Telford & Wrekin Council human resources chief warns of equal pay demands squeezing HR finances

Human resources finances at a West Midlands council are being squeezed because of pressure to meet local government equal pay obligations, the council’s HR chief has warned.

Local authorities face costs of up to £5bn as a result of the single-status agreement, signed by employers and unions 10 years ago, which forces councils to end pay discrimination.

David Johnson, head of HR at Telford & Wrekin Council, told Personnel Today that the process has come at a heavy cost to the HR budget.

“For the past couple of years, we have had in place a job analyst team that conducts job evaluations and supports employees and their managers in their understanding of the scheme,” he said.

“The council has had to make additional provision in its HR budget for the creation of this team, which has conducted more than 1,200 detailed job evaluations representing more than 4,000 employees covered by the single-status agreement,” Johnson added. He refused to say how much the scheme had cost, but some local media reports put the bill at millions of pounds.

The job evaluation questionnaires and interviews were completed by the end of December and staff now face an anxious wait for news.

Hundreds of councils across Great Britain have been plagued by legal problems implementing the single-status pay initiative.

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