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Agenda Item No 9

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

COUNCIL MEETING: 4 March 2015

 

Report of the Leader

 

Employee Pay Policy 2015/16

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To ask Council to consider and approve the Council's Pay Policy for 2015/16 as required by the Localism Act 2011.

Recommendations

1.         To note the required changes to the Council's Employee Pay Policy for 2015/16 as set out in this report.

2.         To note and approve the particular references to potential changes to the pay for Chief Officers as a result of annual pay awards as set out in paragraphs 11-18.

3.         That subject to the above, Council note the revised salary references for Chief Officers following the recent JNC agreed cost of living pay increase as set out in paragraph 6.11 of the attached Employee Pay Policy

4.         That subject to 2 and 3 above, and the approval of proposed revisions to salary levels as set out in a separate report on this agenda (see paragraph 19) Council approve the Employee Pay Policy  as set out at Appendix A.

5.         That subject to 2 and 3 above, but in the event that the proposed revisions to salary levels as referenced in paragraph 19 are not approved, then Council approve the Employee Pay Policy as set out at Appendix B.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To respond to the legal requirement under the Standing Orders (Wales) Amendment Regulations 2014, related advice from Welsh Government and comments from Cabinet on the 9 February 2015 and Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 10 February 2015.

2.         To enable the processing of pay awards as negotiated by the JNC for Chief Officers.

3.         To inform members of the effect of the 2014-16 JNC pay award for Chief Officers.

4.         To respond to the legal requirement under the Localism Act and to provide openness and accountability in how the Council rewards its staff.

5.         As 4 above.

Background

2.      The Council has 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.

3.      The Policy has been produced on the basis of statutory guidance, advice from the Welsh Local Government Association and guidance from Welsh Government.

4.      The Policy also reflects comments following consideration by Cabinet on 9 February 2015 and Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 10 February 2015.

5.      The Policy will provide a framework for ensuring that employees are rewarded fairly and objectively, in accordance with the service needs of the Council and that there is openness and transparency in relation to the process.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.      The Employee Pay Policy attached at Appendix A has been produced in accordance with the requirements of section 38 (1) of the Localism Act 2011.

7.      The Localism Act requires all local authorities to develop and make public their policy on all aspects of Chief Officer remuneration.

8.      Notwithstanding the above, efforts have continued to be made to take a broader approach to the requirements of the Act and, as such reference has been made to the pay of other relevant groups within the policy statement.

9.      In addition the Policy sets out remuneration arrangements for staff undertaking duties in respect of elections and referenda/ballots.

10.    For 2015/16 the Pay Policy has also been revised 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

-        Comments received following consideration at Cabinet meeting on 9 February 2015 and Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 10 February 2015.  This includes additional information about Chief Officer pay at paragraph 6.9, severance payments at paragraph 8.4 and comparative pay relativity at paragraphs 10.1 and 10.2.

11.    A particular change as set out in the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) (Amendment)  Regulations 2014 is 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 officerâ€

12.    The impact of this amendment is that all changes to chief officer pay must be voted on by full Council, not just those which are determined locally. This includes any pay rises which have been nationally negotiated by the JNC and these now cannot be paid, unless and until, they have been agreed by full Council.  

13.    As the Chief Officers of this authority are employed under JNC terms and conditions which are incorporated into their contracts of employment, they will be contractually entitled to any JNC pay rises and a decision to withhold payment could result in an unlawful deduction from wages or breach of contract.

14.    Clearly seeking full Council’s determination to pay JNC nationally agreed pay rises each time they are agreed is likely to cause delay in payment and potentially an inappropriate use of the time and resources of elected members.

15.    The WLGA has therefore pursued this matter with Welsh Government on behalf of Councils in order to seek a pragmatic solution. As a result it has been agreed that the requirement that full Council must determine nationally agreed contractually entitled pay rises for Chief Officers can be met by full Council agreeing to include a suitable clause in their Pay Policy Statements to cover this issue.

16     The relevant clause is included at paragraph 6.9 and 6.10 of the revised Pay Policy statement and includes the advised wording as follows:

          "The Council employs Chief Officers under JNC terms and conditions which are incorporated in their contracts. The JNC for Chief Officers negotiates on national (UK) annual cost of living pay increases for this group, and any award of same is determined on this basis. Chief Officers employed under JNC terms and conditions are contractually entitled to any national JNC determined pay rises and this Council will therefore pay these as and when determined in accordance with current contractual requirements".

17     Members will note that, in anticipation of the above clause being approved the pay rates set out in paragraph 6.11 have been revised to reflect the recently agreed JNC cost of living award for Chief Officers as attached at Appendix C. The figures will need to be revised should the statement at paragraph 16 not be approved.

18.    Should the Council at any time decide that it does not wish to implement nationally negotiated NJC pay increases then that would need to be a decision of Full Council, and the Pay Policy Statement would need to be amended to reflect that decision.

19.    Members will note that the copy of the Employee Pay Policy at Appendix A has been drafted in anticipation of Member's consideration and approval of a separate report on the Council agenda (Senior Management Appointments and Grading/Salary issues). If the proposals in that report are approved then Council is asked to consider and approve the Pay Policy at Appendix A.

20.    Clearly, if the proposals in the separate report are not approved then Council is asked to consider and approve the Pay Policy at Appendix B.

21.    As will be noted the Council's Pay Policy needs to be approved and re-published by the 31st March 2015 in order to comply with the provisions of the Localism Act

22.    The Policy will be updated as appropriate later in the year 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.

23.    The proposals set out in this report raise a number of potential conflicts of interest for members of the Council's Corporate Management Team. In view of this, advice has been sought and received from the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) on the updating of the Policy and particularly in relation to issues set out in paragraphs 11 to 18. The Director of Employment from the WLGA will be in attendance at the meeting should there be any questions or points of clarification required.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

24.    There are no financial implications arising from this report. Certain pay details for those paid £60,000 per annum and above are published on an annual basis as part of the Statement of Accounts.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

25.    To respond to the legal requirements of the Localism Act.

Crime and Disorder Implications

26.    None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

27.    The Pay Policy will ensure openness and transparency in relation to the Council's approach to pay and reward.

Corporate/Service Objectives

28.    The pay arrangements within the Pay Policy structure help to support service delivery and the meeting of corporate/service objectives.

Policy Framework and Budget

29.    This is a matter for decision by Full Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

30.    The Trade Unions are aware of the requirements of the Localism Act and a copy of the statement has been shared with them.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

2.            Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

Localism Act 2011 Section 38 to 43

Pay Accountability in Local Government in Wales: Welsh Government February 2014

 

Responsible Officer:

Councillor Neil Moore, Leader of the Council.

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