted on

    "Now let's get on and make the country proud". It beggars belief!!!
    If the 'country' knew the real picture of what Civil Servants do for this country and how their pay and conditions line up with the private sector then they may well be proud! Instead Civil Servants are vilified almost daily by this 'state hating' administration and the Tory red tops to the extent that most of us prefer not to tell people we work in the public sector.
    But in DWP and elsewhere, we crack on, not because we are like some poor whipped puppy who can't or won't leave, but because we still believe we are changing lives for the better. The reward for all this? A piffling pay rise and now, further erosion of T&Cs to align with the private sector (but without the 5-10% pay rises, bonuses etc that the private sector get). And you wonder why morale is low and the People Survey results are so poor??

  105. Comment by Pat posted on

    These comments from Civil Service colleagues echo my own feelings. The recent staff survey clearly demonstrates how frustrated we are by being over worked and under-valued / paid. The minority of staff who believe Senior Managers will take action on the results are probably managers themselves. Our work load has increased to cover the work of voluntary exit staff and we are paid less for taking it on. Is it any wonder senior leaders don't expect to make compulsory redundancies? Staff are being driven out by ever increasing level of stress and poverty. Their real plan is working. Shame on them for treating dedicated, long serving civil servants so badly.

  106. Comment by Paula posted on

    I like so many people on this blog have given years of hard work and loyalty while I have seen people leave the service with massive payouts and good pensions. The civil servants that have stayed have pushed through the reforms that have enabled the MOD to maintain their operational output with a greatly reduced budget and workforce, this is only achieved through hard work and a professional attitude. As I finish a 60 hour week where I have seen my family for only one family meal this week a thought crosses my mind 'why would I continue?'. It is clear that civil servants are not considered the fundamental core of the governments concern and they see our terms and conditions as an easy way to reduce the deficit. They leave me with no option but to take the skills and qualifications I have acquired to an organisation that will pay me a fair wage and treat me a valuable part of the team.

    • Replies to Paula>

      Comment by William (MoD) posted on

      Paula,

      You're contracted to do 37 hours - so do 37 hours.
      A contractor will only do as it is contracted to do.
      So let it all be contracted out - see how that works.
      It worked for the Olympics, the National Rail Network, Bristol Council's HR section and the DWP fit to work assessments - didn't it.

  107. Comment by Anne posted on

    Whist fully understanding the need to bring the Civil Service T&C etc in line with the private sector....can we start with actually bringing the pay inline with the private sector as a starting point, or else this seems nothing more than a 'lets squeeze the toothpaste from the middle' approach.

    you cannot state that you wish to align with private sector, whilst ignoring the fundamental difference in payscales!! Having worked for a substantial amount of my life within private sector, my former colleagues find much to laugh about regards my civil service paypacket and how out of line it is with private sector...

    so, if we are going to get rhetoric regards the private sector, ensure that ALL aspects are aligned with it, and not just the areas that suit your cherry picking agenda.

    • Replies to Anne>

      Comment by Tired civil servant posted on

    • Replies to Anne>

      Comment by RM posted on

      A lot of the blogs recently have been depressing, but this is one of the most depressing. 118 (at the point I pressed reply) public sector workers all feeling the same - overworked, underappreciated, underpaid and frankly frightened for what the future holds for them and their families as they work to make life better for other people's families. The Government might say we're a precious asset and compliment our hard work but actions speak louder than words - if we are truely appreciated it then show it. Show it through pay, performance bonuses, pensions and exit packages, that means far more than some empty words.

      If the private sector is so amazing then I look forward to my T&Cs and remuneration package matching theirs. From friends and people I meet through my work I see better pay, bigger bonuses, nicer offices with tea / coffee provided, paid for Christmas parties, first or business class travel, expenses that allow for better hotels and food when travelling, better IT, oh....and no forced distribution performance management system.

      • Replies to RM>

        Comment by Paul posted on

        The press would have a field day. I can see the headlines, "X amount of hard working taxpayers money spent on freebies and bonuses for civil servants." People don't see the value of what we do, only the cost. They want a Rolls Royce service on a Dacia Sandero budget.

  108. Comment by Helen posted on

    Join a union and support it. If you do not use your voice you will use it. This is what happens when apathy takes over and people do not stand together.

