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A new pay and grading structure for senior managers in Northern Ireland has been introduced with immediate effect. The system will limit pay rises for senior managers, and was drawn up after concerns within the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety that excessive awards had been made in recent years. The arrangements apply to all new appointments at senior executive level. Existing staff will be encouraged to change to the new scheme, but will have the legal right to retain their existing contract. Pay determination will now be based on an evaluation of the post's level of responsibility and job weight. This will determine the pay band, and the annual pay award will be based on performance. The amount awarded will be five per cent consolidated, plus up to four per cent non-consolidated for superior performance; four per cent consolidated for fully acceptable performance; two per cent consolidated for incomplete performance; and nothing for unsatisfactory performance.