In line with the Localism Act 2011 (the Act), the purpose of this statement is to provide transparency with regard to the council’s approach to setting pay by identifying:

  • the methods by which salaries of all employees are determined;
  • the detail and level of the salary package of its most senior staff i.e. ‘Chief Officers’, as defined by the relevant legislation;
  • the Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service responsibility for ensuring the provisions set out in this statement are applied consistently throughout the council and recommending any amendments to Full Council.

The council will consult with the relevant Trade Unions in relation to changes and updates to the Pay Policy, before the Policy is considered by Full Council.

Once approved by Full Council, this policy statement will come into immediate effect and will be subject to review on a minimum of an annual basis; the policy being approved by 31 March each year.

The council may, by resolution, amend this Pay Policy, including after the beginning of the financial year to which it relates.

The scope of this policy

This Pay Policy Statement relates to staff employed by Wirral Council whose salary package including rate of pay and terms and conditions are determined by and are within the control of the council.

Other legislation relevant to pay and salary package

In determining the pay and salary packages of all of its employees, the council will comply with all relevant employment legislation.

It is council policy to ensure that there is no pay discrimination within its terms and conditions of employment, including pay structures. Any pay differentials can be objectively justified through the use of job evaluation, which directly establishes the relative levels of posts by grades according to the requirements, demands and responsibilities of the role.

Under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities Regulations 2017), the council is required to publish an annual gender pay gap report, reporting a snapshot of the workforce in scope as at 31 March (previous year).

The council will ensure that it meets the requirements of the Local Government Transparency Code 2014. The Transparency Code requires that all local authorities publish certain information related to the organisation, salaries and fraud including:

  • organisation chart
  • senior salaries
  • the pay multiple
  • trade union facility time
  • fraud
  • constitution

Pay structure

The council uses the National Joint Council (NJC) nationally negotiated pay spine (i.e. a defined list of salary points) as the basis for its pay structure.

The council employs staff on other pay and terms and conditions including Craft, Youth and Community, Soulbury, Teachers, NHS, and pay is in accordance with national pay spines.

The council adopts the national pay bargaining arrangements in respect of the establishment and revision of national pay spines, for example through any agreed annual pay increases negotiated with joint Trade Unions, subject to any local agreements in place.

Where a nationally negotiated pay spine does not apply, the council will determine the salary rate through local negotiation and agreement.

All other pay related issues are the subject of either nationally or locally negotiated rates, in accordance with collective bargaining.

In determining its grading structure and setting salary packages for any posts which fall outside the scope of the national pay bargaining arrangements, the council takes account of the need to ensure value for money in respect of the use of public expenditure, balanced against the need to recruit and retain employees who are able to meet the requirements of providing high quality services to the community.

There are circumstances where the terms of Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employees: TUPE) may determine the eligibility of pay awards for employees who transfer into the council on protected terms and conditions.

Variations to pay grade

From time to time it may be necessary to take account of the external pay levels in the employment market in order to attract and retain employees with particular experience, skills and capacity. Where necessary the council will ensure the requirement for such is objectively justified by reference to clear and transparent evidence, including relevant market comparators, recruitment and retention challenges and using data sources available from within the local government sector and outside, as appropriate. Proposals should be made by the recruiting manager, supported by a business case providing objective justification for the proposed variation. Proposed variations must be with the agreement of the Assistant Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development.

Any temporary supplement to the salary scale for the grade is approved in accordance with the council’s Honoraria procedure, or any applicable market rate supplement arrangements.

Job evaluation

Post grades are determined using Job Evaluation schemes and the council’s pay structures.

The Living Wage

Living Wage rates are based on Minimum Income Standards methodology and seek to take account of real living costs for essential goods and services.

Through the council’s Pay Policy Statement, the council is committed to and pays the Living Wage for all employees.

The Living Wage rate is reviewed and announced by The Living Wage Foundation on 1 November each year. The council will consider any increases to the Living Wage as part of the annual Pay Policy Statement. If agreed, increases to the Living Wage will take effect from 1 April the following year. The provision for the Living Wage will be kept under review.

The current Living Wage rate for outside London increased from 1 November 2020 to £9.50 per hour.

New appointments

New appointments will normally be made at the minimum Spinal Column Point (SCP) of the relevant pay scale for the grade. Where the candidate is already in receipt of remuneration above the minimum SCP of the relevant pay scale, the appointment will normally be made at the nearest equivalent SCP in the grade. If the employee is already in receipt of acting up or honoraria this will also apply.

The appointment salary may be varied with the agreement of the Assistant Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development.

Progression through pay grades

An employee’s progression through the increments of a particular pay grade is linked to length of service. Increments are awarded on 1 April each year, or for new appointments between 1 October and 31 March, six months from the start date.

The arrangements and factors considered in determining an individual’s progression through different pay grade may be determined by experience, skills and qualifications as set out in the relevant Job Description and progression criteria.

Senior management salary

For the purposes of this statement, senior management means ‘Chief Officers’ as defined under section 43(2) of the Localism Act 2011. This includes statutory chief officers, non-statutory chief officers and deputy chief officers as listed within that Act.