    • Replies to Helen>

      Comment by Helen posted on

      I meant to say of course, if you don't use it you will lose it 🙂

    • Replies to Helen>

      Comment by Max posted on

      I used to be in the union. Then the PCS signed the first of the three year pay deals, back in 2003 if memory serves. I ended up with a 0% pay rise while others around me were getting 43% in some instances. Needless to say I left the union within days of this and would never join another one.

  109. Comment by Michael Nobbs posted on

    This totally un-politically biased blog sums itself up with the phrase "...One Nation Civil Service...". This phrase links directly to One Nation Conservatism; a 'paternal attitude by rich toward poor which occurs naturally in society'. The banking crisis, the reduction in the top tax rate versus every single funding cut affecting the vulnerable and the less well off, etc, etc, etc, etc.......

  110. Comment by Bill posted on

    Why did the DWP Perm Sec not mention in his spin about the Spending Review in a message headlining on our intranet, the 14% cut in budget, 20% reduction in DWP estate (read jobcentres) and only talk about the nice things, and I say that in the loosest possible terms.

    Maybe I should appply for another job at my same grade in another department, where I would still be on the bottom of the pay scale, but would get around a £1000 payrise as the DWP scales are so low. Oops, my mistake, can't do that, as it will be blocked as we have so few staff already. Not forgetting the spreadsheet that runs the DWP states we are over staffed, so any potential move will be blocked.

    One day the good will, that was once a helping hand to run offies, which has now become a nessessity, and if not offered threats are made to get it, will run out. Then we all know what will happen. The people just doing their jobs, and nothing more, seeing as we are getting paid less and less in real terms, will then be either punished, or dismissed.

    I have left better employers before, and plan on doing so again, but have responsibilities, I can't just quit.

    I lied on the staff survey through pressure from line management to say the righ things to ensure a good result was had, as again it is more throuble than it is worth to be seen in a bad light.

    It is good to see we are all in this together.

  111. Comment by Martin Dawson the last Inst Tech in England posted on

    Once read some where (to the effect off) '...in the 19th century there was some 5,000 Civil Servents running the British Empire. A British Empire where the sun never set and half the world was pink. Now, there are 60,000 and there's only a tiny island moored of the north west coast of Eurasia to run' guess its all the mountains of paper work, hoops to jump through and computers. Oh hum...

    • Replies to Martin Dawson the last Inst Tech in England>

      Comment by George Jeffreys posted on

      The C19th Civil service did very little except enforce laws and order on the people. Most of the old empire was run with the help of local collaboraters, avoiding the need for large numbers of administrators. In the Indian Civil Service was completely Indian in its lower ranks. The figure refers to the number of senior civil servants seconded from Britain. Also this was at a time when Britain was withdrawing from the empire.

      A modern welfare state requires vastly more admin jobs. Taking into account population increases and expansions in the role of the state, the numbers of SCS remsain almost the same.

  112. Comment by Donna posted on

    I think the civil service core values of honesty, integrity, objectivity and impartiality can be questioned by all of the comments above....if there was a like button I would have done so on the majority of these comments. I think senior civil servants should spend less time back slapping for their successes and more time listening to the angst and high unrest among their staff. Valued??? I don't think any of them feel like that...You want civil servants to feel valued, in your perception.... they should feel it. Their perception.... is actually persecution!

    What parallel universe is being lived in? Staff are disgruntled, unhappy, stressed, skint and generally downhearted. Look at all the comments on here? It doesn't paint a good picture!

  113. Comment by Tired but determined posted on

    The only thing that makes me feel heartened at the end of a week when I have been told of my departments proposed privatisation and further cuts to our terms and conditions is reading these comments and listening to the comments of my colleagues at work. This Government is fond of telling us that we are all in this together... well we civil servants are.... and not in a good way. I am going home today tired and disheartened but I will fight for my job and conditions with every last breath in my body.

  114. Comment by John posted on

    I can only agree with the sentiments expressed regarding this Blog. I'm a lifelong civil servant- joining straight from school and 28 years later I'm still here. I feel a strong attachment to the DWP, feel that my efforts make a difference, but on Monday I'll find out if I've been made redundant. I applied for a VES scheme, because I'm to be honest, sick of being taken for granted by our senior management. An abhorrent PMR system, wage restrictions, constant changes to terms and conditions, constant stress -all have paid a part, but the icing on the cake is the complete lack of support from our senior management. No wonder only 38% of staff have any confidence in decisions made by senior management.

