Top

Top

Agenda Item No.

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET: 23RD FEBRUARY 2015

 

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES): 10TH FEBRUARY 2015

 

“ EMPLOYEE PAY POLICY 2015/16 (REF) –

 

With the exception of the Scrutiny Support Officer and the Web Editor, all officers vacated the room during consideration of this item.

 

The Leader, in presenting the report, advised that on 9th February 2015, Cabinet had endorsed the Council's Pay Policy for 2015/16 as required by the Localism Act 2011 prior to its submission to Council for consideration and approval. 

 

The Council had a statutory requirement under the Localism Act 2011 to prepare a pay policy statement for each financial year.  The first statement was approved by Council in March 2012.

 

The proposals set out in the report raised a number of potential conflicts of interest for members of the Council's Corporate Management Team.  In view of this, the Director of Employment from the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) was also in attendance at the meeting to answer any questions or points of clarification that were required.

 

The Policy had been produced on the basis of statutory guidance, advice from the WLGA and guidance from Welsh Government and provided a framework for ensuring that employees were rewarded fairly and objectively, in accordance with the service needs of the Council and that there was openness and transparency in relation to the process.

 

The Pay Policy for 2015/16 attached at Appendix A to the report had been updated to incorporate the following:-

  • Updated guidance from Welsh Government as issued in February 2014
  • Changes as prescribed by the Local Authorities Standing Orders (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 which took effect from 1st July, 2014
  • The details of a national pay award for employees covered by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services
  • The outcome of a local collective agreement in relation to the removal of telephone allowances and the phasing out of remaining essential car user allowance payments.

In addition, paragraphs 6.19 to 6.25 of the Pay Policy set out the detail of remuneration arrangements for staff undertaking duties in respect of elections and referenda / ballots.

 

The Policy also reflected updated guidance from Welsh Government as issued in February 2014 and changes prescribed by the Local Authorities Standing Orders (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 which took effect from 1st July, 2014.

 

A particular change, as set out in the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, was the introduction of the requirement that: “The relevant authority must determine the level, and any change in the level, of the remuneration to be paid to a chief officer”.

 

The impact of the amendment was that all changes to chief officer pay must be voted on by Full Council, not just those that were determined locally.  This included any pay rises that had been nationally negotiated by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) and these now could not be paid, unless and until, they had been agreed by Full Council.

 

The Council’s Pay Policy had to be approved and re-published by 31st March, 2015 in order to comply with the provisions of the Localism Act.

 

The Policy would be updated as appropriate to take into account any changes to the Council's senior management structure resulting from the Managing Director's recent decision to retire from her post in November 2014.

 

The Committee raised some points for clarification in relation to the Pay Policy.  The first related to paragraphs 8.3 and 8.4 which appeared to contradict each other.  The Committee queried whether greater clarification could be provided within the report In order to detail the differentiation between the maximum amount of £30,000 redundancy payment shown within paragraph 8.3 and the £100,000 highlighted within paragraph 8.4.  In answer to this query, the Committee was advised that the figure within paragraph 8.3 referred to Council Policy on discretionary payments while 8.4 referred to Welsh Government guidance for which Full Council approval was needed in cases with severance packages of over £100,000.  This related more to the strain imposed upon the pension fund and not to the amount paid to an individual. 

 

The Committee also asked for clarification around paragraph 10.1 that highlighted the minimum spinal pay point.  Members were advised that paragraphs 10.1 and 10.2 referred to the removal of the bottom pay scale which was based on the ratio pay differentiation between the lowest paid and the Managing Director.  The Committee advised that it would be appropriate for the Pay Policy to show a comparison to last year’s pay scales to those currently proposed.

 

A Committee Member, in referring to paragraph 6.9, commented that in referring to ‘annual cost of living pay increases’ it would be prudent to also mention that this could be affected be deflationary pressures.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the changes to the Council’s Pay Policy for 2015/16 be endorsed subject to the amendments detailed blow by the Scrutiny Committee:

 

“The Committee raised some points for clarification in relation to the Pay Policy.  The first related to paragraphs 8.3 and 8.4 which appeared to contradict each other.  The Committee queried whether greater clarification could be provided within the report In order to detail the differentiation between the maximum amount of £30,000 redundancy payment shown within paragraph 8.3 and the £100,000 highlighted within paragraph 8.4.  In answer to this query, the Committee was advised that the figure within paragraph 8.3 referred to Council Policy on discretionary payments while 8.4 referred to Welsh Government guidance for which Full Council approval was needed in cases with severance packages of over £100,000.  This related more to the strain imposed upon the pension fund and not to the amount paid to an individual. 

 

The Committee also asked for clarification around paragraph 10.1 that highlighted the minimum spinal pay point.  Members were advised that paragraphs 10.1 and 10.2 referred to the removal of the bottom pay scale which was based on the ratio pay differentiation between the lowest paid and the Managing Director.  The Committee advised that it would be appropriate for the Pay Policy to show a comparison to last year’s pay scales to those currently proposed.

 

A Committee Member, in referring to paragraph 6.9, commented that in referring to ‘annual cost of living pay increases’ it would be prudent to also mention that this could be affected be deflationary pressures.”

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In order to pass on the Scrutiny Committee’s views and observations to Cabinet.

Share on facebook Like us on Facebook