Earlier this morning, I published an email which was sent out to the staff of Brighton & Hove City Council. Here is the more detailed version, which the staff could only access through their own intranet. I have reformatted it a little to make it readable in this post but I have not altered the text one bit. The typographical errors were all in the original document.
Pay and Allowances Modernisation: The Employer Offer May 2013
Why we have reviewed this?
This sets out the rationale for the changes
Consultation and communication with our workforce
This sets out our the reasons for consulting you
Target Implementation Date
This is when the council would like the new set of allowances and expenses to take effect
Employees in Scope
Who we are consulting and who is the new set of allowances and expenses would apply to
Brighton & Hove City Council’s proposals
This sets out in detail all the proposals for the new set of allowances and expenses
Managing a reduction in contractual pay or expenses
The proposals for compensating those who would suffer a loss of pay or travel/car expenses as a result of accepting a new contract of employment
This explains a process that some employees could use to protect their pension
Existing Protection Arrangements
This explains what happens to employees already in receipt of formal salary protection under our Organisation Change Management Framework
This explains what Job Families are and how work on this is being progressed.
What can I do now to understand what the impact may be?
There are some examples to help you work out how the proposals may impact on you.
What happens now?
How you raise queries and provide feedback.
Questions and Answers
The pay, terms and expenses of employees of Brighton & Hove City Council come from a number of different sources.
- Key terms and expenses such as pension rights and entitlement to sick pay are agreed nationally by the employers’ organisation and trade unions.
- basic pay grades are set by the council’s job evaluation and grading system which was implemented in January 2010; and the rates of pay are set in accordance with nationally agreed pay scales.
- Annual increases to basic pay are agreed nationally but the council has made a local commitment to a minimum living wage of £7.45 per hour.
- In addition, a significant number of staff receive allowances and additional payments because of the nature and pattern of the work that they do. Over time the current system has become complex, is based on historic requirements, costly to administer and is no longer fit for purpose. The rates for allowances are now set by the council, after negotiation with the recognised trades unions.
The council started negotiations with its recognised trade unions, GMB and Unison, in February 2013, with the aim of seeking agreement on a new set of allowances that is fair, consistent, modern and transparent.
The negotiations have not been about making savings on the council’s pay bill but about finding the best fit that minimises any potential loss for individual staff and ensures fairness and consistency across the workforce.
This document sets out the details of Brighton & Hove City Council’s proposals for
the payment of allowances payable in addition to basic pay to enable employees to:
a) assess the impact of the proposals for them; and
b) provide feedback as part of the consultation process.
Why we have reviewed this?
The council wants to have a fair and easily understood pay system that is consistent and transparent and fit for the council’s business purposes.
We implemented the outcome of the grading review after carrying out an objective job evaluation study for employees on national joint council (NJC) terms and conditions of employment. This set out basic salary grades for posts.
The grades were introduced on 1 January 2010 and we committed then to reviewing all payments made in addition to the basic salary.
The current negotiations with the council’s recognised trade unions, have taken place with an aim to achieve a best fit and minimise the amount of any loss.
We tried to ensure that the proposals are affordable and enable us to continue to attract and retain high calibre staff, so we can continue to provide good public services at the times our customers and clients expect.
Consultation and communication with our workforce
We have been negotiating with our recognised trade unions, GMB and Unison since February.
While we have not been able to reach an agreement on an allowances package with the unions, we have agreed that we have reached a stage in the negotiations where it is appropriate to consult the workforce.
So we are now setting out the current proposals directly to you, so you can see what the impact of the proposed allowance structure may be on to you, to provide clarity and provide and seek information.
We will consult for a period of 90 days, then we will meet the unions again to consider the outcome of the consultation and to establish whether we can reach an agreement with the unions on the final package of allowances and expenses.
The process of consultation means that we may alter some aspects of the offer, as a result of the feedback we have had; but the main elements are unlikely to change significantly prior to implementation.
You will continue to receive information during the consultation period and if you are likely to see a change to your current payments, you will be sent individual information and be offered a one to one meeting with your manager
GMB and Unison will also wish to communicate about the proposals to their members and will be available to take feedback or clarify issues.
Copies of all management communications (excluding individual letters with personal details) will be made available to the trade unions.
Target Implementation Date
We are seeking, through negotiation with GMB and Unison, to agree and implement a new package for the payment of allowances in addition to basic pay.