    • Replies to John>

      Comment by John posted on

      Update...turned down for VERS for the 2nd time, so now look forward to many more happy years of eroded conditions, PMR paperwork, stress, pay cuts year on year, sickness disciplinary procedures, with a leadership team that shows us no respect. "Now, let's get on and make the country proud."........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  115. Comment by Despondent of Whitehall posted on

    Joined in 1987. Been through all the grades and worked my way up to G7. Always felt until 2010 that if you worked hard you could get somewhere and the pay was decent for what was expected - lower than equivalent jobs in the private sector but that was offset by job security, pension etc. Now that's all gone. No real career opportunities for people, a huge increase in workloads and stress and real uncertainty about the future when people should be feeling secure and given recognition for long public service and loyalty. What do we get instead? A real bottom line cut in take home pay due to massive increases in pension contributions and changing of the goal posts half-way through the match on terms and conditions. Greedy selfish bankers caused the global meltdown, not hard working public sector workers. Unfortunately the economic meltdown has provided cover for nasty, vindictive and unnecessary attacks on civil service pay and conditions. As has been said earlier, if we are trying to align T&Cs with the ever-so-successful private sector where is the luncheon voucher, subsidised travel and funded 'team events' at posh restaurants and bars? No-one in the public sector actually expects such things because we all understand that our pay comes from tax payers (a group to which we also belong) but we surely can expect fair remuneration for a job well done and not to get shafted by our employer. Unfortunately it seems not. Make way for the private sector, shareholders, a culture of service level agreements ("not my job to do that guv'nor") and distant faceless services operated by automatons. No compassion. No sense of public service and doing what is right. No decency. No fairness. Just an employer that knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

  116. Comment by Matthew C posted on

  117. Comment by Nick posted on

    I have some sympathy with these comments but how is complaining working for you? If you suspect that you are underpaid consider the alternatives. If, having considered these alternatives, you prefer to remain in the Service then the Civil Service conditions of work taken as a whole must be the best that you can achieve at least in the short term. For the longer term consider a changing your career, including retraining. Take responsibility for your thoughts, emotions, behaviour, and forseeable consequences of your actions. Change that which you can and learn to tolerate better that which you cannot. I wouldn't say that it is the response of a well-functioning organisation to suggest to a disgruntled workforce that it leaves (if that was, in fact, the response) but if the priority in the short term is to save money then it makes sense to ignore poor working conditions with a view to saving on redundancy payments. The assumption, of course, is that the organisation avoids a catastrophic level of departures. If this happened, though, and you were one of those who had left, how much would it bother you?

    • Replies to Nick>

      Comment by John posted on

      If you wish to smile on, while your terms and conditions are eroded away Nick, you carry on. The vast majority of us don't feel like smiling.

      • Replies to John>

        Comment by Nick posted on

        John, at the moment many of us are presented with a challenging work environment that has the potential to trigger high levels of anxiety and depression. This not only makes us unhappy but also reduces our ability to make constructive decisions about our futures. We might take responsibility to maximise our mental health by taking advantage of our departmental staff wellbeing services and our GPs. We might also stop railing against the injustice and unpredictability of life. By all means join and use the Union, but let's stop upsetting ourselves by making demands about things over which we have no control. There is no rescue party - we have to dig ourselves out. I'm sure that you'll forgive me quoting a politician here because as Winston Churchill remarked: "when you're going through hell, keep going".

        • Replies to Nick>

          Comment by John posted on

          I think we'll agree to disagree Nick-( Colin's response says it all), but thanks for your input, and I do like the quote.

    • Replies to Nick>

      Comment by Colin posted on

      Nick,
      Unfortunately some of us have reached a point in our working lives where we have no choice but to stay - so as not to damage any further what's left of our pensions! If you want to understand my anger, its a bit like your mortgage provider saying to you "...sorry, we know you've only got 1 year to go before your mortgage is paid off, but we've decided that we didn't make enough money out of you - so we've decided you'll have to keep making payments for another 5 years...". How would you feel about that? Philosophical?

      I thought I'd made my life choices over 30 years ago: no great rewards during my working life in return for the security of knowing what my pension would be and what it would cost me - or what my redundancy package would give me if the worst came to the worst. But it seems, despite my keeping my side of the deal for 30+ years, my employer can now just decide to cast aside our "contract" because it doesn't like it any more. The very qualities that made me a good Civil Servant tell me that's not an acceptable way to treat people.

