The purpose of this report is to provide the Employment Committee with an update on the progress of the Pay Review.
Councillor Mason, the Cabinet Member for People and Safer Communities introduced the pay review update report, summarising that since the previous update, noted by the Employment Committee on 9 March 2022, a number of actions had been completed which included:
• An Equality Impact Assessment on the scope of the Pay Review.
· Setting up of a Pay Review Working Group to develop proposals. Separate sub- groups were also to be set up to look at each of the four areas of the Pay Review Scope.
· Details of the pay review and its proposed scope had been communicated to the Trade Unions through the Joint Consultative and Negotiating Committee meetings which are led by Chief Executive.
• An action plan had been developed to deliver the scope of the Pay Review.
The Senior HR Officer gave a further update on the report and informed Members about the use of career grades to attract the best staff to the Council and the provision of development opportunities and progression to develop and retain talent. Work was underway with the pay review sub-group to ensure a career grade procedure that enabled equity and consistency across the Council as well as a review of the lower range of pay grades based on the Real Living Wage rate, due to be announced on 22 September 2022.
With effect from 1 April 2022, an increase of £1925 was offered for all National Joint Council pay points 1 and above. The Officer continued that the Council usually aligned pay deals to the national agreement and have modelled removing the lowest scale points in order to create more differentiation between grades in the bottom scales and analysis of similar roles has been undertaken to identify any inconsistencies between pay grades. The job evaluation process was being updated however this would not have budgetary implications.
During discussion, Members raised the following points:
• Although the pay deal had not yet been agreed, it was clearly going to be a significant cost.
• Attracting good local talent was an issue due to a gap in the market.
• The scheme to attract apprentices and graduates was to be encouraged. Referred to as a ‘grow your own’ method It was considered as a way of attracting loyal, long-serving staff and promoting a career in Local Government.
• It was acknowledged that the addition of pay supplements in some sectors by neighbouring Local Authorities meant competition made recruiting more difficult.
• How far along was the job evaluation process?
• Was there regular consultation with trade unions during the updating of processes?
• Did apprentices qualify for the Real Living Wage?
• The review must include paternity leave when considering impact.
The Senior HR Officer confirmed that any new roles will from now on go through the updated evaluation process.
The HR Manager informed the Committee that meetings were held on a monthly basis with trade unions and they were in agreement nationally. The lowest pay scale points were to be removed or increased to adhere to legal requirements and the Real Living Wage. The Officer explained that the national minimum wage for apprentices was being reviewed. The Council was looking to offer a scheme where apprentices can work within a number of different departments to gain more experience.
The Deputy Chief Executive informed Members that the modelling was not yet complete on this scheme as cost of living negotiations were still taking place so the exact cost could not be stated at this stage. The review was focused on growing and retaining talent through providing opportunities and development.
That the Employment Committee:
a) Noted the update of the Pay Review based on the agreed scope of the review.