1. Main points

  • Civil Service employment on 31 March 2015 was 439,323, down 619 (0.1%) on 31 March 2014. On a full-time equivalent basis, Civil Service employment was 405,573, down by 211 (0.1%) over the same period

  • The number of full-time civil servants fell by 4,996 (1.5%) to 327,696 between 31 March 2014 and 31 March 2015. The number of civil servants working part-time increased by 4,377 to 111,627 (4.1%)

  • Of those employees who declared their ethnicity, 10.6% were from an ethnic minority – an increase of 0.5 percentage points from 2014

  • Of those who declared their disability status, 8.9% were disabled

  • Nearly half (49%) of all employees leaving the Civil Service were from the Administrative responsibility level. The administrative level makes up just less than 40% of the Civil Service

  • More than 82% of civil servants were aged 30 to 59. The number of civil servants aged 60 or above was 36,509, an increase of 728 from 31 March 2014. The number of civil servants aged 65 and over increased by 279 (3.6%) from 31 March 2014

  • Median gross annual earnings (excluding overtime or one-off bonuses) for Civil Service employees were £24,980 in March 2015, an increase of £250 (1.0%) on March 2014

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2. Understanding Civil Service Statistics, 2015

This bulletin contains an overview of Civil Service employment statistics on 31 March 2015 in context with statistics from previous years. The earliest available data on a consistent basis are for 31 March 2008. Data prior to this were collected for different reference dates in the year. There were also changes in coverage prior to 2008. Longer time series for total Civil Service employment are available from the Public Sector Employment release. The latest published statistics are for Quarter 2 (April to June) 2015 when Civil Service employment was 431,100 (397,850 on a full-time equivalent basis).

The release counts all home Civil Service employees. It excludes the Northern Ireland Civil Service, other Crown servants and employees of the wider public sector. There are home Civil Service employees based in Northern Ireland and Overseas.

Statistics are presented on a range of factors including working pattern, gender, ethnicity, disability status, earnings and location of the Civil Service workforce.

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3. At a glance

Civil Service employment has fallen by 0.1%, to 439,323, between 31 March 2014 and 31 March 2015. A fall in full-time staff of 4,996 was almost offset by an increase of 4,377 in part-time staff.

The Administrative responsibility level showed the largest decrease in employment with a fall of 5.8%. The number of employees working at the Grade 6 and 7 responsibility levels increased by 4.6%. There was an increase of 1.7% at the Senior Civil Service level and an increase of 1.5% in the number of Senior and Higher Executive Officers. The number of Executive Officers fell by 3.1%.

There were increases in employment in all age bands except the 40 to 49 age band, where employment fell by 7,180 (5.3%).

The number of civil servants increased in Yorkshire and The Humber (1.1%), West Midlands (2.4%), London (2.8%), and civil servants overseas (4.6%). All other regions showed a decrease in employment.

There were 6,413 more leavers from the Civil Service than entrants between 31 March 2014 and 31 March 2015. The majority of leavers (48.9%) were at the Administrative responsibility level. The majority of entrants (55.5%) were also at the Administrative responsibility level.

The Senior Civil Service responsibility level had 38.7% female employees, up one percentage point on 31 March 2014. There were also fewer women than men in the Grades 6 and 7 and Senior and Higher Executive Officer responsibility levels, but for each of these responsibility levels the proportion of women in them increased from last year to this year.

There were more women than men in the Executive Officer and Administrative responsibility levels.

Of those who declared their ethnicity, 10.6% of civil servants were from an ethnic minority on 31 March 2015. Of those who declared their disability status, 8.9% of civil servants were disabled.

The median earnings of Civil Service employees increased by £250 (1.0%) over the year to 31 March 2015, to £24,980.

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4. Civil Service Workforce

Working pattern

At 31 March 2015, there were 439,323 civil servants, down 619 (0.1%) on 31 March 2014. There was a decrease in the number of civil servants working full-time, of 4,996 (1.5%) to 327,696 compared with 31 March 2014. There was an increase of 4,377 (4.1%) in the number of part-time civil servants, to 111,627.

