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Civil service workforce: Recruitment, pay and performance management


The Committee has regularly raised issues of staff capacity, skills and workforce planning in the civil service in the past, and warned in December 2020 that the lack of specialist skills in the civil service affects both the efficiency and the effectiveness of government projects.

The Government declared in 2022 that it would cut civil service numbers by 91,000 posts to pre-2016 levels. While this target was later dropped, in October 2023 it was announced that civil service numbers would be capped.

The National Audit Office (NAO), in a report comparing how Government recruits, pays and performance manages its staff, found wide variances between departments in recruitment times and pay. There were also inconsistencies in departments’ HR processes, with just over two-thirds of departments not knowing what happens to staff after they are classed as underperforming.

Based on the NAO report, the Committee will take evidence from the Cabinet Office on subjects including:

  • Skills gaps;
  • Staffing and workforce planning;
  • Pay disparities;
  • Retention and progression of civil servants from diverse backgrounds.

If you have evidence on these issues, please submit it here by 23:59 on Sunday 21 January 2024.

Please look at the requirements for written evidence submissions and note that the Committee cannot accept material as evidence that is published elsewhere.

Please note that the Committee is unable to investigate individual cases.