Performance related pay (year one): evidence of discrimination and big boosts for the highest paid

5As this year’s appraisals take place, Camden UNISON has discovered that last year the highest-paid senior managers were 33 times more likely to receive top performance ratings than the lowest paid. The resulting ‘bonuses’ are worth over £3,400 a year. Meanwhile, white workers were over four and a half times more likely than black workers to receive exceptional ratings.

Do you earn less than £40,000 per year? Or are you from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background? Or are you aged over 45, part-time or disabled?

If so, you are far more likely to be losing out from the appraisal process and PRP, according to official council figures, analysed in detail by Camden UNISON in this report.

The figures for over 3,800 Council employees showed that the higher an employee’s pay, the higher their appraisal rating was likely to be. (See the graph above showing the distribution of 5 ratings by pay level).

In addition, black workers are around half as likely as white workers to be rated as high or exceptional performers: 16.1% compared with 31.5%. Asian workers, too, are 21% less likely to be rated as highly performing than white workers.


Black workers are also 41% more likely to be rated as underperforming, and so denied pay progression, than white workers. Asian workers are 25% more likely to be rated as underperforming than white workers.

Disabled workers, those aged 45 and over, and part-time workers are also much less likely to get high ratings, and much more likely to get low ratings.

Meanwhile, at a time of real pay cuts for most in the public sector, by comparison many senior managers enjoyed a performance related pay bonanza.

Of those earning over £60,000 per year, nearly 50% were deemed as performing high or better, attracting bumper increases of at least £2,300 per year and in some cases more than £3,400.

Meanwhile, for the lower paid, on under £20,000 per year, only 11.6% received high or exceptional ratings, which could gain them an increase of under £400 every one or even two years.

Such figures confirmed our fears about PRP, and UNISON continues to campaign against PRP and its detrimental impact.

After articles in the Camden New Journal and on reported some of these findings, Council management have now refused to share any further information with UNISON. Therefore, we will be making Freedom of Information requests for further information, and for this year’s appraisal ratings.

4 responses to “Performance related pay (year one): evidence of discrimination and big boosts for the highest paid

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