Pay day for a GLD lawyer
The morale of government lawyers has hit "rock bottom" after a pay freeze by HM Treasury.
Government lawyers have been worked to the bone thanks to Brexit. "The workload has been crushing and relentless at times for many" in the Goverment Legal Department (GLD) with "some working shifts on Brexit works, including the support staff", an insider told RollOnFriday.
Having "working their nuts off" for "peanuts" the GLD pursued a business case for two years with the Treasury to address issues concerning pay and recruitment. But in a "complete kick in the face" for the GLD lawyers, the case was rejected.
Management told all GLD lawyers and staff they would be subjected to a pay freeze for the next two years. The announcement was particularly clumsy, opined a source, as it contained a link to a charity to give staff financial support if they needed it. And also a picture of the "smiling, happy GLD executive board":
"Honestly, we're as disappointed as you : ) "
GLD lawyers cited other lawyers in the civil service being "paid significantly more”. 'Grade 7' GLD lawyers (which includes lawyers of around 3 to 12 years' PQE) are paid £50,000. But their legal peers in other government departments can earn up to £20k more. And GLD lawyers with a senior leadership role are paid £63,000, compared to elsewhere in the civil service where they can receive salaries of £80,000 to £90,000, said the source.
To rub salt in the wound, a GLD lawyer noted that another department, HMRC, had recently agreed a substantial pay rise for their staff of 13% over three years; despite making a case for a pay rise on "similar grounds" to the GLD.
"Truth be told I have no idea why anyone would want to work here longer than they have to", said a source who felt they were being shafted on pay. They added that, ironically, the department had published a "corporate vision" which stated the GLD was "a brilliant place to work...ensuring our people are fairly rewarded for the work they do".
A GLD spokesman said: “GLD has for some time pursued a pay business case with Cabinet Office and Treasury. The aim of the business case was to deal with some of the fundamental issues we face with pay and recruitment. The rejection of the case was based on a financial decision in the context of the current economic situation and public sector spending constraints."
“GLD will now implement the Civil Service Pay Remit 2020 and will be utilising the full 2.5% increase allowable under the pay remit. GLD accept the decision and the reasons given, and continue to be committed to addressing the key issues with regard to recruitment and pay.”
A source said the pay remit was not cause for celebration since it related to the last financial year. And still had not been paid. “The last payrise I got was 1% in 2019”, he said. In which case, for the good of their health, GLS lawyers should not read this.