A remuneration tribunal is a group that oversees wages and other forms of compensation paid to government leaders. Each country or municipality sets its own laws establishing a remuneration tribunal, and determining the limits of the group's authority. Many countries have numerous tribunals in place, and each is responsible for setting wages for a specific group of politicians or leaders. In addition to establishing salary rates or pay ranges, tribunals also make decisions regarding other types of compensation and benefits, such as insurance and vehicle use. The members of a remuneration tribunal rely on guidance from the law, pay scales used in private industry, and public demand when making decisions on government wages.
The responsibilities of a remuneration tribunal can vary from group to group. Some set specific rates of pay based on the law, while others agree on a maximum rate of pay or a suggested pay range for each position. Setting a maximum or range gives local government some flexibility in determining exactly how how to pay each employee. The remuneration tribunal also reviews and sets benefits for workers and determines who should have access to certain entitlements, such as company cars or paid vacations. These groups are responsible for mediating pay disputes between different parties and for determining whether workers will be granted a raise or even a pay cut each year.
Members of a remuneration tribunal are typically appointed, though some may be elected by the public. Most of these members have significant experience in private industry in fields like accounting, business or finance. Some members are also experienced with government operations, and may have worked for or managed municipal agencies at some point during their careers. To ensure the group is independent and unbiased, it's important that members have no ties to members of the government, as this could open the door to corruption and bias. The members of a remuneration tribunal generally serve for a pre-determined period, and may or may not be eligible for reappointment depending on the area.
The obvious advantage to allowing a remuneration tribunal to set pay and benefit rates is that it helps to prevent greed and corruption within the government. Without a tribunal, elected officials are often responsible for voting on their own pay raises and policies, which represents a major conflict of interest. Assembling an independent group to handle these tasks ensures that taxpayer dollars will be used more efficiently instead of being subject to the whim of politicians. A remuneration tribunal can also be assembled to set pay rates in charitable organizations, non-profits, and even private industry.