See: Media Statement at

The Executive Summary is published below. For the FULL REPORT , go to the PDF file attached above. Also provided is an A3 Summary sheet for quick reference, and a Trend Report.

Executive Summary

This report provides information about trends in the Public Service workforce with a focus on changes over the 12 months to 30 June 2011. The topics covered include staff numbers, pay and benefits, recruitment and retention, equality and diversity, and leave. The 2011 Human Resources Capability (HRC) survey found:

  • Staffing levels in the Public Service fell over the year to 30 June 2011. The number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) employees decreased by 959 to 43,595 (2.2%). This follows nine annual increases between 2001 and 2009 (ranging from 2.5% to 7.6%) and a small decrease of 0.3% in 2010.

  • In the year to 30 June 2011, 882 employees in the Public Service were made redundant (up from 780 in 2010). The average redundancy payment decreased to $45,749 (from $48,891 in 2010).

  • The average base salary in the Public Service increased by 2.4% to $65,179 (1.5% in 2010). Information from the Labour Cost Index shows that wages and salaries in the public sector are increasing at a slower rate than in the private sector.

  • The estimated annual expenditure by Public Service departments on base salaries 1 remained constant in 2011 at $2.84 billion.

  • Over the year to 30 June 2011, 151 personal grievance claims were laid by Public Service employees (or former employees). The total cost of settling personal grievance claims was $750,341.

  • Performance pay continued to be used sparingly in 2011, with 3.6% of public servants receiving lump sum performance payments (down from 4.1% in 2010). The average amount received was $3,538 (down from $3,617 in 2010).  

  • Core unplanned turnover increased from a historic low of 9.2% in 2010 to 10.9% in 2011. The overall increase in core unplanned turnover was driven by increases in 23 departments; turnover rates in individual departments ranged from 6% to 30%.

  • The average length of service for employees in the Public Service increased by half a year to 9.0 years (from 8.5 years in 2010). The half year increase in length of service is the largest annual increase since the survey began in 2000.

  • The ethnic composition of the Public Service remained unchanged in 2011. There was no change in the proportion of (16.4%), (16.4%), Pacific People (7.6%), Asian (7.4%) or MELAA (Middle Eastern, Latin American and African, 1.0%).

  • As at 30 June 2011, 74% of permanent public servants were members of an employer subsidised superannuation scheme (up from 67% in 2010). The proportion of employees contributing to superannuation has rapidly increased since the introduction of KiwiSaver.

  • In the year to 30 June 2011, the amount of sick leave and domestic leave taken by public servants dropped to an average of 7.4 days (from 7.7 days in 2010).


Information in this report comes primarily from the Human Resource Capability (HRC) survey, which has collected data on staff 2 in Public Service departments annually since 2000.

This report provides information about characteristics and trends within the Public Service workforce. Five main topic areas are covered:

  • staff numbers

  • pay and benefits

  • recruitment and retention

  • equality and diversity

  • leave

Recent changes to the HRC survey

This year the structure of the HRC survey has changed significantly. More information about departments and less employee data is being collected. This structural change allows the same set of information to be reported while:

  • speeding up the survey processing time (allowing faster reporting),

  • enabling the possibility of more frequent information collection from a wider set of agencies in the future, and

  • adding transparency to the collection and reporting process.

The survey instructions, forms and checklist are available on the SSC website:

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