      • Replies to Colin>

        Comment by Nick posted on

        Few join the Service for purely altruistic reasons (if human altruism can be said to exist at all). Common reasons for joining were a desire for security, predictability, relatively fair treatment (if we are a member of a minority with "protected characteristics"), family-friendly attitude, and convenience. Some felt that they were not up to the combative nature of the private sector or its management inanities. We didn't miss the white-water rafting away-days. Unfortunately that which seemed possible but at one time improbable is coming to pass - the Service is turning into the private sector but without the benefit of the resources of its "evil" cousin and, unlike the private sector, our employer can re-write the rules. Our parents were well intentioned but told us a lies. Life isn't fair and nobody is coming to make it so. Those who turned a deaf ear to the rumbling of the tracks years ago can now hear the whistle and see the lights. We all have choices nevertheless. If you struggle with anxiety, depression, or risk-aversion consider getting some good-quality coaching. How long do you want to be miserable?

        • Replies to Nick>

          Comment by Colin posted on

          Nick,
          I agree with much of what you say - although some may find it very presumptuous. A person’s ability to cope with "unfairness" is neither here nor there in this debate - although it's good to see that you're concerned about your colleagues’ wellbeing. But you make my point very well when you say "...and, unlike the private sector, our employer can re-write the rules...". Being able to do something does not make it right and, as I've said, I don't think these actions are in line with the values that I hold dear as a Civil Servant. And I for one would be very unhappy with a Civil Service that gave up on the concept "fairness".

    • Replies to Nick>

      Comment by Ian posted on

      The introductory comments above state, "an average of 1% annual pay award for the four years from 2016-17. While we are only too aware that pay restraint impacts on the living standards of civil servants, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that it has protected approximately 200,000 jobs." Therefore, increases in the pay of MPs MUST be limited to an average of 1% (as defined by the Spending review), or are they no longer public servants? Will someone please tell me what cuts there have been in the support and admin. staff for MPs? There have been many arguments on how to calculate pay rises, but it's actually amazingly simple; give them what Civil Servants get. they are no different. And why do we subsidise alcohol in the palace of Westminster? Personally, I don't wish my MP to be drinking whilst on duty. Anything that is appropaite for Civil Servants is also appropriate for MPs.

    • Replies to Nick>

      Comment by Dave posted on

      Nick, I wonder how you'd feel in my shoes, our office is closing in 3 years with no real prospect of finding alternative work in the Civil Service locally. I will lose my job in 3 years (or sooner). The current exit terms would help me significantly. If they are now to be eroded to say less than 6 months pay, how comfortable would you feel knowing you have two kids and a mortgage.

      Spare a thought for those not as fortunate as yourself.

  118. Comment by Despondent Civil Servant posted on

    Modernised T&C (to employees detriment); 1% Pay increase (in reality 0.5% as it is always paid late); More work for those left here (no staff to replace those who leave); Pension Contribution increases (higher than the meager Pay increases); Authoritarian management style (where is the authoritative management of the old days). Makes a happy workforce? NO.
    How soon before Overtime Pay is no longer Time & Half or Double Time for weekend working (supermarkets went down that route a number of years ago)?
    The SCS are out of touch with reality.
    Hence, why would they say things like Office Rental Space in Leeds is Cheaper than Bradford (in relation to Tax Office Reorganisation)?
    Or the Head of Immigration not thinking their job may have an affect on them being a juror in Court (majority of defendants in Courts are Foreign Nationals)?
    Is it any wonder the lower grades do not believe a word they say?
    I joined the Civil Service to make a difference, not to work for a profit and for the benefits of a decent pension when I retire. However, if I stay I can not retire at 60 (as was) and will likely have to stay on past 70 with the continued erosion of pay for the next four years minimum.
    After 30 years in the Civil Service, I will snap their hands off if I am offered VERS and 'Get the Hell out of Dodge' such is the feeling of despondency I have, if faced with staying here for much longer.

  119. Comment by gail posted on

    In the site I work in things are bad enough that about 50 people have left in the last few weeks. Yes really. The management don't care about the staff at all. We get a ridiculous pay settlement and frankly the aim is to drive people out of the service. So when they bang out about how valued we are they ate simply liars. G xxx

  120. Comment by Disillusioned CS. posted on

    Never mind, in 5 years the Government will have achieved its objective. Making sure every civil servant is basically on minimum wage, even though they expect the best people for the jobs within their departments.
    A shameful way to treat the experienced, and supposedly valued members of their workforce, with a real-terms cut in wages of 20% over the last 5 years (to date) and a continuing downward spiral of T&D to ensure we can all be booted out the door like the scum we are (Obviously in their eyes, this is the best treatment we deserve). Shameful!!!!!!!!!

  121. Comment by John posted on

    I wonder if we can access the results for the staff survey by grade. It would be interesting to see what the results were if they showed only the grades AA to EO. I suspect it would make even worse reading for management.

  122. Comment by J posted on

    Erosion of working conditions especially the implementation of draconian sickness trigger points lowers staff morale. As usual this is bottom of the priorities list. Those in their ivory towers need to look at the bigger picture - it's not rocket science to see that higher morale = higher efficiency. Until civil servants are treated with more respect and courtesy the civil service will remain inefficient as no-one will be giving their best.

  123. Comment by Raj posted on

    You keep using the word "modernise". I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Yeah so this Spending Review is a joke.
    I think mandatory drug tests needs to be implemented at the top levels because they were clearly smoking something when coming up with this

    • Replies to Raj>

      Comment by sharon posted on

      Another four years of 1% pay rise is this a joke? I havent had a pay rise in seven years and not had a pay progression move at all. How is this keeping up with the private sector ? I was promised when i started the job i would reach my pay maximum within five years ummmm still awaiting this.
      How can the MP's get 10% and we get 1% not right.
      I will actually be below the minimum pay by the time it reaches the third year at least.!!
      I do actually wonder if this is actually been read or weather people will actually get a reply?

  124. Comment by PB posted on

    Another year of poor engagement results - how suprising.
    Most of the managers care about one thing: themselves - not staff and not customers (despite what they may say).
    What happens to the senior managers who fail year on year to improve on engagement - obviously nothing: they're all still here - we will be re-visiting all the same topics again next year!
    Poor morale will eventually impact on the business - it won't run forever on goodwill.

  125. Comment by Barry Owen posted on

    Wonder if the widespread bullying which is now experienced in the service can be in any way connected with recent events elsewhere, as reported over the weekend in the news!!

  126. Comment by Angela posted on

    Have read Sir Jeremy's blog and the responses to it.
    When are you going to address ANY of the points raised in this blog Sir Jeremy?!!! Or is it all just another pointless waste of time.

    • Replies to Angela>

      Comment by Bill posted on

      What you will find unfortunately is that only answers which fit with the intended outcomes of the original writer will get a response from an SCS member. Good luck in hoping that the SCS actually care about the workforce.

    • Replies to Angela>

      Comment by HMRC_Minion posted on

      Unfortunately Angela, any response would just be more of the same worthless spin and waffle about how lucky we are, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah...

      I usually pass the time by counting my blessings... although it doesn't take as long as it used to...!!

  127. Comment by Rob Wharton posted on

    I suspect a lot of this 'race to the bottom' culture arises from the work of swivel-eyed so-called ' Management Consultants' such as Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC), Mc Kinsey et al. There is clearly an agenda to decimate the Civil Service and all the values that it stands for and represents. All the above examples and points (very well made by other respondents) look to me like the start of the collapse of a truly dysfunctional organisation. This is the same sort of institutional stupidity that presumes everyone is on-line in the context of claiming benefits such as the new Universal Credit. Similar examples are cutting back tax office staff to the degree that 'phones are rarely answered in any reasonable time and calling it 'back office savings'. They do indeed think they know the price of everything but the value of nothing ! I could go on but it only depresses me further.

  128. Comment by Simon posted on

    I am incredulous at how out of touch those at the top actually appear with how those working in the civil service are actually feeling.
    I can tell you what the spending review means for civil servants - misery, worry, anger, disengagement, uncertainty etc etc etc. Add here any negative emotion you can think of.
    The talk about bringing in modernised T&Cs is just one more nail in the coffin. I think I can predict one suggestion from civil sevants that wont be implemented and that is scrapping the guided distribution in the performance management system. This is the most disgraceful, bullying and unfair thing ever. It will be kept to ensure a high level of job cuts can continue.
    And these two quotes from the article almost made me throw my PC out of the window "..We are working hard to build a One Nation Civil Service...." and "The Civil Service is a precious national asset." - please demonstrate this to us by giving us an inflation pay rise (everyone including those at the top of the payscale. I havent even had the much hearalded 1%) and stop further degrading our T&Cs.

