To consider the Annual Pay Policy Statement 2021 as recommended by Personnel Board at their meeting held on 28 June 2021.
RECOMMENDATION: That Council approve the Annual Pay Policy Statement for 2021.
The Council considered the Annual Pay Policy Statement 2021.
It was proposed by John Halsall and seconded by Chris Bowring that the Annual Pay Policy 2021, be approved.
John Halsall indicated that the Pay Policy process was required by the Localism Act 2011.
Rachel Burgess commented that there was no mention of the gender pay gap. Since last year the mean gender pay gap at the Council had increased to 15.6%, which was 11% worse than neighbouring Reading Council. The median gender pay gap was17.3% compared to Reading’s 2.5%.
John Halsall commented that a separate Gender Pay Gap report was considered each year by the Personnel Board. Reading and Wokingham were not comparable because they had different demographics and Reading directly employed a lot more of their staff.
RESOLVED: That the Annual Pay Policy Statement for 2021 be approved.
6 Annual Pay Policy Statement 2021
To consider the Annual Pay Policy Statement 2021.
Joelle Cooper, HR presented the Annual Pay Policy Statement 2021.
During the discussion of this item the following points were made:
· An improved methodology had been applied for that year, in that the full time equivalent salary had been used for the purposes of data comparison, ensuing a more robust and accurate method for like for like salary comparison between officer pay.
· This year a new baseline had been set for data analysis that could be used as a comparator for future years.
· The gap between the highest paid officer and the lowest paid officer continued to diminish, primarily through changes applied to the National Minimum Wage each year.
· The mean salary continued to change. This could be attributed to changes in general recruitment and retention movement throughout the year. Covid response and recruitment requirements had also contributed to changes, as well as general organisational structures.
· The essence of the Pay Policy remained unchanged from the previous year.
· There would be more of a focus on the Council’s general approach to pay and reward strategy to ensure that the Council best supported and underpinned its best ability to deliver against the Corporate Delivery Plan and the People Strategy.
· With regards to managers having discretion to appoint new staff at a level above the minimum salary and managers having discretion to withhold incremental increases in the event of unsatisfactory performance, Councillor Weeks questioned how often this took place and at what level of staff. Joelle Cooper indicated that she would feed back to the Board. Members were reminded that managers would be operating within set pay bands.
· In response to a question from Councillor Kaiser, Joelle Cooper indicated that the full time equivalent salary was used in the preparation of the Gender Pay Gap Report.
· Councillor Bishop-Firth asked how much support and control there was for managers exercising their discretion in either appointing at above the minimum level or withholding incremental increases. Joelle Cooper indicated that it was managers discretion as to which entry point within the pay band that they appointed to. However, the withholding of increments would be discussed with HR and would be aligned with a performance management process.
· Councillor Bishop-Firth sought clarification regarding redundancy pay. Joelle Cooper agreed to feed back.
RESOLVED: That the Personnel Board approve the Pay Policy Statement 2021 and recommend its agreement to Full Council on 22 July 2021.