This report recommends changes to Chief Officer pay and grading.
The Chief Executive introduced the report outlining the key features of the proposed changes to Chief Officers’ pay and grading. The changes to the Council’s Chief Officers’ remuneration package are in line with the Council’s Ruthlessly Financially Efficient (RFE) objective to secure savings. The new scheme is projected to reduce pay inflation on the costs of senior managers (Head of Service and above) by £4.7 million during the next four years with a £1.8 million per annum reduction in senior manager costs by the end of 2023/24 compared to continuing with the current PRP schemes.
Officers reported proposals to remove the annual performance related non-consolidated payment and introduce a Total Reward approach to expand the range of non-financial benefits on offer. It was explained that the Total Reward approach will cover all aspects of work that are part of the employee experience, including non-pay elements such as development and flexible working opportunities, in addition to the working environment, culture and line management.
In response to a question, it was noted that the proposed pay ranges are expected to significantly reduce the need for market supplements to be used at senior officer level in all but exceptional cases where justified by robust market evidence. Officers clarified that the overall number of managers had decreased since 2017 but those who could access the scheme had widened.
In recognition of the removal of the current PRP scheme for senior managers, the value of the non-consolidated performance payments awarded for 2019/20 (subject to meeting current eligibility criteria) will also be added to base salaries from 1 April 2020 (subject to the top of the new grade not being exceeded). Individual targets and objectives for 2020/21 will be set during March 2020 under a new performance management scheme to be co-designed with staff input and feedback before SLT approval.
The new appraisal will be based on continuous performance assessment (‘performance conversations’) throughout the year. Employees will need to evidence exceptional performance at their year-end performance discussion with their line manager. The Panel was reassured that new performance conversations will replace the existing performance management meetings and not create additional work for officers. A consultation exercise involving all senior staff currently on SMG grades has been conducted. The Trade unions were consulted and are supportive of this proposal.
The Panel was informed that the Finance, Commercial Revenue and Contracts PAC will monitor the savings achieved in light of the RFE. Officers have not yet drawn up the Total Reward offer but a workforce dashboard has been developed and any future total reward initiatives will be measured to monitor take up.
The proposals contained within the report complies with legislative requirements and mitigates the risk of equal pay challenge. Individual letters have been sent out to the affected officers to obtain their agreement to changes to terms and conditions. Letters to SLT will be dependent on the Chief Officers Employment Panel approving the recommendations. Those who do not accept the new terms and conditions will be dismissed and re-engaged on the new terms and conditions. This is not expected due to the thoroughness of the individual and group consultation that has been conducted.
1. That the new grade and salary ranges as detailed in section 1 of the report for the Chief Executive and all Chief Officers (as defined in the constitution) take effect from 1st April 2020, be approved.
2. That the new grade and salary ranges will replace all SMG grades from 1st April 2020, be noted.