The target date for this new package to take effect is 1 October 2013.
Employees in Scope
The proposals apply to:
- all employees with contracts of employment, who are on NJC (Green Book) terms and conditions, including those in community schools; and
- those who TUPE’d in on different contracts of employment but should be moved onto NJC terms and conditions.
How do I know how I am affected
If your working patterns mean you work hours outside of Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm, or if you are in receipt of an allowance in addition to basic pay, you are likely to be affected by the proposals in some way.
If you are in receipt of any car or travel payments or claim business mileage you will also be affected by the proposals.
Brighton & Hove City Council proposals for payment of Allowance and Expenses
The following set of allowances and expenses, in addition to basic pay and the rates specified, are those which the council is proposing to introduce.
These are the only allowances that will be paid and therefore, if you are currently in receipt of an allowance or expense not listed, it is proposed that this will be removed.
1. Working Arrangements
For the purpose of allowances the following definitions apply:
- Full time hours are 37 hours per week over 52 weeks per year
- The standard working week operates Monday to Friday 6.00am to 8.00pm
- A night is defined as 8.00pm to 6:00am
- Normal working pattern is an individual’s normal contractual working arrangements
2. Enhancements for Non-standard Working Arrangements
These allowances will be paid to employees on spinal column point (scp) 28 and below (ie up to Scale 6) where their normal working pattern goes beyond the standard working week.
Saturdays and Sundays
Half time in addition to the normal hourly rate.
Plain time in addition to the normal hourly rate plus a day off or Double time in addition to the normal hourly rate
Third time in addition to the normal hourly rate for any hours worked between
8.00pm and 6.00am.
For employees above scp 28 the rules governing entitlement to the allowances for non-standard working arrangements are set out below.
- employees who are working in services which operate beyond the standard week, and are contracted to undertake regular work outside the standard week, will be entitled to claim enhancements for non standard working arrangements.
- staff working ad-hoc hours outside of the standard week will not be entitled to enhancements for non-standard working arrangements but will be granted time off in lieu or may be granted overtime subject to the conditions set out in section 3 below.
Employees graded Scale 1/2 to Scale 6 (up to scp 28) will be required, on occasions, to work additional hours.
- Overtime (ie additional hours for part-time staff) up to and including 37 hours per week will be paid at plain time.
- Overtime in excess of 37 hours per week will be paid as follows: Monday to Sunday – half time in addition to normal hourly rate; Bank Holidays – plain time in addition to the normal hourly rate
Employees graded SO1/2 to M8 will be required, on occasions, to work additional hours as the needs of the job dictate. Such overtime working will not normally qualify for additional payment but compensatory time off will be allowed by arrangement with management. Payment may only be payable by exception, as agreed by an executive director and in circumstances where compensatory time off may not be accommodated.
Employees graded Scale M7 or above are required to work such reasonable additional hours as are necessary to ensure the efficient and effective discharge of their duties. Some compensatory time off may be agreed with the line manager.
4. Standby, Call Out and Sleep-In Duties
Standby is payable where an employee is required to be available to work to work in order to deal with emergency situations as and when they arise. The payment will be made regardless of whether the employee is called upon to work.
Payment is not made when an employee is not available to work, for example, annual leave or sickness.
Employees who are contractually required to undertake standby duties will receive £26.50 per duty. If they are called out then after the first thirty minutes they will be paid for any additional hours. This is paid at the overtime rate if this takes the individual beyond 37 hours or the relevant working pattern enhancement in line with the time of day/week that the call-out takes place.
The standby payment represents a period of standby for up to 24 hours.
Winter-Gritting standby and rates will remain as they are currently with a week’s standby at £59.53. Payments for the work undertaken when called out will be as follows:
- Hill Top Grit
- Standard Grit
- Full Grit
Employees may occasionally be contacted outside of the normal working hours. This type of arrangement would not attract a standby payment as there is no contractual requirement to be available. The post holder would however receive payment for the hours worked in line with overtime and additional hours payments.
Sleep in Duty
Employees undertaking sleep-in duties will receive £32.94 per duty. Where employees are woken from sleep they will be paid at the relevant rate (night rate) after the first thirty minutes.
Standby and sleep-in rates will be reviewed each year in line with NJC rates.
5. Part-Time Employees
The allowances set out above will be applied to part-time employees in the
same way as they are applied to full-time employees, unless specifically stated.
