This is the law that provides the basis for the civil service merit system in Illinois. It embraces all positions of employment in the service of the state unless specifically excluded by legislation. It empowers the Director of Central Management Services to promulgate Rules and carry out this law, and creates the Civil Service Commission to monitor its proper administration and to conduct hearings.
The Code consists of three jurisdictions:
Jurisdiction A, Classification & Pay, which provides for a system of pay administration and position reporting and classification to assure that the work of employees is fairly compensated, consistent with the level and kind of job they perform;
Jurisdiction B, Merit & Fitness, covering candidate testing and selection, certification, performance appraisal and discipline, and other merit practices for employees;
Jurisdiction C, Conditions of Employment, which deals with such things as vacation, holidays, sick time, grievance plans, and other provisions that establish a body of uniform personnel practices across agencies.
From a historical perspective, the Code became law in 1955 and was installed two years later in 1957. It replaced a loose system of inconsistent personnel practices and legislation. Previously, job classifications and salary range rates were itemized in legislation, and could only be changed every two years, when the legislature was in session. The Personnel Code was written to provide broad administrative powers to the Director, to carry out a personnel program "based upon merit principles and scientific methods", and indeed the law survived with little change over the years, and has been able to embrace a number of significant changes in the human resources field without the need for a major overhaul.
Even those organizations that maintain a separate personnel system realize the benefits of a consistent application of personnel policies and practices, and tend to follow and incorporate many provisions of the Personnel Code.