Public employment and management

Compensation of Public Employees: Expert Meeting


OECD Conference Centre – Paris
9 September 2011




9:00 - 9:10

Welcome to Participants and Introduction



Mario Marcel - Chair
Deputy Director, Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate, OECD


9:10 – 9:30

Tour de Table



Participants introduction by OECD country delegates


9:30 – 10:45 Session 1

Preliminary findings on compensation of public employees


Compensation of employees in OECD countries is a crucial issue to enhance the productivity of government employees. The compensation of employees represents a significant percentage of public expenditure, but it is also a core component of HRM policies to attract, retain, and motivate competent employees.


The aim of this session
To discuss the preliminary findings and conclusions of the OECD report on Compensation of Public Employees and explore new trends in the compensation of public servants in the framework of achieving governments’ fiscal consolidation plans. 


Presentation by Secretariat
Questions and Discussion

Howard Risher
Pay and Performance Consultant



11:00 – 12:30 Session 2

How are compensation systems evolving to ensure capacity?


Adjusting the size of compensation of government employees to meet fiscal targets and return to balanced budgets without jeopardising government’s capacity and employees morale and commitment, is one of the challenges facing OECD countries nowadays. Countries are interested in more flexible models of compensation enabling a managerial approach to pay setting.


This aim of this session
To discus some country experiences in:

  • salary and operating budget freezes
  • the establishment of maximum rates for wage increases
  • how countries are ensuring competitive salaries in relation to the private sector


Presentation from member countries
Questions and Discussion


David R. Livingstone
Georgia Valatsou
Leonello Tronti



14:00 – 15:20 Session 3

How is pay established? Towards more flexible pay systems


Establishing pay levels to recruit and retain a sufficient number of employees with adequate skills, competencies and motivation is critical to ensure capacity for service delivery. However, faced with limited tax revenues, governments have to search for more cost-efficient and cost-effective ways to compensate public servants for their services.


The aim of this session
To focus on issues such as:

  • linking salaries to collective and individual performance vs. seniority-based increases
  • gender equality in pay arrangements
  • changes in the composition of compensation: base salary, allowances, bonuses; and differences in compensation among positions: managers, professionals, technical-administrative, secretaries, drivers.


Findings and conclusions of

"OECD Public Governance Review of Slovenia - Compensation in the Public Service"


Questions and Discussion


Branko Vidic (Slovenia)
Ryo Ide (Japan)

Zielinski Wojciech (Poland)



15:20 – 16:20 Session 4

The evolving role of public sector unions in salary negotiation


Unions and collective bargaining play an important and long standing role in virtually all OECD countries. Leaders in every country pay attention to stakeholders and that clearly includes government employees.


Unions are unable to control the supply and demand for labour but they have a role in deciding how employers respond to market developments.


The aim of this session
To focus on issues such as:

  • unions role in salary/employment adjustments in response to fiscal consolidation needs
  • emerging bargaining models from centralization/decentralization of salary decisions.


Presentation from member countries
Questions and Discussion


Nacer-Eddine Djider (France)

Robert Cloarec (Sweden)



16:40 – 17:50 Session 5

Assessing performance-related pay: what new challenges?


Traditional pay systems with common grading systems, associated pay scales and seniority-based pay progression in the scales, have been felt to be too rigid for the development of modern human resource management and for strengthened performance orientation. Thus, countries looked at performance-related pay systems as a means to increase not only flexibility in setting pay but also to attract, retain, and motivate a talented workforce.


The aim of this session
To focus on analysing the experience of OECD countries with performance-related pay policies and discussing the new trends and challenges in the area.


Presentation from member countries
Questions and Discussion


Joanna Autiovuori (Finland)

Inge Friis Svendsen (Denmark)
Seong Ju Kang (Korea)


17:50 – 17:55

Next Steps in the OECD work on compensation of public employees



Oscar Huerta Melchor
Policy Analyst - OECD Secretariat


17:55- 18:00

Final remarks and closing



Mario Marcel - Chair
Deputy Director, Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate, OECD






(Meeting participation by invitation only)



 Meeting Agenda


For further information contact:


Oscar Huerta Melchor
Policy Analyst - OECD Secretariat

+(33-1) 45 24 76 70