  129. Comment by Gareth posted on

    I think there are a few questions:

    1) Talk about wanting the Civil Service to have terms and conditions similar to the best of the private sector - will we be allowed to see what comparators are being used?

    2) Talk about trying to reduce sickness levels. What to? Surely the Civil Service accepts that there will be a point when people are sick and can't work - if current levels are believed to be too high, what level would be considered acceptable?

    These questions may seem picky, but I have to say that this statement seems high on rhetoric and low on actual concrete confirmation of anything - that being the case, it's natural that staff attention will focus on what will affect them most. If we can have some more clarification around those things, people will be more informed going forwards.

    One further query. Seeing as this announcement applies to the whole Civil Service, reforms to terms and conditions will apply across the whole Civil Service, and Performance Management apparently applies across the whole Civil Service, how is it consistent to maintain the line that we're employed by separate departments, when it comes to negotiations on pay, leading to variations in pay levels across the Civil Service?

    • Replies to Gareth>

      Comment by Michael posted on

      "Talk about trying to reduce sickness levels."

      I would be in favour of this if by this you meant preventing causes of sickness and accidents (themselves contributors to the statistics) NOT amounts of sick leave taken by the genuinely sick/incapacitated. Prevention is better than cure, or to put it in Blairite phraseology "being tough on sickness by being tough on the causes of sickness" (eg stress, bad h&s practices etc).

      • Replies to Michael>

        Comment by Michael posted on

        QUICK PS - I should say "NOT making restrictions concerning amount of sick leave". The latter has caused stress in many cases and contributed to people using annual leave or flexi to minimise their sick leave record because they fear sanctions.

  130. Comment by Neil posted on

    i would expect those at the top, would never get to read any of this, and would say that it is only a small percentage of the overall staff, that seem unhappy with the T&C. i think many of us, just feel so beaten up, that it is hard even to care any more. if i was a young person i would be out of here like a shot.
    Jeremy and his ilk dont care, his political masters dont care, and despite all the improvements 'we have delivered' things are not going to change.

    • Replies to Neil>

      Comment by Paul posted on

      The People's Survey had over 35,000 responses (51% of the workforce if I read it correctly). 75% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the questions on pay and benefits. Hopefully that will be taken as more than just a small percentage of unhappy staff. It also doesn't account for the 49% who didn't fill in the survey for whatever reason. But as usual, the best parts are cherry picked to say look how well we are doing, and the uncomfortable parts are either not mentioned at all, given lip service with meetings and action plans that don't seem to make any difference, or we're just told like it, lump it, or there's the door.

  131. Comment by C Smith posted on

    Disappointing and too self congratulatory. I quote - HMRC will become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world - obviously the employee journey will not be included in this. From personal experience the sstaff journey has been left behind in favour of the customer journey - ETMP comes to mind?????? Also whoever drafted this article your description of staff leaves a lot to be desired again I quote 'Where headcount reductions are necessary we will manage them as far as possible through natural wastage '. I may seem over senstive but come on HEAD COUNT to refer to staff. Clearly the lessons of the staff survey and valuing staff have not been learned. AND another review on sick absence.........! I think if we are saving resources then many of the staff employed on these special tasks? should be diverted to front line business. It is not rocket science but it is obvious on the shop floor how many offline staff are not required to multi task as much as front line contact centre staff?

  132. Comment by Mark posted on

    I do hope one of the opposition parties can properly get their act together. I get fed up being told what a wonderful job I'm doing, only to fall foul of the demotivating bonus system, endless pay restraints and sneaky cut-backs. While I'm grateful for having a job, the erosion in morale, fuelled by endless change and the continuous bombardment of 'positive' propaganda spin is exhausting. The next General Election can't come soon enough. Someone needs to start fighting for the nations' public servants, if they really do value them.

  133. Comment by Scott posted on

    Them and us - 10% - 1%, enough said.

  134. Comment by Frustrated posted on

    I have been sitting in the re deployment pool for nearly a year along with eight other CS we have asked for VERS but they have gone against their own guidelines and left us to the point we have had to put in a grievance. The tax payer has paid our wages for us doing training courses etc. no real CS work. We understand that the guidelines are there to protect us but we have wanted to go since the summer there are no jobs in our area just let us go 8 less CS to worry about.

  135. Comment by Jem 77 posted on

    I could write reams on why the pronouncements of "Civil Service Leaders" and departmental "Senior Leaders" are inconsistent, irrational and dishonest.

