Kent County Council plans to scrap annual pay increments

Kent County Council is overhauling its pay and rewards structure in a bid to remotivate staff who feel the current system does not reward them for superior performance.

The local authority is currently in talks with trade unions and staff about plans to adopt a private sector approach to pay, which would come into effect in April 2010.

The reforms, which aim to reward staff more fairly and equitably, will see the removal of annual incremental pay points from the council’s pay grades.

The new system will use annual percentage increases assigned to each appraisal rating to determine pay.

According to Colin Miller, reward manager at Kent County Council, one-third of staff are at top of their grade but don’t currently receive anything more than a cost-of-living reward.

He said: “A lot of our staff say they feel demotivated by the current system and that it does not reward them for superior performance and their earnings potential is limited because they are at the top of their pay grade. We hope to address this and reward all staff more equitably and fairly, according to their individual contribution.”

“We want to be able to use the pay progression money in a way which we choose to potentially tease out the higher performers and give them proportionately more, rather than restricting it to set incremental steps.”

The council also plans to give staff at the top of their pay grade an opportunity to receive a one-off bonus payment.

Roger Gough, Kent County Council cabinet member for corporate services said: “Kent County Council always seeks to take the best from the private sector way of doing things and introduce innovations into local government where appropriate. This reform was needed and reflects our beliefs that our staff is our greatest asset.”

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