The posts falling within the statutory definition are set out in ‘The Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency (‘the data transparency code”)’.

The council’s grading structure for its most senior officers is as follows:

  • Chief Executive
  • Senior Director 1
  • Senior Director 2
  • Director 1
  • Director 2
  • Assistant Director 1
  • Assistant Director 2

The terms and conditions, including the payment of any allowances for Chief Officers is set out within the Joint Negotiating Committee for Chief Officers of Local Authorities constitution conditions of service salaries. All details of Chief Officer salaries are published in accordance with the Transparency Code.

The Chief Executive handbook sets out the terms and conditions of employment for the Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service. Some provisions within this also apply to Council’s Statutory Officers (Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer).

Recruitment of Chief Officers

The council’s rules, policy and procedures with regard to recruitment of Chief Officers is set out in the Officer Employment Procedure Rules at Part 4(7) of The Council’s Constitution. The appointment of Chief Officers and Deputy Chief Officers is delegated under the committee terms of reference (at Part 3B of the Constitution) to the Senior Officer Appointments and Staffing Sub-Committee.

The determination of the salary to be offered to any newly appointed Chief Officer will be in accordance with the pay structure and relevant policies in place at the time of recruitment. The council’s Chief Officer pay scales are published on the council’s website.

The Localism Act Guidance says that council should have the opportunity to vote before salary packages of £100,000 or more are agreed. Through the Council’s Constitution, this is delegated to the Senior Officer Appointments & Staffing Sub-Committee, as above, which appoints Chief Officers other than for those roles where the full Council has reserved powers in respect of defined posts.

A meeting of full Council will approve the appointment to the following:

  • Head of Paid Service;
  • Section 151 Officer (also known as Chief Finance Officer);
  • Monitoring Officer;
  • Returning Officer (for which expenses may be claimed); and
  • Electoral Registration Officer

Additions to salary

In addition to basic salary, the following posts receive additional pay as set out below:

Post/Tier of post Payment details
Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service Returning Officer duties:
• National statutory amount for Parliamentary/National Elections.
• Locally determined amount in accordance with national guidance for Local Government Elections.
All eligible employees Allowances in accordance with the council’s Terms and Conditions.

Pension contributions

The employer’s pension contribution is required to be published under S7 of the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2011.

The council will automatically enroll all eligible employees into the Local Government Pension scheme and the council is required to make a contribution to the scheme representing a percentage of the pensionable salary due under the contract of employment of that employee.

The rate of contribution is set by Actuaries advising Merseyside Pension Fund and reviewed every three years in order to ensure the scheme is appropriately funded.

Payments on Termination

The council’s approach to statutory and discretionary payments on termination of employment for all employees, including Chief Officers, prior to reaching normal retirement age, is set out within the council’s Enhanced Discretionary Severance Scheme.

The council will keep its Enhanced Discretionary Severance Scheme under review. Any changes, as approved by full Council are published in accordance with the Local Government (Early Termination of Employment) (Discretionary Compensation) (England and Wales) Regulations 2006.

Any payments upon termination in respect of a Chief Officer exceeding £100,000, (apart from contractual payments, where the council has no discretion) shall be subject to a vote at council or relevant Committee or Panel of Members with delegated authority to approve such payments. Payments upon termination are subject to any legislative requirements or caps.

Lowest paid employees

The lowest paid persons employed by the council are employed on full time equivalent rates in accordance with the council’s grading structures. The grading structures take account of the Living Wage hourly rate (see section 4).

The relationship between the rate of pay for the lowest paid employee and Chief Officers is determined by the council’s job evaluation schemes.

As required by the Localism Act, the following table provides the council’s salary ratios.

Definition Ratio
The average full time equivalent (fte)
earnings and the Chief Executive
1: 5.44
The average full time equivalent (fte)
earnings and average Chief Officer earning
1: 3.20
The lowest paid employee full time
equivalent (fte) earnings and average Chief Officer earnings
1: 5.77

Accountability and decision making

In accordance with the Constitution of the Council, the Senior Officer Appointments and Staffing Sub-Committee of the Policy and Resources Committee is responsible for decision making in relation to Chief Officer recruitment. This may be delegated to the Head of Paid Service.

The Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service has delegated responsibility for decision-making in relation to the recruitment, pay, terms and conditions and severance arrangements in relation to employees of the council below Chief Officer level.

Re-employment and re-engagement of employees

The council will not re-employ any former employees that have left the council through early retirement or under the Voluntary Severance Scheme where there has been a cost to the council, except in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the Assistant Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development.

The council will not consider applications from former Wirral employees who were dismissed from employment.

Publication

Upon approval by full council, this statement will be published on the council’s website and intranet.

In line with the requirement of the Local Government Transparency Code 2014, the council will publish an organisation chart covering staff in the top three levels of the organisation, which will include the following information:

  • grade
  • job title
  • salary in £5,000 brackets
  • salary ceiling (the maximum salary for the grade)

The following information for senior salaries (employees whose salary in that year was at least £50,000) will also be published:

  • job title
  • salary