1. I've heard that the County Council is considering using a different job evaluation scheme for some posts. Is this true?
UNISON reached an agreement in 2005 about using two schemes, the National Joint Council Scheme (NJC) for posts graded SCP 4 – 49 and the Hay scheme for posts graded SCP 50 and above.
Lancashire County Council are now intending to impose the use of the Hay Scheme for some jobs below this level (See Which posts is the Authority proposing to assess under Hay? Below)
2. What is Hay Job Evaluation?
The name comes from the company that markets and manages that particular system of job evaluation, The Hay Group. It was developed in 1943 by American, Edward N Hay, and is currently used in over 8000 organisations worldwide. It is sometimes referred to as the Hay Methodology.
3. What is the Hay JE scheme?
Like the NJC scheme, the Hay JE scheme places jobs into a rank order, by using factors to analyse the job content. Each factor has a number of levels within it.
4. What are the factors?
Unlike the NJC scheme, the Hay scheme uses only 3 factors, Know-How, Problem Solving and Accountability.
UNISON accepts that the Hay scheme is a useful tool for grading senior managers and has agreed its use for the most senior employees of the County Council for a number of years.
5. How does Hay differ from the NJC Job Evaluation Scheme?
The NJC Scheme was written in 1997 for Local Authorities and has 13 factors (Knowledge, Mental Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Physical Skills, Initiative and Independence, Physical Demands, Mental Demands, Emotional Demands, Responsibility for People, Responsibility for Supervision, Responsibility for Finance, Responsibility for Physical Resources, Working Conditions).
A number of these factors are specifically concerned with giving a value to skills, responsibilities and demands that are particularly relevant to a wide range of jobs in local authorities.
6. Why does Lancashire County Council want to use Hay for certain posts?
As stated above, some of the factors in the NJC Scheme relate to specific aspects of jobs which are more likely to be found in job holders working for a local authority. This is a valid attempt to ensure that everyone’s job is placed in rank order according to the value of their job to the employer.
There is a risk, however, that some job holders can be allowed to score highly in factors which are not appropriate for their jobs. Where this has been allowed to happen it has had a detrimental effect on other jobs. The authority believes the use of the Hay Evaluation scheme will prevent this.
Use of the NJC scheme to date in Lancashire does not support this view and from information gathered by Unison it is the inappropriate use of factors by some local authorities that has resulted in some jobs being adversely effected and it is not an inherent fault in the NJC scheme.
UNISON firmly believes
7. Why Hay and not other Schemes eg GLEA?
There are 3 schemes that could be considered, the NJC scheme, Hay and GLEA (Greater London Employers Association). The Authority did consider all 3 schemes originally in 2005 and took the decision to use NJC for posts graded SCP 4 – 49 and to use Hay for posts above SCP 49. At the time it was decided not to use GLEA as it did not have any support facilities eg IT support or access to external benchmarking data.
8. Which posts is the Authority proposing to assess under Hay?
The County Council is going to use Hay lower down the salary scale. The cut off point will be at a given number of JE points. Jobs scoring above a certain number of NJC JE points will be evaluated using the Hay scheme. Jobs scoring below a certain number of Hay JE points will be evaluated using the NJC scheme. In both cases the job holder will be given the benefit of the best outcome from either scheme.
The authority’s position is “to use Hay lower down the salary scale, at a point where there are first line managers. The aim is to use the most appropriate scheme for the job content, therefore if the job is predominantly providing services to the public, or non managerial then NJC will be used.”
There has been some confusing talk of evaluating ‘local government’ jobs using the NJC scheme and non-local government jobs (those jobs with a direct private sector equivalent) using Hay. The equalities issues and the scope for a legal challenge to choosing jobs on this ad-hoc basis self-evident.
The main danger for UNISON members is that many of those members who are employed in professional jobs for their knowledge and expertise will score well enough under Hay not to need an evaluation using the NJC scheme and will therefore never know that they would have been better off being evaluated by the NJC scheme.
9. What is the current position?
Following the JNCC meeting with Elected Members on June 6th, the County Council has decided that it will impose the Hay JE on some staff much lower down the pay spine than the SCP 50 agreed in 2005.
It has not yet been decided what number of NJC JE points will be needed to trigger an evaluation using the Hay scheme or below which score on the Hay scheme will lead to an evaluation using the NJC scheme.
Following a ballot of members it has been agreed the branch will participate fully in the implementation of the Hay Evaluation scheme.