Equal pay is set­tled

Small num­ber of claims

Hamilton Advertiser - - NEWS - Staff re­porter

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil have only a “very small num­ber” of equal pay claims to set­tle, the Ad­vertiser can re­veal.

The lo­cal author­ity re­leased a state­ment af­ter a re­port pub­lished last year by the Ac­counts Com­mis­sion into the on­go­ing equal pay is­sue.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, South La­nark­shire Coun­cil had 471 out­stand­ing cases at the end of Septem­ber last year, from a to­tal of 4631 claims.

But Paul Manning, the coun­cil’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of fi­nance, told the Ad­vertiser that the num­ber was now lower and de­scribed equal pay an “his­toric is­sue.”

He said: “South La­nark­shire Coun­cil has long been com­mit­ted to fair pay for those in com­pa­ra­ble jobs, re­gard­less of gen­der, and the coun­cil has al­ways been clear that any em­ployee who was en­ti­tled to money should get it.

“We have now con­cluded the vast ma­jor­ity of claims we re­ceived with only a very small num­ber still to deal with. De­tails of the set­tle­ments have been the sub­ject of a num­ber of re­ports to com­mit­tee and were ac­counted for in our an­nual ac­counts in 2014 and 2015.

“This is es­sen­tially an his­toric is­sue for South La­nark­shire Coun­cil and will have no sig­nif­i­cant im­pact this year or go­ing for­ward.”

Up un­til Septem­ber 30 last year, South La­nark­shire Coun­cil had spent £82.6 mil­lion on equal pay set­tle­ments and le­gal fees.

Nearly 23,000 Glas­gow City Coun­cil work­ers made equal pay claims, with the author­ity pay­ing out £91.4m in set­tle­ments and le­gals fees.

Al­most half those claims were out­stand­ing last year. of still

The high­est amount paid out by a coun­cil in Scot­land was £129.9m in North La­nark­shire.

In to­tal 27,000 claims were still un­set­tled across the coun­try while the whole process had cost coun­cils £750m.

Pauline Weet­man, Com­mis­sion mem­ber, said: “Equal pay is both an in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant is­sue and a le­gal duty for Scot­land’s coun­cils, to elim­i­nate decades of in­equal­ity.

“How­ever, the im­ple­men­ta­tion of equal pay has been a sub­stan­tial chal­lenge for lo­cal govern­ment.

“Coun­cils need to be con­fi­dent that pay equal­ity is em­bed­ded in how they op­er­ate.

“It’s crit­i­cal that of­fi­cers en­sure that they’re do­ing all they can to ful­fil their du­ties in re­la­tion to equal pay and pub­licly re­port this work, and that elected mem­bers con­tinue to scru­ti­nise and chal­lenge their progress.”

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