§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many departmental staff of the same grade of job are being paid different levels of salary. 
§ Margaret Beckett
[holding answer 23 November 2001]: There are 9,079 ex-MAFF staff in DEFRA who are employed under the same pay arrangements and conditions of employment. Variations in individual levels of pay of staff doing work of equal value do occur because of a number of factors, but principally because pay is linked to performance. Staff of the same grade or equivalent, however, are normally paid salaries within their pay range minima and maxima.
636 ex-Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions staff joined DEFRA when it was created on 8 June. These staff will retain the pay and terms and 267W conditions of employment of their former department until common terms and conditions of employment are established following negotiations with the trade unions.
In addition, there is a small number of staff who have reserved rights to some historical terms and conditions.