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Should pay scale be in the public domain

0 votes
A  Council that employs possibly 8 members of staff has recenly resolved  to pay staff under NJC scale. Would it be appropriate to ask that Council what pay scales the staff are now one obviously without naming the individual but to state what positions they were employed to
asked by (1.3k points)

3 Answers

0 votes

Yes, but you might have to do it with a Freedom of Information request.  If it (the pay scale) is judged to amount to personal data, they might try not to. If the council website has the names of staff and the job they do  (E.g.) Joe Bloggs  Financial Officer they might not tell you the NJC scale for the Financial Officer is and hence know their salary range because you would could know from the website who it applies to.

Note that the NJC scale is just that  - a range of salaries with an entry point and a mx value that somebody can progress to based on performance etc. It isn't the actual salary which will be in scale range.  The Council might just quote the scale number. or SCP.  See  the pdf Local Government Services pay agreement 2020-21   here  

https://www.local.gov.uk/our-support/workforce-and-hr-support/local-government-services

So if you were told for example Gardening staff SCP 6 -8  it would mean their salary would be in the range £19,698 to £20,493

Note that CLerk's have the their own bands  LC1 to LC4  These still use NJC scales LC2 covers SCP 26- 38 which means a salary range of £30,451 to £41,881

answered by (16.4k points)
edited by
Thank you all for your answers ( sorry I don't know how to relpy to all!) My argument for disclosing readily is that when a sole employee of the Council i.e the Clerk's monthly salary is shown for payments to be resolved or on the accounts for annual salary payments that person can be clearly identified so why is there apparantly so much secrecy about staff payments
0 votes
I believe that if you earn over a certain amount, your salary has to be published in line with the Transparency Code.  For anyone under that level, I don't believe it would be appropriate to request this information as it is private.
answered by (12.5k points)
Salary scale information under £50,000 can be exempted from being disclosed  in FOI's  but ONY if the information can be deemed personal data attributed to a specific identifiable individual. If the Town/Parish Council do not provide any means of linking a specific person (e.g. Name/Job Title on the website) to the salary scale it should be made available.
0 votes
I believe the ICO's decision notice (link below) relating to case reference number FS50229617 may shed more light on the personal data aspect in relation to the matter to which you refer.

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/decision-notices/2010/527170/FS_50229617.pdf
answered by (3.2k points)
This pretty well endorses what I suggested, although the case cited appears to be from a Principal Authority.  in this instance where the pay scales could in some cases, but not all be deemed personal data attributed to an identifiable individual.  The ICO has adopted a blanket position.

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