HC Deb 08 February 2001 vol 362 cc638-9W
Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will place in the Library a copy of the contracts of senior management of National Air Transport Services which contain clauses relating to performance-related bonuses. [148136]

Mr. Robert Ainsworth

It has always been Government policy not to interfere in the day to day running of the Civil Aviation Authority and its subsidiary, National Air Traffic Services Ltd.

There are over 100 senior managers in NATS whose contracts entitle them to participate in the company's performance-related bonus scheme. The company has the right to vary the terms of the scheme at its sole discretion and without notice. In common with many organisations in the public and private sectors, a significant part of the overall remuneration package of members of the Senior Management Group is provided in the form of a performance bonus scheme. The current scheme operates on the same basis as the Civil Aviation Authority scheme, with performance being assessed against a range of company-wide targets and individual targets. The targets are reviewed annually. For the current financial year there are four company-wide targets against which members of the Senior Management Group are assessed. These are as follows:

  1. 1. a safety target, based on the number of risk-bearing Airproxes where NATS contributed to the cause;
  2. 2. a delay target, based on the overall level of air traffic delays attributable to NATS;
  3. 3. an efficiency target, based on the cost per flight of NATS operations; and
  4. 4. a project performance target based on the progress of the Swanwick project.

In addition, individual targets are set for senior managers which vary depending on the role of the individual within the company. There is also a small discretionary element available to reward outstanding performance unrelated to specific targets.

Below the level of the Senior Management Group, there are a number of staff employed on personal contracts with the company. These staff are also entitled to participate in a performance bonus scheme. However, in line with practice in the Civil Aviation Authority, the NATS scheme for this group of staff is based on performance against individual targets agreed between the individual and his line managers. There is also a general, company-wide performance bonus scheme in which all NATS staff participate, except those in the Senior Management Group. This scheme was negotiated and accepted by the trade unions (principally the IPMS and PCS) as part of the annual pay negotiations.