    I won't, because two words are enough to describe their collective behaviour: utter hypocrisy.

  136. Comment by Keith Reeder posted on

    "they will face the need to increase the pay of Civil Servants to that of their equivalents within the private sector?"

    If only.

    The job I do - I'm a Data Protection "deep expert" in DWP - pays £80k plus in the Private Sector (go onto any job site and search for DPA jobs, this is easily verifiable); and the workload and pressure in the Private Sector would be a TINY FRACTION of what I deal with here.

    Yet I'm on less than £25k.

    So yes please, Sir Jeremy and Mr Osborne, I look forward to my employment circumstances being aligned with those of the Private Sector...

  137. Comment by Max posted on

    As a movie fan I remember a great couple of lines from Wall Street:

    Budd Fox: Why are you wrecking this company?
    Gordon Gecko: Because it's wreckable

  138. Comment by MW posted on

    I'm afraid that this is going to be self-defeating. The "deal" with working for the civil service was always that the low pay was balanced by good terms and conditions (i.e a good pension that you could retire comfortably on, sensible sick pay policies, flexible working and a good annual leave entitlement) coupled with a civilised working environment and then last (But by no means least) the sense that you were ulimately working for the public good. What appears to be happening is that some of the worst aspects of private sector practice have been introduced (a narrow target-driven culture, cutting pension provision and a sometimes downright nasty set of sick policies) without matching private sector pay levels or indeed career progression (Our personal career training is particulary bad in that regard-making everything an cheap, online-only and like the Early Learning Centre is not the answer). For many people, especially those toiling away on the lower ranks, pay stagnation is greatly affecting their standard of living-the policy of awarding most pay increases as mostly annual lump sums does make budgeting on a monthly basis vastly more stressful. It also does not help, that the impression is often given by some of our masters that they do not value our efforts; seeming to view us as akin to verrucas on the feet of life, morale raising- this is not. For myself,if it transpires that our annual leave is arbitrarily slashed, then I for one will be off. On a positive note, things aren't all bad, I can think of few private sector employers who would undertake a staff survey and then allow the bad results to be published like this-so kudos for that. Also I still personally feel that I am making a difference (although for how much longer I do not know) and that still counts for something.....

    And now a couple of thoughts to ponder, Adieu!

    “There is nothing quite so tragic as a young cynic, because it means the person has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.”
    ― Maya Angelou

    “Sweet are the uses of adversity
    Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
    Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.”
    ― William Shakespeare, As You Like It

  139. Comment by Archie posted on

    And, despite all these comments, not a word from anyone at the top of the greasy pole. Obviously they do not care about we minions one jot. Why bother, they dont listen !!!!!

  140. Comment by Antoni Chmielowski HMRC posted on

    It has been reported in the Times today that the latest Govt Consultation paper intends to cut Voluntary Redundancy to 15 months ( currently 21 months) and Compulsory Redundancy Pay to less than 12 months.

    If true, this ties in neatly with the possibility of up to 4000 possible redundancies announced by the FST David Gauke.

    It goes to show that in the age of austerity its always easier to sack the lower grade (and lower paid HMRC staff) than actually recruit more staff to collect tax quicker.

    Still, its nice to know that despite my best efforts I am so little thought of and appreciated.

  141. Comment by Disillusioned CS. posted on

    Come on people on high!!!!!!
    The whole point of a blog is that you have a conversation with the people on the board about your posting. You don't just post a thread and then ignore all the people that are actively trying to get involved in YOUR conversation.
    If you don't want to converse with us then stop this stupid box-ticking exercise to say that you have active communication with people that makes you look good on paper. It's obvious from our side that no-one gives a hoot about any grievance ANY of your staff have. Almost 190 comments and all have been expertly side-stepped by a lack of any acknowledgement at all.
    Sign of the times, no matter how loudly we try and shout, it will always fall on deaf ears 🙁

  142. Comment by Caroline M Thacker posted on

    HMRC Vision Statement for the public
    Do all we can to keep the cost of dealing with us as
    low as possible
    We aim to take up as little of your time and money as we can.
    We will:
    • try to make our services straightforward and easy to access
    • make it as cheap as we can for you to contact us
    • explain clearly what we need from you
    • do our best to give you complete, accurate and consistent advice
    • do our best to get things right first time.

