FOI 5-24: Hays Executive benchmarking exercise for the Assembly Commission

Information Standards Freedom of Information Response

Our Ref: FOI 5-24

7 February 2024


Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”)

I am writing to confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (Assembly Commission) has processed your request dated 25 January 2024 in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In your request, you asked:

I wish to request information about pay within the Assembly.

Recent press articles have referred to a report completed by Hays Consultancy which was approved by the Commission in June 2023. I would like to receive a copy of the recommendations from the report.

Hays Executive commenced a pay benchmarking exercise for the Assembly Commission in August 2022 and concluded its work in May 2023. A total of 84 unique posts were assessed in the pay benchmarking exercise. Hays Executive concluded that:

  • 56 posts were being paid in line with the recommended market salary.
  • 7 posts were being paid in excess of the recommended market salary; and
  • 21 posts were being paid under the recommended market salary.

Hays Executive recommended a change in the salary scale for a grade if 50% of the posts within that grade are being underpaid or overpaid according to the pay benchmarking data.

Hays Executive also recommended that the Assembly Commission consider the introduction of a salary supplements policy and a policy has now been introduced.  

It was reported that the need for pay rises was identified in order to bring Assembly salaries into line with outside employers. It was also reported that rises were agreed and implemented.

The report was initiated in 2017. From what date were the pay rises back paid? On what date were the rises first paid after the Commission approval?

The Assembly Commission agreed to an implementation date of 1 January 2023 and payments were made to affected staff in the September 2023 pay run.

The press reports only referred to the Senior Management Team. Did the report identify the need to align any other grades? If so, what grades and by how much?

There was no requirement to align grades arising from the Hays Executive exercise.

Apart from any rises identified with the Hays report, what % pay rises were agreed for staff in (a) 2019, (b) 2020, (c) 2021, (d) 2022 and (e) 2023?

In negotiation with NIPSA (the recognised Trade Union Side), the Assembly Commission has agreed the following percentage pay rises for the following years:

  • 2019 – 3%
  • 2020 – 3%
  • 2021 – 2%
  • 2022 – 4%
  • 2023 – 4%

You have the right to request a formal review by the Assembly Commission and if you wish to do so, please write to me at the above address. If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF which will undertake an independent review.

The Assembly Commission may publish details of your FOI request and its official response within the organisational disclosure log. The request will be completely anonymised and you will not be identified in any way. This is to meet the requirements as laid out by in the agreed publication scheme with the Information Commissioners’ Office.

Yours sincerely


Find MLAs

Find your MLAs

Locate MLAs


News and Media Centre

Visit the News and Media Centre

Read press releases, watch live and archived video

Find out more

Follow the Assembly

Follow the Assembly on our social media channels

Keep up-to-date with the Assembly

Find out more

Useful Contacts

Contact us

Contacts for different parts of the Assembly

Contact Us