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Agenda Item No. 6

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES): 10 FEBRUARY 2015

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 9 FEBRUARY 2015

 

C2626            EMPLOYEE PAY POLICY 2015/16 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

With the exception of the following, all officers vacated the room during consideration of this item: Cabinet Officer, Cabinet Support Officer and Press Officer.

 

Cabinet was asked to consider and endorse 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, advice had 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 9 to 16.

 

In view of this, the Director of Employment from the 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 Welsh Local Government Association 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 1 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 1 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 the 31 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.

 

At the meeting the Director of Employment for the Welsh Local Government Association commented that the need for the Council to approve and publish an Employee Pay Policy was not because the policy changed but that the version for 2015 / 16 now adequately included a number of additional statutory requirements and also the advice received from Welsh Government.

 

This was a matter for Full Council

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the required changes to the Council's Pay Policy for 2015/16 as set out in the report and as incorporated in the revised statement as attached at Appendix A to the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the particular references to any potential changes to the pay for Chief Officers as a result of annual pay awards as set out in paragraphs 9 to 14 of the report be noted and endorsed.

 

(3)       T H A T the Pay Policy be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on the 10 February, 2015 then to Council on the 4 March, 2015 for consideration and approval.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To respond to the legal requirement under the Standing Orders (Wales) Amendment Regulations 2014 and related advice from Welsh Government.

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 9 FEBRUARY 2015

 

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