Thursday, 10 May 2018

Glasgow's 'Unfit For Purpose' WPBR


The Claimants Side shared the following statement with the Council at yesterday's 'work stream' meeting to discuss the WPBR.

For some reason the Council Side keeps asking the Claimants to make a case for getting rid of the WPBR even though Scotland's highest civil court, the Court of Session, condemned the scheme as 'unfit for purpose' in August 2017.

I understand the Claimants told the Council there is no point in having further  'work stream' meetings until GCC makes a firm decision to scrap the WPBR.

If the Council 'gets serious' and agrees to scrap the WPBR, both sides can get down to the serious business of finding a replacement and agreeing how new pay arrangements which command the support of the council workforce will come into effect.

So let's hope the Council comes to its senses soon.
  1. The claimant side has a joint position on pay equality at Glasgow and this statement reflects the view of all claimant agencies working within the Terms of Reference for equal pay settlement.
  1. Our shared purpose in participating in this group is to participate in a joint process to deliver pay equality and a secure transition from WPBR to an equality proofed scheme.
  1. There is no WPBR question to be addressed by this group. It cannot be preserved, with or without amendment.
  1. The Council’s pay system was also the subject of a clear and unequivocal ruling by the Court of Session. The Court concluded that WPBR is not a valid JES. Crucially, the Court also concluded that there is ample evidence to support the view that evaluations under WPBR arenot suitable to be relied on.
  1. As part of the implementation of WPBR, Glasgow City Council introduced Non Standard Working Pattern (NSWP) pay whereby employees received additional pay for working hours and patterns deemed by GCC to be 'non-standard'.  These payments were calculated according to the number of points awarded to an employee under the NSWP Payment Matrix (a copy of which is enclosed). 
  1. It is the Claimants' position that the operation of the NSWP Payment Matrix is indirectly discriminatory in relation to sex as it has a disparate impact on female employees and cannot meet the test of objective justification on operational or any other grounds.  In addition some NSWP payments apply to jobs done only by men and on that basis the Claimants argue these payments are directly discriminatory on grounds of sex.
  1. Statistics disclosed by GCC show that in 2007, men working for GCC were more than three times as likely to receive NSWP than women:
    1. 60.3% of men were in receipt of NSWP pay, compared with 18.9% of women;
    2. the proportion of men receiving NSWP pay at levels B, C and D was significantly higher at each level than the proportion of women;
    3. on a pro-rated basis, the average annual NSWP payment was £847.32 for men and £223.02 for women i.e. women received on average £624.29 a year less than their male counterparts.
  1. Features of the NSWP Payment Matrix which are directly and/or indirectly discriminatory because of sex include:
  1. The requirement to work 37 hours a week. Under the Red Book, a full-time working week comprises 37 hours. The NSWP Payment Matrix assumes that 35 hours are “core hours” and awards 7 points to employees who work 37 hours a week.  Male employees are far more likely to work under 37 hour contracts than women.
  1. The claimant group demand an unequivocal statement that both WPBR and NSWP will be replaced, not amended, refined, updated just replaced.
  1. All jobs will be re-evaluated using a new JES scheme to be agreed ASAP.
  1. A new pay and grading system based on the new JES to be agreed. Enhancements for non-standard working to return to being based on basic pay and to remove unjustified gender disadvantages, such as favouring full time over part time work. 
  1. We believe that as a result of the EHRC investigation the council has known that the current system is discriminatory and unjustified and if the council continues to seek to maintain or amend the current system full disclosure is made of all EHRC materials including all officer consideration of such materials