Public sector worker smiling and shaking hands

Strategy for public sector pay

Certainty for the public sector workforce in Scotland is to be boosted thanks to a new pay strategy.

Thanks to the 2024-25 Public Sector Pay Policy, the Scottish Government is providing certainty for the workforce whilst also improving the quality of services for communities, with this bringing an average uplift of 9.3% over three years. This will help to protect workers from the forecasted inflation rates of 5.7%.

Contextually, the new policy has outlined how the public sector in Scotland is larger and better paid in comparison with the rest of the UK, with 22.2% of the nation’s employment coming from the public sector – in the rest of the UK this is 17.8%. Thanks to this new policy, the pay bill for Scotland’s public sector has now increased to approximately £25 billion.

Public sector pay quote

Scotland’s Finance Secretary, Shona Robison, said:

“The most valuable and important asset of public services is their workforces. Our approach to public sector pay in recent years means that people in key public sector roles in Scotland are now paid 6% more on average that in the rest of the UK demonstrating that we have supported public sector workers during the cost of living crisis.

“This new able inflation multi-year framework offers public sector workers certainty and a considerable degree of pay restoration when set against expected inflation forecasts up to 2027.

“It also continues our journey to build the Scottish economy and create the prosperity necessary to support people in Scotland – underlining our commitment to strong public services. Scotland thrives when the organisations that support the people of Scotland thrive, and it is my belief this new pay policy will support workers to achieve exactly that.

“The Scottish Government operates on an effectively fixed budget, limiting what can be delivered through pay policy. We have set out a fair framework within the limits of our budget. A change to UK spending plans would be required to increase spending on public services and public service workers.”

The Scottish Government has also outlined how the framework can also be used to advance negotiations when it comes to pay and non-pay elements in individual sectors and workforces.


Image credit: iStock


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