Bob Neill gives more councils the go-ahead to tackle historic pay inequalities

Published on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 15:27
Posted by Scott Buckler

Communities Minister Bob Neill has today given more councils the go-ahead to tackle historic pay inequalities

Thousands of local government employees - mostly women on low pay - are legally entitled to backdated pay following years of being paid less for doing equally valued jobs. Equal pay directions enable local authorities to settle their equal pay commitments over an affordable period of time by raising money on their assets.

This financial flexibility enables councils to be able to meet and manage the one-off cost of settling pay inequalities whilst protecting important frontline services and keeping the cost of council tax down. Responding to requests from local authorities, 12 councils have been given the green light to borrow against or sell assets worth up to £200 million this financial year to settle their equal pay commitments.

In October 2010 the Government announced 21 councils had the go-ahead to borrow against or sell assets up to £250 million to settle the costs of backdated pay and ensure fairness for employees.

Communities Minister Bob Neill said:

"Pay inequalities of the past have left thousands of hard-working council employees, mainly women, out of pocket for doing the same work as their colleagues.

"By giving councils the go-ahead and financial flexibility to settle pay inequalities we are enabling them to restore fairness whilst continuing to manage their budgets, protect important frontline services and keep costs to the taxpayer down."


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