Agenda item

Pay Policy Statement

To consider the Pay Policy Statement.


The Board considered the Pay Policy.


During the discussion of this item the following points were made:


·         Under sections 38 to 43 of the Localism Act 2011 the Council was required to prepare, approve by Full Council (as a Part 1 item), and publish on its website a pay policy statement for the financial year 2019/2020.

·         Members were advised that while there had been a slight increase to Senior Management pay the gap was narrowing due to the higher increases at the bottom end of the pay-scales as a result of National Minimum Wage increases.  Councillor Helliar Symons asked whether any concerns had been raised about this and was informed that there had not.

·         Councillor Weeks noted that the Personnel Board appointed Directors.  He went on to ask where the creation of Assistant Director posts were agreed. Sarah Swindley indicated that it was the responsibility of the Chief Executive.  There were currently 17 Assistant Directors. 

·         In response to a question from Councillor Jones regarding the appointment of Assistant Directors Sarah Swindley indicated that the appointment of the Assistant Directors by the Personnel Board would require changes to the Constitution and would also be difficult to resource from HR point of view.  She indicated that if there was not sufficient budget for an Assistant Director post the relevant service area would have to request a supplementary estimate which would be considered by the Executive.

·         Councillor Jones asked how many Assistant Director posts had been in place prior to the 21st Century initiative.  Sarah Swindley indicated that she would circulate this information outside of the meeting.

·         Councillor Jones asked what was meant by the ‘wider market’ in terms of benchmarking.  Sarah Swindley stated that Wokingham benchmarked salaries against other unitaries and some county councils in the South East using E-Paycheck.  The search could be widened if necessary.

·         Members asked how often increments had been withheld in the event of unsatisfactory performance and were informed that this had not happened and that this would only occur if it was a sanction as part of a formal capability.

·         It was at an individual manager’s discretion to raise a member of staff up more than one more increment at a time.  There had to be sufficient budget.  Sarah Swindley clarified that the budget manager was usually at Lead Specialist or Assistant Director level. 

·         The Council did not enhance the number of statutory week’s redundancy pay an individual was entitled to under the Employment Rights Act 1996. Any requests would be considered by the Personnel Board.

·         A Member questioned at what age was the earliest a member of staff could retire and was informed that it depended on their age and the length of service.  Currently if a member of staff was made redundant aged over 55, the Council was required to release non-actuarially pension.  At present there was legislation under consideration that would put a limit of £90,000 on exit payments.  Councillor Kaiser asked if an employee who was over 55 and who had been made redundant could choose to not take their pension and was informed that they could not.

·         As at 31 March 35 honoria were being paid totalling approximately £130,000.  60 market supplements totalling approximately £300,000 were being paid.  Market supplements were reviewed every three years to ascertain whether they were still required. It was agreed that Sarah Swindley would circulate the quarterly Workforce Dashboard to Personnel Board.

·         Councillor Helliar-Symons commented that she felt that honoria helped to save on advertising and agency costs in the short term if a member of staff was acting up temporarily.

·         Sarah Swindley agreed to find out how many members of staff qualified for overtime.  Managers grade SM1 and over did not qualify for over time.

·         Councillor Doran asked what was meant by capability.  Sarah Swindley explained that the Council’s Disciplinary Policy related to conduct whilst the Capability Policy related to attendance and performance.


RESOLVED:  That the draft Pay Policy Statement for 2019 be agreed and recommended to Full Council on 18 July 2019 for agreement.

Supporting documents: