SIGMA Papers

SIGMA (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management) is a joint initiative of the OECD and the EU, principally financed by the EU. SIGMA Papers is a series of specialised reports that are focused on particular issues in governance and management, such as expenditure control, administrative oversight, interministerial co-ordination, public procurement and public service management.

Available in French (see link below) and other languages.

English Also available in: French

Salary systems in public administration and their reforms

Guidance for SIGMA partners

Public sector remuneration systems are shaped by an intricate interaction of administrative culture, economic conditions, and political systems. This paper discusses critical considerations to bear in mind when designing, planning and implementing reforms of public service wage systems. It explores key concepts such as job evaluation, pay structures, performance-related pay, market analysis for competitive pay levels and wage bill planning. It provides guidance on the process of reforming public sector salary systems to enhance their competitiveness, equity, transparency and affordability. The paper offers insights drawn from the reform efforts of several EU Member States and SIGMA partners in the Western Balkans, Moldova and Ukraine, presenting real-life examples and updated guidelines for effective, sustainable salary system changes. The primary focus is on reforms of wage systems within central government administrations, acknowledging the complexity arising from diverse classifications of civil service and public employees, and the varying scope and structure of salary systems. This paper serves as a practical guide, presenting options along with their advantages and disadvantages to aid policymakers in aligning reforms with their national public administration context and strategies.


Keywords: public sector, wage bill planning, pay supplements, human resource management, salary systems, job evaluation, salary policy, employer branding, pay competitiveness, wages, gender pay gap, public administration, pay transparency, performance-related pay, remuneration systems, remuneration, pay compression ratio, salary system reform, salaries, pay equity, pay
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error