6. Travel Expenses
Authorised business mileage will be paid in accordance with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom (HMRC) rates.
This is paid at the rate of 5p per passenger per business mile, for carrying employees in a car or van on official work journeys.
Approved journeys using public transport will be reimbursed subject to proof
We will be retaining the current support schemes for travel:
a. City car club
b. Travel warrants
c. Season ticket loans
d. Cycle to work scheme
7. Excess Travel Expenses
Excess Travel will be paid to employees whose work location changes as a result of redeployment or an office move. Employees will be reimbursed the additional public transport expenses they incur beyond £5.00 a week for a period of a year.
This £5.00 threshold does not apply to employees on scp 17 or below.
8. Subsistence Expenses
Subsistence may be claimed only in relation to approved overnight stays outside of Brighton & Hove City Council boundaries.
The maximum amounts are reviewed each year in line with the NJC pay award and the rates with effect from 1 April 2012 are:
- Breakfast £6.70
- Lunch £9.21
- Evening Meal £11.43
It should be remembered that these rates are not allowances. Reimbursement is limited to actual expenditure incurred, providing that the maximum amounts are not exceeded. A claim may not be made in respect of any item without the appropriate receipt.
9. Miscellaneous Payments for Temporary Additional Duties
Any payment for a period of acting up or additional duties will be paid in accordance with the council’s acting up and ex-gratia/honorarium policies.
10. Special Schools Allowance
Those staff working in special schools will continue to receive an allowance to reflect the additional challenges associated with working in that environment.
11. Market Supplements
Market supplements are paid where a shortage of skills in a particular area mean it is difficult to recruit and retain staff with the appropriate skills/experience. Any market supplement payments are temporary and must be agreed in accordance with the council’s market pay supplement policy. Where warranted, such payments will continue. Market supplements are reviewed annually.
12. First Aid
This is paid to individuals who volunteer to be first aiders for the purposes of their workplace and where it is not a requirement of their job role. Individuals must have a First Aid at Work qualification and be the nominated first aider for that location. The rate of payment is £8.67 per month.
13a Managing a reduction in contractual pay
Employees who will experience a reduction in contractual pay as a result of the implementation of the allowance changes will be eligible for a compensatory payment to support the change of their contract of employment. The level of payment for any will be determined as follows:
Amount of Loss
There will be conditions attached to the compensatory payments and employees who chose to accept the new contract and compensatory payment will be required to sign a compromise agreement.
The compromise agreement will set out the conditions for the acceptance of the compensatory payment in detail but it will include that:
- The council can reclaim 25% of the value of the payment if an individual leaves within a year of the implementation of the new terms and conditions.
- The individual waives the right to bring claims against the council for unfair dismissal, redundancy, unlawful deduction of wages and other benefits, unfavourable treatment of part-time workers and/or fixed-term workers, equal pay or breach of contract, amongst other things.
13b Managing a reduction in travel expenses
Employees will be offered a compensatory payment equivalent to the annual essential user lump sum where this is part of their current contract.
Where employees have a protected entitlement to an essential user lump sum or other car or travel payments they will be offered the equivalent of three months payments as a lump sum payment.
These compensatory payments will have the same conditions attached to them as
set out in paragraph 13a above.
14. Pension Protections
If pensionable pay is reduced employees have the following option for the calculation of their final pay for pension purposes.
This option is available only to employees who experience a reduction in the pensionable pay within ten years of their last day as an active member of the local government pension scheme for that particular employment. The employee can choose their total average annual pensionable pay from any three consecutive years ending 31 March, within the period of thirteen years ending with the last day the employee is an active member of the pension scheme.
If an employee wishes to take advantage of this option he/she needs to write to the Pension Fund Administrator at least one month before leaving the relevant employment.
Employees cannot make use of this option to use earlier years’ pay in working out benefits if the reduction or restriction was as a result of the loss of a temporary increase in pay, or resulted from a reduction in grade in order to take retirement benefits on flexible retirement.
15. Existing Protection Arrangements (excluding car/travel protections – see paragraph 13b)
Existing protections currently in place and being paid for up to three years in accordance with the council’s Organisation Change Management Framework will continue in accordance with that scheme.
16. Job Families
Last year the council made a commitment in its People Strategy to introduce Job Families for all NJC employees. This was endorsed by P&R Committee in February 2013.
