As at 30 June 2020, 11.3% of the Public Service workforce were management staff, comprising 34 chief executives (excluding two who were in acting roles), 231 tier-2, 1,014 tier-3 and 5,380 other managers. The remaining 88.7% (52,228) were non-management staff.

In 2020, the average base salary[1] for the Public Service workforce as a group increased by 3.9%. The increase for non-management staff was 4.3% compared with 3.1% for management staff. The salary movement was lower for more senior managers, with an 18% drop for chief executives, a 0.2% increase for tier-2 managers, a 1.7% increase for tier-3 managers and a 4.0% increase for other managers.

Some caution is required on the interpretation of annual average salary movement for the tier-1 chief executive group. The average base salary as at 30 June 2020 shows an 18% drop from the previous year – this is primarily explained by the voluntary 20% reduction in pay adopted by all Public Service chief executives in response to COVID-19, effective for six months from 11 May 2020. This large decrease follows a 7.6% increase in 2019, which was due to a change introduced to chief executive remuneration packages, constituting an adjustment rolled into base salary to account for the removal of performance or at-risks payments (which were outside of base salary). The chart below shows estimated average size of these at-risk payments that sit above the base salaries for the preceding years.

Average salaries for chief executives also tend to be volatile over time because of the small number in the group and the effect of compositional changes due to arrivals and departures each year. The Public Service Commission’s Senior Pay report has more detailed information on chief executive remuneration.

[1] Base salary is used because total remuneration is not collected in the Workforce data.

Last modified: