Question 1. What Is Job Evaluation?
Job evaluation is a process whereby all jobs are looked at against various criteria to give an objective assessment of the job ‘size’. There are various job evaluation schemes around that use different criteria and different scoring methods. After looking at a number of different schemes, the County Council decided to use the Hay scheme for its senior managers and the National Job Evaluation scheme for other employees.
Question 2. What Is The Purpose Of Job Evaluation?
The purpose of job evaluation is to ensure that all employees are paid based on an objective and consistent assessment of the size of their job.
Question 3. Why Do We Have To Do It?
Back in 1997 a key agreement was signed between trades unions and employers in local government at a national level. This Single Status Agreement committed both sides to working to bring together the former administrative, professional, technical and clerical and manual worker employee groups under a single set of terms and conditions – The Green Book.
The recognition that all councils needed to carry out pay and grading reviews has been around since that time and it became a firm commitment from the employers in the 2004 national pay award agreement. So every council in the country – including our neighbouring councils – is doing something similar under the terms of the agreement. All councils should have completed job evaluation by April 2007.
Our decision was also influenced by equal pay law.
Equal pay law says that men and women who do the same job, or who do jobs that are of equal value, for the same employer, should receive the same pay and conditions of service.
As well as wishing to work within the law, the County Council, as a good employer, would in any case want to make sure that no employee earned less than another simply because of their gender.
Another important reason for beginning this work was that, like other local authorities, the Council’s pay and grading arrangements had not been reviewed for many years and had become outdated, inconsistent and unnecessarily complicated. One aim of the pay strategy will therefore be to simplify some of these arrangements.
Question 4. Is It Legal For The County Council To Do This?
In 2000, the government updated their equal pay legislation. This update introduced the concept of equal pay for work of equal value – not just for people doing the same job.
Since then there have been many cases in local authorities, particularly in the North East, where workers in jobs that are usually done by female employees have successfully argued for equality with jobs that are usually male dominated. Equality needs to cover terms and conditions of service, as well as pay, so – for example – bonus payments that are only available in ‘male’ jobs are also an issue.
Reducing the Council’s risk of equal pay claims is very important if we are to avoid lengthy and costly court cases which may result in significant compensation payments.
Question 5. Are All Jobs Included In Job Evaluation?
Most jobs in the County Council are covered by the job evaluation process. We have reviewed our pay structures in two phases:
Phase I, was completed in 2004 and covered senior managers in the Council. It used the Hay job evaluation scheme. Evaluations were completed externally and it was not supported by the trade unions. The new pay structure covering the upper end of the pay scales was also not agreed with the trade unions, which led to the dismissal and re-engagement of affected employees. Phase I covered approximately 1500 employees.
Phase II of the pay review, the phase we are currently implementing, covers over 15,000 employees doing 1,700 different jobs. In this phase of the project, we are using the National Job Evaluation scheme which is specifically designed for use in local government and has trade union support.
Both phases of the project to date have reviewed only those employees covered by the National Joint Council for Local Government Employees – or Green Book – terms and conditions of service. So it does not cover teachers, or employees on Soulbury, youth worker or craft worker terms and conditions of service. School based support staff, such as teaching assistants, office workers, and cleaning or catering workers employed directly by the school have not been included yet. However, these school based employees will be brought into the review over the coming months.
Question 6. What Is The Council Trying To Achieve?
The overall aim of this pay review is to deliver pay and reward structures that:
- Attract, retain and develop a skilled and flexible workforce
- Achieve value for money in service delivery
- Support the delivery of the Council’s objectives.
This aim has been agreed by elected members and by the trade unions.
Question 7. Who Developed The National Job Evaluation Scheme?
The National Job Evaluation scheme was jointly developed by local government employers and trade unions at national level.
In Nottinghamshire, we have been working jointly with the trade unions throughout the job evaluation process and that joint working is being extended into the development of the new pay structure.
Question 8. Where Can I Find Out More About The Scheme?
If you have access to the internet via a computer, then you can get more information at home or in your local library.
The Big Issues site provides:
- regular updates on job evaluation
- National Job Evaluation scheme guidance
- other guidance notes on how the scheme will work in Nottinghamshire
- a full list of scores for all job roles (from Friday 2 March 2007)
You can talk to your line manager, who will try to answer your questions on job evaluation or point you in the direction of someone who can. You can also talk to your trade union representative.
Alternatively, you can attend one of the employee briefings which are being planned for April 2007. Details will be published on the Big issues website shortly.
Question 9. How Do You Know What I Do In My Job?
At the job evaluation interview the employee (or the person that represented the job group) will have been asked to explain what the job involves and what type of skills are used. This information was put into the Gauge computer system, which we used to evaluate the jobs. All employees in the job group received a copy of the job overview that was produced by the Gauge system after the interview and they each had the opportunity to register concerns about that overview.
During the job evaluation review process, the job analyst used the information that was provided at the initial interview, together with any concerns that were registered and the additional information that has since been provided through job description questionnaires, to assess the job against each of the 13 factors in the job evaluation scheme. Then each factor score for each job was reviewed by the job evaluation review panel at least three times, to ensure consistency.
The panel is a joint panel, with three senior managers and three senior trade union representatives on it. All panel decisions were reached with the agreement of every member of the panel.
Question 10. What Does My Score Mean?
A score is calculated for every job role under review. Your job score is an objective measure of how your job role has been mapped against the criteria contained within the national scheme.
Question 11. How Is My Score Made Up?
The National Joint Council’s National Job Evaluation scheme considers 13 factors in evaluating
- Mental Skills
- Interpersonal and Communications Skills
- Physical Skills
- Initiative and independence
- Physical Demands
- Mental Demands
- Emotional Demands
- Responsibility for People
- Responsibility for Supervision
- Responsibility for Financial Systems
- Responsibility for Physical Resources
- Working Conditions
Each factor has a number of levels, which vary between five and eight depending on the factor. For each level reached in each factor, the job scores a particular number of points. For example a level three in knowledge scores 60 points, but a level three in mental skills scores 39 points. For a detailed breakdown of the number of points for each level in each factor, you need to look at the scoring matrix, which forms part of the scheme. This is available on the Big issues website and is also in the Green Book. Most managers and trade union representatives have a copy of the Green Book that you can refer to.
Question 12. Are There Any Other Factors That Determine The Score For My Job?
No. Only the 13 factors in the National Job Evaluation scheme have been used to determine the score for your job.
Question 13. How Do I Know The Score Is Right?
Every job has been reviewed at least three times by the panel. Each time it has been looked at, every factor level has been considered and compared to other jobs by each panel member. With this rigorous checking process, the panel is confident that it has assessed each job properly.
Question 14. Where Can I Find Out More About The Job Evaluation Scheme?
The National Job Evaluation scheme is set out in detail in the ‘Green Book’, which is available on the Big issues website. Alternatively, most managers, trade union representatives and departmental personnel teams have copies available for you to refer to.
Question 15. On What Basis Can I Appeal?
Appeals are against the factor levels that make up the total job score, not against the score itself. If you believe that your job has been assessed at the wrong level for any of the factors, then you can appeal.
Question 16. How Do I Appeal?
You will need to complete a form saying which factors you believe have been assessed incorrectly and why you think they are incorrect. The form will include questions about your job that will help the panel to give proper consideration to your appeal. The final details of the appeals process, including the form, are currently being discussed with the trade unions and will be published as soon as they are available. We hope to do this before the individual notifications of job scores are sent out.
Question 17. Is There A Time Limit On Appeals?
Yes there will be a time limit on appeals, but it has not yet been agreed with the trade unions. We will publicise the timescale as soon as it has been agreed.
Question 18. My Job Is Part Of A Career Grade. Will I Be Allowed To Appeal Other Job Roles In The Career Scheme As Well As My Own?
No. You will only be able to submit an appeal against the score for your own job.
Question 19. Who Appeals On Behalf Of Vacant Posts?
To date line managers have been responsible for submitting vacant posts for job evaluation. They will also be responsible for appealing the scores of vacant posts within their area of responsibility, should this be necessary.
Question 20. Do The Trade Unions Agree With Job Evaluation?
Yes, the trade unions have championed the cause of job evaluation since the 1990s and signed the Single Status Agreement that introduced the National Job Evaluation scheme. The trade unions were also part of the team that developed the National Job Evaluation scheme. They believe that job evaluation, and this scheme in particular, is an important process that protects the interests of their members and, in doing so, promotes fairness and equity of pay across working groups.
Question 21. What Role Have The Trade Unions Had In Determining The Scores?
The trade unions have played an important role in determining the scores. Trained representatives were involved in all of the original job evaluation interviews. During the review process, trade union representatives have also been available to help people complete job evaluation questionnaires. Senior trade union representatives have also played a full and equal part on the review panel that agreed the job scores for every job.
Question 22. Will My Trade Union Representative Be Able To Provide Information And Advice On Job Evaluation?
Yes, local trade union representatives are well informed on job evaluation. Please do speak to them if you have any questions, concerns or you would like some advice on a potential appeal.
Question 23. Will I Get The Chance To Talk To Senior Managers About Job Evaluation?
Yes. The briefings will be run by senior managers and senior trade union representatives, who have been involved in the job evaluation process. They will include plenty of time for you to ask questions.
Question 24. Does The Employee Effectively Communicate With Others?
Communication skills are vitally important for every business. Employees must be able to effectively communicate not only internally with their co-workers and managers, but also externally with customers and clients. Poor communication skills can lead to other problems such as unnecessary misunderstandings and insubordination. By finding out about communication problems early on, businesses can get to the root of the problem and find a solution before things go awry. This makes asking about communication skills a vital part of the evaluation process.
Question 25. Does The Employee Adequately Perform The Functions Of Their Job?
Every employee evaluation has at least one question pertaining to how the employee is performing at their job. By asking about employee performance, businesses can ascertain whether additional training needs to be offered in some areas. In some instances, a particular employee may just need some additional guidance in one or two areas where they show weakness. In other cases, business may be able to determine entire departments need to be retrained if multiple employee evaluations are all showing the same weaknesses.
Question 26. How Would You Rate The Quality Of The Employee’s Work?
Employers don’t just expect an employee to get the job done, they expect it to be done well. An important question to ask in an employee performance review is whether the employee goes above and beyond what is expected of them, or just does the bare minimum. When employers are looking to promote candidates from within the company ranks, it’s important to determine who takes the time to always provide high-quality work. Also, employees who don’t take pride in their work often make more mistakes that can end up costing the company additional money.
Question 27. Is The Employee Capable Of Working Independently With Little To No Supervision?
From an employer’s perspective, it’s important to find employees that are self-sufficient and independent. These types of employees make good leaders that are able to assess situations and make decisions on their own. This is important because they won’t sit around twiddling their thumbs waiting for someone to tell them what to do. They will take charge, find something that needs to get done, and work on it until it’s finished. The last thing an employer wants is an employee that stops working whenever they’re not being supervised.
Question 28. Does The Employee Take Direction And Follow Orders Well?
A good employee is also an employee who takes direction and follow orders well. Managers are responsible for delegating responsibilities, and employees are responsible for following those orders. When employees fail to do as they’re told, it is considered insubordination, which is frowned upon. Performance evaluations should always seek to find out about any instances where the employee had difficultly following the normal chain of command. This question could also be taken a step further by asking if the employee exhibits any negative attitudes towards their superiors.
Question 29. Why Implement Job Evaluation In The Public Service?
Viewed against the fact that the Public Service has been able to function without using a generally applying job evaluation system before the implementation of the Public Service Regulations, 1999, the need for implementing job evaluation is often questioned. Job evaluation is being implemented in the Public Service for mainly the following reasons:
- Emanating from the 1997 and 1998 amendments to the Public Service Act, 1994, a new decentralised approach to work organisation and human resource management, as embodied in the Public Service Regulations, 1999, has been established. Under the Regulations, executing authorities have a far greater degree of autonomy to take decisions on the salaries and grading of their employees than was previously the case. Job evaluation will help ensure that transverse consistency is maintained across the Public Service by providing the framework within which executing authorities should take such decisions.
- Job evaluation is the main mechanism available to ensure compliance with the principle of equal pay for work of equal value as envisaged in the White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service.
Question 30. What Is The Equate Job Evaluation System?
