Kent County Council looks to private-sector style pay and reward

Kent County Council has begun consultation with staff and unions over its proposals to transform pay and reward.

The reforms, which aim to reward staff more fairly and equitably, will see the removal of annual incremental pay points from the Council’s pay grades and the introduction of annual percentage increases assigned to each appraisal rating.

Local pay for Kent County Council was introduced in 1990 and local pay bargaining in 2004. The council is transforming its ‘total contribution pay’ process, whereby staff receive an annual pay rise of half to two incremental points, on the basis of their personal contribution.

Together with the Council’s existing total reward package, this will take it much closer to private sector pay, with percentage level increases targeted towards each performance category.

At the same time, the Council plans to give staff at the top of their pay grade an opportunity to receive a one-off (non-consolidated) payment that is consistent with colleagues who have the same appraisal rating. It also plans to reduce the number of appraisal rating categories from five to four, to help managers differentiate between levels of performance.

Colin Miller, reward manager, said: “It is a process of evolution rather than revolution. It is simply about reforming our pay to make it fit for the twenty-first century.”

“A lot of our staff say they feel de-motivated by the current system and that it does not reward them for superior performance and that their earnings potential is limited because they are at the top of their pay grade. With the proposed changes, we hope to address this and reward all staff more equitably and fairly, according to their individual contribution.”

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