Public sector HR ‘rich list’ shows five earn more than prime minister Gordon Brown

Twelve HR professionals have found their way onto a public sector ‘rich list’, with four earning more than the prime minister, it has been revealed.

Clare Chapman, director general of the NHS workforce, was the most highly paid public sector HR professional in 2008-09, with a total remuneration package of £267,500 – a 10% increase year-on-year, the list, compiled by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, found.

Chapman was 97th on the Rich List of 806 people, all earning more than £150,000.

John Vickerman, director of HR shared services at the BBC, and Mike Goodie, director of employee relations at the BBC, were 252 and 255 respectively on the list, each earning a total of £205,000. However, the list did not include the BBC’s HR chief Lucy Adam’s salary packet – some £320,000 – possibly because she joined in April 2009. However, if included, she would have taken the total number of HR staff on the rich list to 13.

Gill Rider, head of civil service capability, responsible for leading Whitehall capability reviews, received £197,500 total remuneration in 2008-09 – a rise of 2.6% on the previous year, according to the list.

In 2008-09, Gordon Brown was paid a total of £194,250.

Meanwhile, the report also revealed that John Phillips, former managing director of HR and corporate services at social development agency Scottish Enterprise, received £260,100 in compensation for loss of office, and £130,050 for pay in lieu of notice, when he left his position in November 2008.

This, and other benefits, saw Phillips’ total earnings for 2008-09 increase from his salary of £93,000 to £486,000.

Public sector union Unison branded the huge salaries a “disgrace”. Dave Prentis, general secretary, said: “Most public sector workers are told they have to share the pain of the recession – that seems to mean pennies or a pay freeze for most, and huge hikes for a select few.”

The Rich List also showed the public sector’s top earners enjoyed an average total pay rise of 5.4% last year.

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