Job Families were successfully implemented for school support staff some years ago and we are now in the early stages of designing a Job Families Framework for the rest of the council. We will consult fully on the model and process for implementation in the coming months. (Note: this consultation will be separate from the current consultation exercise on the allowance package.)
Why are we doing this now?
It would not be rational to modernise the system of pay without also looking at how we organise job groups and develop staff in similar roles. Implementing Job Families alongside changes to pay will lead to a clearer, more modern structure that supports delivery of the council’s priorities in the future.
What is a Job Family?
A Job Family is a group of jobs with similar characteristics and which are engaged in similar work (eg administrative roles) represented by generic role profiles describing the key work activities together with the skills, knowledge and
experience required at each level.
What are the benefits of Job Families?
Introducing Job Families is designed to provide a range of benefits for employees, managers and the organisation as a whole. These include:
- Workforce flexibility; financial constraints and customer and client expectations mean there will be an ongoing need to redesign services. Job Families provide for greater flexibility of the workforce across the organisation and greater opportunities for development and employment across services, including redeployment opportunities.
- Clear progression pathways for employees; feedback from staff consultation has shown that a high and increasing proportion of employees believe that opportunities for progression are not clear. Job Families enable us to define the requirements to progress to a higher level, and encourage lateral progression to different service areas.
- Streamlined job evaluation; as with allowances, over time the number of individually defined and evaluated job roles has grown and now stands at over 1500 unique jobs. The current system of job evaluation is therefore cumbersome and expensive to manage. A more appropriate framework of around 140 role profiles is being developed to reflect the council’s major work activities and specialist functions, and to support more efficient organisation design.
- Employee development: Job Families make it easy to define the competencies and skills required at each level in a family group and enable skills, knowledge and behavioural frameworks and development programmes to be tailored to suit each family.
When will Job Families be implemented?
We are currently working with managers on the number, levels and content of job family groups. Once we have a set of proposals we will be formally presenting these to the trade union.
What can I do now to understand what the impact may be?
You should make yourself familiar with your rota or the allowances you claim/are paid. Please have a look at the examples below that may help you understand the potential impact on your pay.
The council will also publish an automatic allowance calculator on the wave which will allow employees to enter basic details about their working pattern and will then calculate your potential total salary.
Example 1 – Night Working
Kemala Hayek is a scale 4 Care Officer on SCP 19, her hourly rate is £9.2272. She works 14 hours a week between the hours of 8pm and 6am. Under the new allowance scheme she can claim for 14 hours at 1/3 of her hourly rate in addition to her basic hourly rate.
To calculate this, first of all divide her hourly rate by 3.
£9.2272 ÷ 3 = £3.0754
We then multiply this figure by the number of hours that she works at night
£3.0754 x 14 = £43.06
Therefore Kemala will earn an additional £43.06 per week for working between the hours of 8pm and 6am.
Example 2 – Working Nights on a Saturday/Sunday
Ravi Srivastav is a Scale 3 Night Security Officer on SCP 17, his hourly rate is £8.7234. He works a 12 hour shift on a Saturday night starting at 8pm and finishing at 8am.
Under the new allowance scheme he will be able to claim for 10 hours at 1/3 of his hourly rate for working at night, and also 12 hours at half time for working on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
To calculate this, first of all divide the hourly rate by 3.
£8.7234 ÷ 3 = £2.9078
Because Ravi is working 10 hours during which the night rate applies we can do the following:
£2.9078 x 10 = £29.08
Then we need to work out the hourly rate for the weekend working part of the
shift, therefore divide the hourly rate by 2, therefore:
£8.7234 ÷ 2 = £4.3617
Because Ravi is working 12 hours over the weekend we can do the following:
£4.3617 x 12 = £52.34
Now we have the amounts for each allowance we just add the two amounts
£29.08 + £52.34 = £81.42
Therefore Ravi will earn £81.42 for his night shift on a Saturday night.
Example 3 – Saturday/Sunday Working
Lucy Jones is a Scale 1/2 Kitchen Assistant on SCP 13, her hourly rate is
£8.0050. She works 3 hours every weekend.
Under the new allowance scheme she will be entitled to claim an enhancement of half time on her hourly rate in addition to her basic hourly rate.
To calculate this we do the following:
£8.0050 ÷ 2 = £4.0025
Because Lucy works 3 hours on the weekend, to work out the addition to her salary we do the following:
£4.0025 x 3 = £12.0075.
