Salary systems in public administration and their reforms

Guidance for SIGMA partners

Public sector remuneration systems are shaped by an intricate interaction of administrative culture, economic conditions, and political systems. This paper discusses critical considerations to bear in mind when designing, planning and implementing reforms of public service wage systems. It explores key concepts such as job evaluation, pay structures, performance-related pay, market analysis for competitive pay levels and wage bill planning. It provides guidance on the process of reforming public sector salary systems to enhance their competitiveness, equity, transparency and affordability. The paper offers insights drawn from the reform efforts of several EU Member States and SIGMA partners in the Western Balkans, Moldova and Ukraine, presenting real-life examples and updated guidelines for effective, sustainable salary system changes. The primary focus is on reforms of wage systems within central government administrations, acknowledging the complexity arising from diverse classifications of civil service and public employees, and the varying scope and structure of salary systems. This paper serves as a practical guide, presenting options along with their advantages and disadvantages to aid policymakers in aligning reforms with their national public administration context and strategies.

Available from June 20, 2024

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