Increases to the national minimum wage rates in April could mean cuts to working hours for some junior Ministry of Defence employees to keep their pay below that of those on a more senior grade, a union has claimed.
The PCS union said that the basic salary for MoD staff on E2 grades would have overtaken the E1 band minimum when the new minimum wage rates take effect on 1 April. This could mean that the spot rate pay for staff on the lower E2 grade could be higher than the rate for those who are supervising them.
To avoid this, the MoD is seeking to cut paid hours worked from 42 to 37 per week, the union claims. However, the PCS said it would not agree to reductions in paid hours and no contractual changes have been confirmed.
National minimum wage 2023
PCS said: “This is a problem entirely of MoD’s making and is the combination of austerity, deliberate pay restraint and the national living wage increasing faster than other MoD salaries.
“This is for MoD to resolve; they can do this by paying a real living wage to all employees and understanding the rampant inflation that is affecting PCS members. This will not be achieved by dangling single-figure percentage pay increases in front of people that can’t pay their bills.
“The Department cannot recruit and retain staff with the skills it requires; it does not pay the wages needed and leaves staff to leave their job in search of better pay or get poorer working for the UK government.”
PCS and other MoD unions have called for an urgent pay meeting to discuss the consequences of the minimum wage rate rise and the effect that this will have on other pay bands and grade differentials.
The MoD has been contacted for a response.
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