Following a campaign from Unison we successfully achieved an improved appraisal and performance related pay scheme. Here is our advice for members on the new scheme, and what to do if you are unhappy with your performance status.
If you are not already at the top of your grade, pay increments for performance (2% for those on new contracts, or increments for those on the old) should be applied to your salary on 1 April. To get your increment on time your manager needs to have inputted your performance status before the payroll deadline. If your manager has missed this deadline then you will get this increment backdated.
Everyone is now entitled to the national ‘cost-of-living’ NJC pay increase. The unions are currently negotiating on this, and we will update members with any developments.
Your status will show as “performing well” or “not performing well” (or “deferred” if you are new to the role).
If your status is “not performing well”, then you will not get an increment on 1 April. Instead your manager should agree with you an informal performance improvement plan (PIP), and when you have achieved the measures set out in the plan you will then receive your increment. This plan should be reasonable, achievable and include measures to support you, and should be put in place swiftly, so that you have the opportunity to earn your increment as quickly as possible. If this does not happen please contact your Unison rep. We recommend seeking union advice before agreeing to a PIP.
You should not receive a status of “not performing well” if your line manager has not indicated there is a problem with your performance at a previous/recent supervision.
This is our advice for members who get this status and wish to object to it:
- If you are on the old contract and you are not at the top of your scale, then you will be able to appeal against this. Please contact your Unison rep.
- If you are on the new contract, then there is no right of appeal or review. We are challenging this with management as we believe this is unreasonable. In the meantime, please talk to your Unison rep about your individual case.
- If you are given a rating of “not performing well” due to sickness, please let Unison know. We believe taking sickness into account could be discriminatory, particularly if it is disability related, so we want to monitor whether sickness absence affects ratings.
- Members on the old contracts cannot be denied an increment due to sickness, so if management do this contact your Unison rep.
Regardless of whether on the new or old contract there is a new “recognition” scheme of £40 vouchers for dedication or going the extra mile; you can nominate colleagues or teams for these. And for members on the new contracts there are also 1% or 2% nonconsolidated bonuses, according to criteria detailed in the ‘My Performance’ guidance on essentials and yammer. We advise members to put themselves forward for these, and to gather evidence throughout the year to support their request.
We do, however, remain opposed to bonus schemes in principle and we will be monitoring the award of bonuses to see how ‘fair’ the process really is.
Please note that in April, new regulations on National Insurance contributions will also apply, so members in the local government pension scheme will see their NI contributions increase by 1.4% of take-home pay.