Responsibility level

At 31 March 2015, around 38% of the Civil Service worked at the Administrative responsibility level, 25% worked at the Executive Officer level, 23% worked at Higher or Senior Executive Officer level and 9% worked at Grade 6 or 7 level. The remaining 1% worked at Senior Civil Service level with 3% in the ‘not reported’ category.

Employment increased in the Senior Civil Service responsibility level by 84 (1.7%), by 1,748 (4.6%) at the Grade 6 and 7 responsibility level and by 1,481(1.5%) in the Senior and Higher Executive Officer responsibility level.

Employment decreased by 3,611 (3.1%) in the Executive Officer responsibility level and by 10,410 (5.8%) in the Administrative responsibility level.

Gender

At 31 March 2015, 54% of all Civil Service employees were female.

The proportion of females working at Senior Civil Service level on 31 March 2015 was 38.7%, an increase of 1.0 percentage points from 31 March 2014 and 5.9 percentage points on 31 March 2009. The proportion of female Grade 6 and 7s has been steadily increasing, from 39.4% on 31 March 2009 to 43.6% on 31 March 2015.

Gender and age

More than four in five civil servants were in the 30 to 59 age group on 31 March 2015. Since 31 March 2014 there has been a decrease in employment in age band 40 to 49. There have been increases in all other age bands. There were more females than males in the 20 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49 and 50 to 59 age bands. There were more males than females in the other age bands.

Region

There were 43,623 Civil Service employees in Scotland, 30,801 in Wales and 3,664 in Northern Ireland on 31 March 2015.

The English region with the highest number of civil servants on 31 March 2015 was London with 79,021 employees. The lowest was the East Midlands with 20,083.

There were increases in the number of civil servants in London, Yorkshire and the Humber, West Midlands and overseas. All other regions showed decreases. The largest percentage increase (excluding overseas) between 31 March 2014 and 31 March 2015 was in London at 2.8%. The regions with the largest percentage decreases in Civil Service employment between 31 March 2014 and 31 March 2015 were Northern Ireland (7.7%) and the South West (1.7%).

Entrants and Leavers

A total of 41,796 employees left the Civil Service between 31 March 2014 and 31 March 2015. During the same period, 35,383 people joined the Civil Service. Employees at the Administrative responsibility level accounted for 55% of entrants compared with 49% of leavers.

For all responsibility levels there were fewer entrants than there were leavers between 31 March 2014 and 31 March 2015. However, this year it was not possible to attribute a civil service grade to 10,407 entrants, which causes interpretation issues for the numbers shown by responsibility level. The large number of entrants for which an entrant grade was not known was largely caused by the transfer into the National Offender Management Service of around 9,000 employees from Probation Trusts who were unable to report Civil Service grade equivalency.

Ethnicity

Of the Civil Service employees in March 2015 who declared their ethnicity, 10.6% were from an ethnic minority, an increase of 0.5 percentage points on March 2014.

At March 2015, 12.0% of employees at Executive Officer responsibility level and 11.0% at Administrative responsibility level were from an ethnic minority. In comparison, 7.1% of those at the Senior Civil Service level were from an ethnic minority, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from March 2014. All other responsibility levels showed an increase in the proportion of ethnic minority employees from last year to this year.

Disability status

In March 2015, 8.9% of civil servants who declared their disability status were disabled, an increase of 0.1 percentage points compared with March 2014. The proportion of employees with a declared disability was greater in lower responsibility levels. At the Administrative responsibility level, 9.8% of employees who declared their disability status were disabled. This compares with 4.5% of employees at Senior Civil Service level.

National Identity

At 31 March 2015, 45% of civil servants with a declared national identity declared themselves as British or Mixed British. Employees alternatively declared themselves as English (38%), Scottish (8%), Welsh (6%) or Irish (1%). The remaining 3% recorded another national identity.

Salary

The median gross salary of civil servants on 31 March 2015 was £24,980, an increase of £250 on the median salary on 31 March 2014. Employees overseas had the highest median earnings of £39,940, followed by employees in London (£31,580). The regions with the lowest median earnings were North East (£19,970), Northern Ireland (£22,670), North West (£22,960), Scotland (£23,140) and Wales (£23,200). The increase in median pay should be considered alongside the compositional impact on the make-up of the civil service workforce by responsibility level, whereby the number of employees working at the Administrative level decreased by over 10,000, while there were increases in employment for the Senior Civil Service level, Grades 6 and 7, and Senior Executive and Higher Executive Officers.

