The current salary structure for judges should be amended to reward those who take on leadership or have specialist skills, the independent reviewer has suggested. However the Senior Salaries Review Body, which advises the lord chancellor, does not believe there is a case for 'radical change' overall.

Today's consultation on job placement covers where judges sit within their pay structure, rather than overall rates or the difference between salary groups, which are being considered separately.

The review body says almost any pay system must incorporate multiple objectives. In the case of the judiciary, the board was told that, 'as a core principle, that each of the current judicial salary groups has to encompass a broad range of work. But there is also a strong view that there are occasions when it is essential for the pay system to recognise particular leadership responsibilities, and specialist skills or areas of work'.

The existing salary structure should - but does not - recognise some leadership roles, the board heard. It concludes that there is a 'strong case' for changes to how the current structure is 'conceptualised, to support better, more flexible recognition for judges who take on leadership roles'.

Currently, the only way to recognise judicial leadership is to move a post into a higher salary group. The board says: 'This means that some judges who undertake important leadership roles that do not merit uplift to the next highest pay category are not currently rewarded. A more sophisticated system of leadership increments, that recognised these other leadership roles, would be highly beneficial.'

The review body also suggests that specialist skills should be recognised by extra increments rather than promotion to a higher pay group.

The consultation closes on 14 May. The review body will submit its advice to the lord chancellor by June.