Council reorganisation plans will force human resources teams to restart equal pay reviews

Council reorganisation plans will be a “pain in the neck” for human resources (HR) teams forced to scrap existing equal pay reviews and start from scratch, according to the sector’s employers’ body.

Local Government Employers (LGE), which leads on pay and pensions, has warned that half of the 48 councils affected by the creation of nine unitary authorities by 2009 will have to abandon current pay evaluation schemes and wait for the reorganisation to take place.

The Department for Communities and Local Government announced the planned shake-up in July to save £150m a year.

Jon Sutcliffe, LGE principal strategic adviser, told Personnel Today: “Having to start pay reviews all over again will be a pain in the neck – people are all ‘reviewed out’.”

Unlike NHS trusts, each council counts as a separate employer. Sutcliffe said: “We are campaigning, as the Equal Opportunities Commission did, that councils should have legal protection against [tribunal] claims while they sort this out.”

However, he argued that HR could continue reviewing current pay structures until the mergers, to be in a comparable position to other councils.

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