- The MPSA has determined, in terms of PSR IV B.1, that a specifically adapted version of the EQUATE job evaluation system be utilised in the Public Service. (See DPSA circular minute E1/5/P dated 27July 1999 in this regard.) This system was originally developed by KPMG, an international firm of management consultants. The system has been customised for the needs and circumstances of the Public Service during an extensive benchmark exercise in 1996/97. During the benchmark exercise jobs in most occupational classes and on all the different grade levels in the Public Service were evaluated.
- The system consists of a job analysis questionnaire and the EQUATE software. Information obtained during job analysis interviews is used to complete the questionnaire. From the questionnaire the information is entered into the EQUATE software which calculates the weight of a job.
- The questionnaire contains a number of questions on elements of five factors which are utilized to evaluate all jobs.
Question 31. What Is Inherent Aspects Or Requirements Of A Job?
- Responsibility: Elements of this factor consider the resources (people, money, equipment, etc.) for which the job holder is responsible. It also considers the scale and nature of the resources and the degree of autonomy and authority the job holder has to manage them, and the impact of the job.
- Thinking Demands: The elements of this factor assess the complexity of the work and measure the requirement to analyse and evaluate information in order to formulate decisions, ideas and judgements.
- Communication and Contacts: The elements of this factor look at the job holder’s level of contact with those inside and outside the Public Service. The purpose and frequency of the contacts together with the type and complexity of the information are also considered.
- Knowledge: The elements of this factor look at the knowledge required to fulfil the job responsibilities. This includes the range of knowledge, any formal qualifications, skills and previous experience required.
- Environmental Demands: The elements of this factor consider the extent to which the working situation and conditions are potentially dangerous, physically demanding, environmentally disagreeable and/or socially disruptive.
Question 32. What Are The Application Of The Equate Software?
- Only after the analyst is completely satisfied with the information on the questionnaire, should the relevant information be fed into the system. Upon completion of this task the analyst may, once gain, engage in a process of quality assurance by checking questionable responses against benchmarks in the system. In addition, the filtering facility of the software may be utilised to determine consistency of responses. A crosscheck report may also be generated which will assist with the identification of questionable responses.
- The system will automatically complete the process of determining the relative weight of the job, enabling the analyst to determine what the (preliminary) grading of the post should be.
- Since there is a degree of overlap between the job weight ranges of adjacent salary ranges, criteria for determining salaries where the job weight is linked to more than one salary range, need to be determined (see paragraph M.4 of the Guide in this regard).
Question 33. What Are The Preparations Will Have To Be Made (by The Secretary Of The Panel) For Each Meeting In Job Evaluation Panel Meetings?
The following preparations will have to be made (by the secretary of the panel) for each meeting:
- Arranging a venue.
- Notification to members.
- Drafting of an agenda.
- Preparation of other documentation (such as reports on the jobs to be considered).
- Other secretarial/administrative arrangements such as ensuring that facilities are available to record the panel’s decisions.
Question 34. How To Concluding The Job Evaluation Process?
The evaluation of a job would be concluded (by the job evaluation unit) with the following:
- Notification to the relevant role players (such as the job holder, the management/supervisor of the job holder, components responsible for implementation, etc) of the decision-maker’s decision.
- Inputs, where applicable, of results into the EQUATE system.
- Keeping of a full record of the evaluation and the decision emanating from the evaluation. Record will have to be kept of all jobs evaluated, up- or downgraded, of the number of employees “promoted” as a result of upgrades and of employees whose salaries exceed the salaries indicated by job evaluation to be included in a department’s annual report as required by the Public Service Regulations – see paragraph B(d) in this regard.
Question 35. What Is The Role Of Employee Organisations In The Job Evaluation Process?
- Each department should consult with the employee organisations admitted to its departmental bargaining chamber on the most appropriate form of employee organisation involvement in the job evaluation process.
- Some of the areas where employee organisation involvement might be appropriate, include the following:
- Consultation/negotiation on the departmental policy on, and approach to, job evaluation.
- Consultation/negotiation on specific jobs or categories of jobs to be evaluated.
- Consultation/negotiation on the implementation of job evaluation results.
- Representation on the job evaluation panel.
- Assisting their members to have their jobs evaluated and with grievances/requests for reviews emanating from the job evaluation process.
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