The gender pay gap for all employees, calculated as the difference between the median pay for males and females, fell from 13.6% in March 2014 to 12.8% in March 2015. This measure depends on the pay of part-time employees being converted to full-time equivalent salaries. The gender pay gap for full-time employees fell from 11.0% to 9.8%, and increased from 14.2% to 15.7% for part-time employees. For the ‘all employees’ category the largest gender pay gap is for the Senior Civil Service level at 4.9%. The Administrative responsibility level has the smallest gender pay gap at 0.5%.

Reconciliation of Annual and Quarterly Civil Service Employment Statistics (Table 11)

This statistical bulletin presents a range of statistics for the year ending 31 March 2015, based on findings from the Annual Civil Service Employment Survey (ACSES).

ONS also collects and publishes quarterly Civil Service employment statistics as part of the Public Sector Employment (PSE) statistical bulletin. These quarterly statistics should be used when seeking to measure the size of the Civil Service over time. The latest published statistics are for Q2 2015 when Civil Service employment was 431,100 (397,850 on a full-time equivalent basis).

The difference between the ACSES and 2015 Q1 (January to March) PSE figures, which use the same reference date, is less than 0.1% headcount and less than 0.1% for full-time equivalents.

Table 11 provides a full breakdown of the differences between the two sources by department.

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5 .Background notes

  1. Basic Quality Information

    Civil Service Statistics are sourced from the Annual Civil Service Employment Survey (ACSES). This, following a development programme in 2007, replaced the Mandate Collection and departmental returns. For general issues regarding the interpreting of data, please see Background Note 3, ‘Common pitfalls in interpreting the series’.

    Further details can be found in the Quality and Methodology Information note for Civil Service Statistics (119 Kb Pdf).

  2. Relevance to Users

    In consultation with the Cabinet Office and government departments, the content of the survey is continuously reviewed.

    Civil Service Statistics 2015 covers the 12-month period to 31 March 2015. When comparing Civil Service Statistics over time it is important to note that the reference periods of the collections have varied for years prior to 2008.

    ACSES offers the benefit of uniform collection for the whole of the Civil Service. Previously, two collection tools were used (1970 to 2006). The Mandate Collection accounted for approximately 85% of the Civil Service and comprised comprehensive anonymous datasets extracted directly from the HR systems of government departments and their agencies. For historical reasons, some departments supplied summary tables instead. These were called departmental returns and covered only a limited subset of data.

  3. Common pitfalls in interpreting the series

    This release counts all home Civil Service employees. Civil Service Statistics excludes the Northern Ireland Civil Service, other Crown servants and employees in the wider public sector, for example, employees of Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) and the National Health Service (NHS).

    Statistics are published on the gender, ethnicity, disability status and age of the Civil Service workforce. All diversity statistics relate to civil servants counted on a headcount basis. Employees declared as disabled are presented as a percentage of known disability status. Those employees who have either not responded or actively chosen not to declare their status are excluded from the calculation. The same applies when calculating the percentage of civil servants from an ethnic background. This should be considered when interpreting the statistics.

  4. Concepts and definitions

    Headcount statistics are based on the number of employees with an employment contract who are being paid by the organisation. Employees can be permanent, on a fixed-term contract or employed on a temporary basis. The self-employed, contract workers and agency workers are excluded. Employees not on the payroll and not being paid during the reference period are also excluded, for example, those on unpaid maternity leave, unpaid sick absence and career breaks.

    Full-time employees are those who are contracted to work 37 hours per week (36 hours per week in London for employees employed prior to 2013. Employees in London substantively promoted since 2013, or who have joined the Civil Service subsequent to this date, are now contracted to work 37 hours per week if on a full-time basis). Part-time employees are those who work less than the normal contracted hours.

    Full-time equivalents are based on converting part-time employees’ hours into full-time employees’ equivalent. This provides a better indicator of total labour input than a headcount.

