Equal pay law approved

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An agreement which will ensure compliance with equal Pay and other national equalities legislation has this week been approved by Ashfield District Council.

Elected members voted to agree the Single Status Collective Agreement brought to an Extraordinary Council meeting on Thursday evening (19th September).

The Collective Agreement is the result of a review process carried out to implement the requirements of national agreements between employers and trades unions – the Single Status Agreement (1997) and the National Pay and Grading Agreement (2004), which apply to all councils.

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Chris Baron, said: “Requirements for the review are governed nationally and affect all councils.”

He added: “If left unaddressed, the Council could find itself open to legal challenge under equal pay legislation. This agreement sets out conditions of employment, pay and grading arrangements which are fair, reasonable and consistently applied.

“Ashfield District Council has a commitment to ensuring its workforce receive the Living Wage. This will make certain that all employees receive decent pay..”

Commenting on behalf of both trade unions, Richard Buckwell, Ashfield Branch Chair for UNISON, said: “The unions that represent the workforce at Ashfield District Council are pleased that an agreement is in the offing.

“The need to have an equality proofed scheme for the pay and terms and conditions of the workforce has been a requirement agreed nationally.

“Over 95 per cent of local government employees are covered by such schemes, so it is pleasing to see it on the cards for Ashfield employees.”

He added that the trades unions were particularly pleased that this deal would ensure all employees receive the Living Wage.

The Agreement will now be the subject of the UNISON and GMB trade unions’ processes for adopting Collective Agreements, which will include a ballot of their respective members.