Case study: Gloucestershire County Council keeps a check on equal pay

In 2007, Gloucestershire County Council began evaluating job roles as part of its efforts to ensure all employees were paid equally, regardless of gender, ethnicity, location or age.

It also wanted to ensure there were no discrepancies between departments, and used a job evaluation tool, provided by NorthgateArinso, to scrutinise job descriptions and salaries. The tool sits on a web server and can be accessed by an unlimited number of users at a time.

Linda Hopkins, principal HR adviser at the council, says: “The tool allows us to take an unbiased look at our pay structure, to ensure we provide fair pay systems. It also allows us to examine our pay structure in relation to external market salary bands, to ensure we attract and retain the best staff.”

The work the council has done so far on equal pay makes pay audits less daunting, says Hopkins. “Equal pay audits can strike fear into any local council HR manager, but we feel prepared because we have got all the information we need at our fingertips.”

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