The work of the UK Border Agency (December 2011-March 2012) - Home Affairs Committee Contents


9  Staff numbers and remuneration

Key figures
  • 12,835 — total number of staff currently employed in the UK Border Agency as of May 2012
  • 11% - reduction in total headcount at the Agency since May 2011
  • 56% of all staff work in the Immigration group
  • 5,200 - the Agency's target reduction in headcount by 2015[60]
  • 24% of the 62 senior Agency staff received a bonus in 2010/11, down from 67% the year before[61]
  • 20% of senior staff bonuses were between £4,500 and £5,000 in 2010/11
  • 4% of senior staff bonuses were between £5,000 and £10,000 in 2010/11

Changes in staffing and remuneration

90. The Agency has reduced its total number of staff from 14,431 in May 2011 to 12,835[62] in May 2012, a decrease of 11%.[63] These figures are adjusted for the separation of the Border Force and the Policy and Strategy unit from the Agency.[64]


Figure 11 UK Border Agency Staffing 2011-2012[65]

  • The Immigration group has seen the largest reduction of staff, 18%, but remains by far the largest section of the agency accounting for 56% of all staff.
  • Resource management has experienced the lowest reduction in staff, 1%, it currently provides support services for both the Agency and the Border Force.
  • HR and organisational development has seen a 14% drop in staff numbers but also provides support to the Border Force as well as the Agency.
  • The International section has seen an 8% decrease in headcount.
  • The Strategy and Intelligence directorate and Enforcement and Crime group are the only sections to see an increase in staff of 22% and 9% respectively.

The Agency is reducing its headcount in line with its commitment to reduce in size by 5,200 staff by 2015.

91. We are pleased to see that the Agency is sharing support staff with Border Force, which will help to reduce costs. We also welcome the increase in the Enforcement and Crime group, an area of the Agency's work that has long needed addressing. We are pleased that despite the need for budget cuts the Agency is keeping a flexible view of staffing levels, increasing them where there is need to improve results. We expect that it will continue to do so.

Senior staff bonuses

92. In the last performance year, 2010-2011, the Agency paid 24% of its senior staff a bonus. 20% received a bonus of between £4,500 and £5,000 with the remaining 4% receiving a bonus between £5,000 and £10,000.
% of senior UKBA staff awarded a bonus
% of senior UKBA staff awarded a bonus of £5k or more
Minimum value bonus awarded
Maximum value bonus awarded
2010-11
24
4
£4,500
£7,000
2009-10
67
30
£3,500
£10,000
2008-09
72
72
£7,500
£15,000
2007-08
65
65
£6,000
£22,000

Table 8: bonus information for senior Agency staff over the past four years

93. We believe that it is good practice to reward the highest performing staff who have made outstanding contributions to the Agency and who are taking the lead in delivering the Agency's core priorities as set out in their business plan. The number of bonuses awarded to senior staff in 2010-11 is in line with policy across the civil service, where bonuses are confined to the top 25% of performers.

94. It is difficult however to see how such a large proportion of senior staff can have met these criteria between 2007 and 2010 (over 50 % every year) given the Agency's notorious failures in the areas of asylum, immigration, enforcement and deporting foreign national offenders.

95. In our previous report we stated that the senior Agency staff should not receive bonuses as the Agency's performance was still poor overall. Since then the 2010/11 bonus figures have been released which show that, despite a reduction in the number of staff receiving bonuses, 24% of them still did. We agree with the Prime Minister that

    If agencies don't perform, just like if companies don't perform, there should not be bonuses—that is absolutely clear.[66]

As this report makes clear the Agency is not performing as it should do in a number of important areas. Until it improves its performance its senior staff should not receive bonuses.

96. We further recommend that bonuses that have been paid in the past contrary to the recommendations of this Committee should be repaid by the recipients.

Junior staff bonuses

97. The Agency awards modest bonuses to its top performing staff in junior and middle grades. We support the payment of appropriate incentives to front line staff as a means of rewarding good performance and encouraging a high performance culture.
Grade
No. of staff at grade in 2012
Bonuses in 2011/12
No. of staff receiving a one-off bonus
Total aggregate value of payments (£)
Minimum payment
Maximum payment
AA
1,279
307
88,603
295
314
AO
5,111
1316
455,680
346
425
EO
8,832
2373
1,150,533
476
607
HEO
3,038
114
743,292
595
1,518
SEO
1,265
516
429,091
759
1,804
G7
485
210
273, 847
1,105
2,302
G6
161
65
105,053
1,353
2,820
Grand Total
20,171
5901
3,246,099

Note: Staff levels at UKBA fell between 2011 and 2012.

Table 9: UKBA staff bonuses for 2011/12[67]



60   UK Border Agency, Business Plan, April 2011-March 2015, p29. This figure is not adjusted for the separation of Border Force from the Border Agency. Back

61   UK Border Agency Senior Staff data-March 2012, www.homeoffice.gov.uk . This figure includes senior Border Force Staff who would have been part of the Border Agency for the bonus year 2010/11. We accept that the total number of staff in March 2012 may not be directly comparable to the total number in the bonus year 2010/11. Back

6 62  1 Ev 56 Back

63   Ev 56 Back

64   Ev 56 Back

65   Ev 56. Note: Border Force and policy and strategy staff have been removed from the May 2011 figures as both directorates have since been split from the UK Border Agency. The Agency have said that despite these removals the figures are not directly comparable as some posts will have moved between directorates. However, we cannot see that this could have occurred to any significant extent unless the Agency had undergone a fundamental restructure. Back

66   Prime Minister, oral evidence to the Liaison Committee, 3 July 2012, Q92 Back

67   Ev 69, Annex B. Note: Bonus figures are not adjusted for the reduction in staff over 2011. Back


 
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