Public sector offers lessons for business

As an HR manager in a local authority that has implemented single status and job evaluation, I was interested to read your news analysis ‘Single-status straightjacket’ (Personnel Today, 13 September).

Although equal pay is an important issue facing employers in all sectors, the pressure facing local government to act on its obligations cannot be truly recognised unless you are working with or in the sector. Having a private sector background myself, I strongly believe that a number of private sector employers would do well to follow the example set by local government.

My authority implemented single status and job evaluation in 2003 and so we are well aware of the difficulties of trying to get through this minefield. But we feel proud that we have done so and have worked well with trade unions in tough situations to reach our shared goals.

Your article stated costs of between 30,000 and 250,000. I would be interested to hear the experiences of other colleagues, as I believe that the true costs far exceed these figures in most cases.

Authorities should be mindful of the real costs but they need to bite the bullet and tackle the situation. If they don’t, it could cost them far more in the end.

Katharine Nundy
HR manager, Organisational development, Boston Borough Council

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