    Permanent employees are employees with a contract that has no agreed expiry date or a fixed term contract of more than 12 months. Temporary employees are those with a fixed-term contract of 12 months or less or who are employed on a temporary basis. Temporary employees must be paid through the departments’ payroll. Employees hired through agencies are not included.

    Entrants and leavers are employees entering or leaving the Civil Service in the 12 months to 31 March 2015. The figures exclude transfers and loans between departments. Employees leaving on 31 March 2015 are counted as both staff in post and leavers. A number of departments are unable to provide a date of entry for civil servants in their employment. Some departments are also unable to distinguish between those civil servants entering their department for the first time via transfer or loan and those new to the Civil Service. As such, the number of net entrants and leavers will not reconcile with the change in employment between 31 March 2014 and 31 March 2015.

    Gross salary is the annual salary inclusive of basic pay (including consolidated performance pay) and pay-related allowances such as regional and skills allowances. It does not include bonuses. The headline earnings statistics are based on the median rather than the mean. The median is the value below which 50% of employees fall. It is preferred over the mean for earnings data as it is influenced less by extreme values and because of the skewed distribution of earnings data.

    Responsibility levels - since 1 April 1996 all departments and agencies have had delegated responsibility for the pay and grading of their employees, except for those at the Senior Civil Service (SCS) level. The concept of broad ‘responsibility levels’ is therefore used, in which departmental grades have been assigned to levels broadly equivalent (in terms of pay and job weight) to the former service-wide grades.

    SCS – Senior Civil Service level

    Grade 6
    Grade 7

    SEO – Senior Executive Officer
    HEO – Higher Executive Officer
    EO – Executive Officer

    AO – Administrative Officer
    AA – Administrative Assistant

    The professions of civil servants were collected for the first time in 2007. The professions relate to the post occupied by the person and are not dependent on any qualifications the individual may have. The range of professions includes economics, engineering, finance, human resources, law, science, tax professionals etc. Employees can alternatively be assigned to operational delivery (delivering front line services) or policy delivery (designing or enhancing services to the public). If a post could be considered operational delivery but also matches one of the specific professions, the person is assigned to the specific profession. It should not be assumed that those classified to Operational Delivery represent the sum of all those delivering front line services.

    Regional statistics are presented in this publication at NUTS 2 region level. More detailed geographical breakdowns are available in the associated online tables released today.

  5. Accuracy

    All government departments and agencies responded to the survey for the year ending 31 March 2015.

    Departments are not always able to provide complete information for every variable and users should consider this known under-coverage and non-response issue when interpreting the statistics, particularly over time.

    The main reason for under-coverage and non-response is that it can take time for HR systems to ‘catch up’ when a new employee joins their department. Departments are also increasingly moving to self-service systems which require individuals to maintain their personal information via an intranet service. While it is the responsibility of departments to review the quality of information held and encourage regular updates, an element of non-response is expected. The large increase in disability status non-response comes from the greater clarification obtained from responding departments on ‘undeclared’ responses on disability.

  6. Reliability

    There have been no revisions made to Civil Service Statistics 2014.

  7. Coherence

    A key measure of quality is the reconciliation between the two sources of Civil Service employment statistics, the annual and quarterly surveys. Despite departments supplying both sets of data and ONS’s continuing work with departments to minimise any differences between the two sources, some differences still remain. Disparities arise due to timing differences between the two sources and the nature of the data collections. The quarterly survey is published eleven to twelve weeks after the end of the reference period. As only summary statistics are required, data can often be sourced by departments directly from payroll systems rather than HR systems which are commonly used to supply data for ACSES. The timeliness of the survey also means that HR systems continue to be updated after the snapshot date. This live updating of systems means there is always the possibility of differences arising before the more comprehensive annual collection is completed.

  8. Notes on tables

    Due to rounding the sum of constituent items in tables may not always agree exactly with the totals shown due to rounding.

    Symbols

    .. Figures suppressed to avoid disclosure of information relating to individual enterprises.
    - Data not available.

  9. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

Neil Hedges
cssurveys@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 (0)1633 456741