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No more automatic increments for civil servants

The Island Sun, 12 Feb 2000

Civil servants in the British Virgin Islands will now have to work harder in order to earn an increase in their salaries, according to reports from the Department of Personnel Services.

In the Department's latest quarterly publication, Issue number 6, of The Personnel Bulletin, it was announced that effective January 1st, 2000, a Performance Pay System has begun. Government recently agreed to the establishment of this system for the first time in history.

The system has two components: increments will now be subject to satisfactory achievement of agreed-upon performance objectives and exceptional performance will be recognized by a "Merit Award". Chief Personnel Officer, Mrs. Magdalene Rymer is quoted as saying, a single salary adjustment date is likely to replace the two former incremental dates of January and July.

Annual increments will now only be awarded when satisfactory performance of agreed upon performance objectives as defined in the Performance Agreement, has been demonstrated, according to the Personnel Department. The Merit Award, which is a cash bonus, will be given when an employee consistently shows

exceptional performance above and beyond the basic requirements of the post. In such cases, the Performance Appraisal Report must clearly indicate areas in which the employee has excelled, with the overall rating at a Level 3, i.e., Exceeded Requirements.

The Performance Pay System is intricately connected with the Performance Management Programme (PMP), since the performance evaluation, which is a part of the PMP, will be used to identify those who have performed satisfactorily and those who have performed meritoriously.

The Performance Pay System is also the start of the second performance cycle of the Performance Management

Programme. Accordingly, performance appraisals and development plans for 1999 should have been submitted to the Department of Personnel Services by December 31st, 1999. Furthermore, as stated in the second issue of The Personnel Bulletin,

"Performance planning and appraisal reports will now serve as the basis for staff actions, including the award of increments or other salary adjustments, transfers, renewals, promotions etc."

Senior Personnel Officer Mr. David Archer said there is no question that a programme like this will create a challenge for managers, supervisors and employees. "However, proper usage will result in a harmonious working environment. Performance Pay is the way forward," he declared.