The government has asked the Senior Salaries Review Body to review judicial pay following a Covid-related pause on the work.
Lord chancellor Dominic Raab has formally commissioned the review body to undertake a 2022/2023 pay review for all salaried judicial office holders.
In a letter published this week, Raab said: ‘I am committed to continuing to recruit the finest lawyers to take up and remain in judicial office. That is key both to running our courts and tribunals and to maintaining the excellent reputation of our jurisdiction.
‘The government must ensure fair pay for public sector workers whilst protecting funding for frontline services and ensuring affordability for taxpayers. We must ensure that the affordability of a pay award is taken into consideration to ensure that we can maximise the number of high-quality individuals recruited into the judiciary.’
The latest UK Judicial Attitude Survey revealed that most judges do not feel valued by the government. A third said they might quit over the next five years. Higher remuneration, better administrative support and previous pension entitlements being restored would make them stay.
Raab told the review body that the government is working on implementing a new pension scheme next year. ‘As you well know, these reforms are a priority for the judiciary and will play a vital role in resolving the serious recruitment and retention issues highlighted in the SSRB’s major review which will be important for all those who engage with our justice system’, the lord chancellor added.
In July 2020, judges were awarded a 2% pay rise for their frontline work during the pandemic. Seven months later, then lord chancellor Robert Buckland told the review body he would not be issuing a remit letter for an annual review as the government would not be able to implement the recommendations due to the pandemic.’