Taxpayers would get greater value for money if performance-related pay was introduced, according to an industry body report.
In the document Coping with Less: Pay and pensions in the public sector, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has recommended reforms be implemented that connect rewards with service delivery.
The report called for an overall pay freeze to give bosses in the public sector more flexibility over their operations rather than targeting individual salaries.
CIPD reward adviser Charles Cotton argued that politicians need to stop fuelling an image of employees with "’snouts in the trough to make any performance-related pay in the public sector morally unacceptable".
He suggested that bonuses were a powerful weapon at the disposal of leaders trying to boost standards and deliver changes.
Last week, the government adviser on public spending reductions Sir Peter Gershon told a summit hosted by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation that the public sector faced tough times ahead.
By Hayley Edwards