Report of the County Solicitor, Chief Officer for Legal, Human Resources and Communications & Head of Human Resources outlining the Pay Policy Statement for 2021/2022, attached.
The Committee considered the Joint Report of the County Solicitor (Chief Officer for Legal, Human Resources and Communications) and Head of Human Resources outlining the proposed and revised Pay Policy Statement for 2021/2022 and consequential amendments to the Chief Officer Employment Procedure Rules and Disciplinary Policy, for ratification by the County Council.
The Committee were reminded that the Localism Act 2011 required Councils to prepare and approve, annually, a Pay Policy Statement setting out its policy for each financial year relating to remuneration of Chief Officers and other employees and the relationship between the pay of Chief Officers and the lowest paid employee. It also specified that salaries for those on leadership grades were fixed for the duration of the Policy.
The draft Pay Policy Statement was attached at Appendix 1 to the Report and reflected the Government’s legislation and proposals to restrict exit payments for public sector workers.
The Governments proposals included:
· a £95,000 Exit Payments Cap, covering all types of exit payment;
· a duty to keep records and publication requirements in respect of relaxation of the £95k payment cap restriction;
· further reforms to the Public Sector Exit payments, which proposed to limit the amount of compensation an employee received where the exit was for redundancy. In addition, it proposed to limit the amount of employer funded top-ups for early retirement; and
· that pay policy statements should be used by Local Authorities to explain their policies on the reward of chief officers who had been previously employed by the authority and ex-employees later engaged as Chief Officers.
The draft Pay Policy Statement continued to reflect a potential future review of terms and conditions including a current review of the NJC Annual Leave entitlement and the Authority’s wider reward strategy, bearing in mind the pay and grading implications of the National Living Wage, and other issues such as recruitment and retention and the changing nature of work and roles within the Authority.
The Trade Unions had submitted a pay claim for 2021/22 to the national employers and further development was awaited.
Appendix 2 of the Report outline the current senior management roles and salary levels and no changes were proposed.
Members discussed and asked questions on the pay award and whether an updated position was known, staff awareness of the budgetary position of the authority, staff surveys to better understand morale and health and wellbeing issues, the current pressures on some staff including those home educating or those working remotely sometimes without suitable conditions, the importance of conditions and allowances supporting retention in those difficult to recruit areas and the potential to review some staff allowances to ensure they were still fit for purpose.
It was MOVED by Councillor Hart, SECONDED by Councillor McInnes, and
(a) that the proposed amendments to the Pay Policy Statement be approved and the revised Statement for 2021/22 commended to the Council;
(b) that the legislation of the Restriction of Public Services Exit Payments regulations which became law on 4th November 2020 be noted; and
(c) that the change to leadership roles and salary rates, which may be impacted by any national pay award, also be noted.