    I draw attention to:-
    try to make our services straightforward and easy to access
    • make it as cheap as we can for you to contact us

    The public can not easily access any department of the Civil Service straightforward
    Neither is it cheap for the public to contact the Civil Service

    Being held on the telephone sound familiar? Websites either crashing or giving conflicting advice?

  143. Comment by Marilyn posted on

    All the above is fine but isn't the figures mentioned going to be eaten into by our getting involved in the bombing of Syria and our illustrious PM getting his private jet? What will the figures be in reality? We all pull our belts in to save the country money while some of our illustrious MPs will find new and novel ways of spending it .... mainly on themselves.

  144. Comment by Ali G posted on

    All this asap after the People Survey was published. What a surprise. Not.

    • Replies to Ali G>

      Comment by Buster Friendly posted on

      As I posted in another blog on the same subject, the timing of these things is not arbitrary.

  145. Comment by C Smith posted on

    mmmm job satisfaction plenty today as phones crash again for hours as there is an update to 03000 numbers. Really HMRC you need to get your act together - what was that you said the most digitally advanced in the world. Not today then

  146. Comment by Hassan posted on

    Worth reading the comments on here whilst my laptop has not been functioning properly the whole day... (it took me about an hour to get through all of them). I think for those of us still early on in our careers, we should go and look elsewhere. Can always come back to the Civil Service in 10-20 years time when the regime changes.

    • Replies to Hassan>

      Comment by John posted on

      Can only agree with you Hassan. Unfortunately I'm too long in the tooth to join you.... 🙁

  147. Comment by Chris posted on

    Well the torrent of comments has warranted a response https://civilservice.blog.gov.uk/2015/12/09/responding-to-your-comments-on-the-spending-review/ though interesting the ability to make comments on it has been omitted.

    • Replies to Chris>

      Comment by Chris posted on

      My error - you can make comments...

    • Replies to Chris>

      Comment by Blog team posted on

      Hi Chris,
      generally we do try to get responses posted in as timely manner as possible, but as you'd imagine in this case it took a while to co-ordinate responses and make sure we addressed as many issues as we could.

  148. Comment by Andrew posted on

    Despite the rhetoric, I'm afraid that the CS has no concept of efficiency, value for money/false economy; it will continue to be that way unless they replace senior management with private sector achievers where business works hard for its income and really understands what financial pressure is and what value solutions are.

  149. Comment by KJM posted on

    Regardless of government spin. Everybody's comments on this blog are a true reflection on the current level of morale now wide spread in the civil service. So my question is; why are Ministers and Senior Civil servants not listening to the concerns of the very staff that are keeping civil service operational. It is a poor way to manage a large workforce that in many instances have been loyal employees. I would like to at least see a tangible response from a Senior Civil servant or Minister on this blog to show that they recognize the impact of their decisions and how eliminating posts and replacing staff with non effective agency worker's on a treble salary going to make the public sector more efficient. If you do the math it doesn't add up and will only push austerity out further. Contractors are looking for profit not efficiency, loyalty or Public Service.

  150. Comment by david posted on

    Try looking after the workers here instead of chucking money overseas all the time

  151. Comment by Tina posted on

    When did everyone think that it was acceptable to try and disguise what is being said. 'Modernise pay and exit strategies'. The words you are struggling to find are 'cap' pay to 1% and reduce exit payments. Not so difficult really. If we are so valued then it that we should be paid appropriately for that work. I am sorry that my bank will not accept kind words as my mortgage payment

  152. Comment by N posted on

    Reducing continually the pay of loyal hard working civil servants will result in no ZERO good will and a reduction in output as more and more take the position not to go the extra mile and work to rule!

    And as for making the country proud, perhaps you can explain why the country is not proud of their civil servants, could it be that our reputation has been damaged by some who are perceived not to be acting as impartial??

  153. Comment by Joseph posted on

    Plenty of Civil Servants such as myself have been "private sector high flyers" I ploughed a fortune into private pension funds "Equitable Life" following government advise on protecting my families future only to loose every thing. I then rebuild my company before selling it off and retiring to the MoD, as an organisation, many of the people around me work considerable harder than those I worked with in the private sector; we are increasingly losing our younger staff to BAE, Airbus, Thales because they are well trained and motivated. The 2/3 star management complain about the age demographic of the MoD, yet a Chartered Engineer in their early 30s get 30K as a civil servant or 60K plus in the private sector. Without high quality benefits such as pension, job security, sickness cover you would have to be a total fool to join the Civil Service as a technical professional.