Council HR departments must move on from ‘paralysis’ caused by equal pay crisis

There is a future beyond single status and equal pay for local councils, the head of Local Government Employers (LGE) has insisted.

Speaking at a conference last week, Jan Parkinson, managing director of LGE, said the equal pay crisis has left councils in a “state of paralysis”, with HR professionals acting like “rabbits caught in headlights”.

“I understand the predicament councils face with equal pay, but it has become too all consuming. Firefighting needs to take place, but the problem of equal pay will be solved,” said Parkinson.

“Pay at both national and local level is no longer fit for the 21st century. Councils need to look beyond single status and move forward by looking at ways to modernise pay and reward schemes to inspire existing employees and attract new talent.”

The deadline for achieving single status is 31 March 2007, when all councils must comply with achieving equal pay in line with an agreement made with unions in 1997.

The LGE has published a report to provide guidance and address the financial, legal and industrial relations consequences of equal pay for councils.

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