Therefore Lucy will earn an additional £12.0075 per week for working 3 hours at the weekend.
Example 4 – Bank Holiday Working
John Brown is a Scale 5 Home Care Support Worker on SCP 25, his hourly rate is £10.1701. He is contracted to work 5 bank holidays a year at 7.4 hours per bank holiday.
Under the new allowance scheme he will be entitled to claim double time on top of his normal hourly rate, or claim a time off in lieu. For the purpose of this example we shall assume that he would rather get paid double time on top of his normal hourly rate.
To calculate how much he gets per year for those bank holidays we first of all multiply his hourly rate by 2 as its double time, therefore:
£10.1701 x 2 = £20.3402
This gives his hourly rate for the bank holidays, then, we multiply that by the number of hours in the bank holiday which as above is 7.4 hours, therefore:
£20.3402 x 7.4 = £150.51748
This gives the amount he will earn per bank holiday.
Example 5 – Overtime Working
Piotr Wojcik is a scale 6 Team Leader on SCP 28, therefore his hourly rate is £12.2885. He has worked 12 hours of overtime over the course of a week.
To calculate the amount he can expect to receive, firstly calculate the hourly rate he will receive for the overtime hours he has worked, as all overtime is paid at time and a half the following calculation is done:
£12.2885 x 1.5 = £18.433
Now that his hourly rate has been calculated we can multiply this by the number of hours overtime he has worked:
£18.433 x 12 = £221.196.
Therefore Piotr will receive an additional £221.20 in his salary for the week in which he worked this overtime.
What happens now?
If you have any questions about the consultation exercise or your particular position, raise this through your line manager in the first instance.
Managers will be told who is likely to be affected by the proposals.
Your manager will then arrange a one to one meeting with to go through the details and feedback you may have.
If you are not affected by the changes, we would still welcome your feedback.
Questions and Answers
Didn’t we introduce a new pay and grading system in January 2010 after the Single Status review? Why are we talking about pay modernisation again? We introduced a robust system of job evaluation at that time and many staff were affected by changes to their basic pay. However, we didn’t make changes to allowances and additional payments and we now need to finish off the work that was started to make sure all of our pay and our terms and conditions are clear and consistent.
Why can’t we leave allowances and additional payments as they are? Our current arrangements have emerged over many years for a wide range of reasons. This means that they are complex, historic and costly to administer. We need a system that is consistent, modern and transparent.
Is this about saving money?
No. While some local authorities are looking at making changes to pay or terms and conditions to reduce costs, this does not apply to us. Of course we need to make sure our pay system is affordable but we are not looking to make reductions on our overall pay bill.
What’s the timetable?
May – early August 2013: Consultation Period
August 2013: Union meetings and feedback from consultation
September 2013: Offers made to staff
1 October 2013: Implementation of new allowance system
Timescales may change depending on the final feedback and discussions with the unions.
When will I know whether this affects me?
The negotiations are focused on allowances as we want to introduce a payment scheme that applies to everyone, that is transparent and also easy to administer. Our aim is to minimise as far as possible the number of people who may lose some pay. We expect most staff won’t see a change to their pay and some will see an increase.
We will keep you informed and when we make the final offer, you will have the chance to discuss how this affects you and your pay.
What does ‘introducing job families’ mean?
At the same time as reviewing allowances and additional payments we want to introduce job families. We made a commitment to do this in our People Strategy. At the moment there are over 1500 different job roles in the council, we think this is too many. A simpler system would make it easier for people to move around the council to different roles and we could plan a better learning and development programme for staff.
What will happen if negotiations cannot reach a conclusion?
We’ve set aside several weeks for negotiations which should give all parties sufficient time to explore all options. We are optimistic that we can find an agreeable way forward.
Why are senior management handling the negotiations, not the elected members?
At Policy and Resources Committee, members agreed the principles and parameters for the negotiations and authorised the chief executive and directors to implement a modernised pay and terms and conditions package in accordance with the law. A negotiating team has been appointed by the chief executive for this purpose.
Why are the negotiations confidential?
The union representatives and officers who are party to the negotiations will be discussing a wide range of ideas and options as they work towards modernising allowances, including the impact they could potentially have on different groups of staff. These are ‘collective’ negotiations on behalf of all staff and it would not be appropriate to play out every option publicly as many ideas will be discarded for better options through discussion and negotiation. At the end of negotiations both the council and the unions will be able to share where we’ve got to with all staff.