The Government has today announced its response to the Senior Salaries Review Body’s annual recommendations on pay. The written ministerial statement is available to read on the Parliament website.
The Government is accepting the SSRB’s recommendation of a 2% pay rise for the judiciary, backdated to 1 April, in line with the senior civil service and armed forces. For the judiciary, the 2% recommendation is made on the basis that there will be progress on the commitment made by the Government a year ago to pursue pensions reform.
We are therefore very pleased that a consultation has now been launched on a reformed pension scheme for all judges to be introduced in April 2022. This represents a positive step towards a sustainable solution to the problems created by pension tax changes to the benefit of the judiciary as a whole. It is the result of much work in the Ministry of Justice and HM Treasury, as well as sustained commitment by the Lord Chancellor, for which we are very grateful.
The SSRB was also asked in the context of its annual review to look again at the position of Upper Tribunal judges and Senior Masters, ICCJs and Costs Judges, which was left outstanding from the major review. The Government is accepting the SSRB’s recommendation to place these judges in a new salary group in between group 5 and group 6.1.
This recommendation draws on work done for the judiciary by Accenture earlier this year. We believe it presents a solution to an issue that has been unresolved from successive SSRB reviews over many years.
Although not originally in the SSRB’s mandate for the annual review, the Lord Chancellor subsequently asked the SSRB to look again at leadership allowances for circuit judges in group 6.1 who are not otherwise remunerated for taking on significant additional leadership responsibilities. This issue was also left outstanding from the major review, and is one we had pressed in our evidence.
The Government is also accepting the SSRB’s recommendation to introduce leadership allowances for Designated Civil and Family Judges and Resident Judges in salary group 6.1, with effect from October. They will apply for their time in the role, and reflect the important leadership work that these judges do over and above their regular judicial work.
The launch of the consultation on a reformed and unregistered pension scheme, together with the positive steps taken today, are a welcome recognition on the part of government of the vital work done by all judges. That recognition is more than deserved, especially as you work to keep the justice system running through the coronavirus pandemic.
The Lord Burnett of Maldon
Lord Chief Justice
Lord Justice Lindblom
Vice-President of Tribunals