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Job Evaluation and Equal Pay

As an organisation, we are committed to:

  • the principle of equal pay for all our employees,
  • eliminating any bias in our pay systems
  • providing fair and transparent pay systems.

We use an analytical job evaluation (JE) scheme to measure the size of job roles, which is key to ensuring we meet our equal pay obligations. This considers objectively the demands and responsibilities of the role.

When a job is evaluated it is awarded an overall score, based on scoring against the 13 different factors considered under the JE scheme. This score is then used to determine where the job falls in the rank order in relation to all other jobs in the organisation, and from that rank order, the grade can be determined.

This page provides information on the JE process, the documents that are required and shares links to related documents and other resources that you may find useful. For any questions you have please refer to the FAQs which should provide you with the information you are looking for and support you through the process.  For further advice please contact the Organisational Change and Design Team.

The JE Process – Decision Tree

The following shows the key steps of the JE process and will help guide you through the different job evaluation scenarios and associated requirements. 
 

FAQs

General

The Job Evaluation Scheme – General Information

It is a systematic way of determining the value or worth of a job in relation to other jobs in an organisation, by making a systematic comparison between jobs to assess their relative worth for establishing a rational pay structure, while avoiding prejudice or discrimination.

Job Evaluation is NOT:

  • About how well someone performs a role
  • A pay and grading structure

The ACAS guidance to job evaluation provides a more detailed overview of what job evaluation is, as well as the considerations and risks around applying it.

There are important reasons why we undertake job evaluation:

  • To ensure we comply with the law in relation to equal pay
  • To help us meet outcomes in our equal pay audit, which we are legally obliged to undertake
  • It is central to our commitment to equality
  • It is an analytical and consistent method of measuring jobs, which is based on clear evidence rather than assumptions
  • It is about the tasks and responsibilities of a job role, and not about the jobholder(s) and how they undertake or perform in a role
  • It ensures that all elements of the job are considered, from physical effort and communication skills to problem solving and the working environment.

Like most Scottish Local Authorities, Aberdeen City Council (ACC) uses the Scottish Joint Council for Local Government Employees Job Evaluation Scheme (currently 3rd edition) which is applied by fully trained JE Analysts. Like many local authorities, we have developed local guidance and specific processes.  Whilst still in keeping with the scheme, these allow us to ensure that we adopt a consistent and structured approach to job evaluation for ACC.

The scheme considers 13 factors, which as a whole capture the full demands and responsibilities of a job. There is some weighting applied to these factors and, as such, a level 3 in one factor many generate a higher score than a level 3 in another. It should also be noted that, while Knowledge has 9 levels, others have less levels, e.g. Working Environment and others with 5 levels.

Knowledge has the greatest weighting in terms of the total score; 16.3%, while Concentration and Physical Co-ordination both score 5%.

Please refer to the JE Scheme Document for more detail on the different factors and other information. 

Effective job design involves determining the specific tasks and responsibilities to be performed in a role, which meet the organisation’s demands and allow outcomes to be achieved.

Those tasks and responsibilities should complement one another and fit together to help achieve the outcomes of the team.  When a JE Analyst evaluates a job role and identifies that is not the case, they will discuss this with the manager and support possibilities for revision of the job design. Some of the detail which will inform such discussions will be underpinned by the additional information provided in a robust job profile.

The JE Analyst has a responsibility to query any areas in the design of a job and the resulting evaluation questionnaire responses which do not appear realistic or to align, and with a broad knowledge of jobs across ACC, this allows them to identify any potential inconsistencies and design issues.  For example, if a job profile indicates there is no qualifications or budgetary experience required, but that it has responsibility for a budget of over £5 million then the JE Analyst would need to further discuss the design of the role.

In the teachers’ hub there are links to the information required for this process.

There is a corporate responsibility to have measures in place to meet equal pay requirements. The success of these measures is in part identified by the outcome of the Equal Pay Audit which ACC carries out.

Additionally, those applying job evaluation need to undertake their role impartially and base their findings on facts. Where there is any area unclear, or information which seems out of place, they have a duty to gain clarity.

Those providing evidence for an evaluation also have a responsibility to ensure this detail is accurate and clear. If ACC were to progress JE based solely on managers’ (or others’) expectations, then the rank order would not be based on sound processes. In turn this would compromise the integrity of any related pay and grading structure and not be in line with the requirements of equal pay.

The following link gives some examples of the consequences when an organisation does not meet the requirements of equal pay – https://www.gov.uk/employment-appeal-tribunal-decisions?keywords=equal+pay

The role of managers is key to the JE process.  At the same time, there are important reasons why they do not directly undertake JE assessment for their teams:

  • JE is about the rank order of jobs across a whole organisation, and as such is managed centrally.
  • JE needs to be auditable, with all documents saved and accessible to all JE Analysts; this allows for consistency-checking across the organisation.
  • Before becoming a JE Analyst, an individual undertakes training which involves the assessment of a comprehensive range of practice jobs from across the organisation and shadowing live jobs. They are assigned a mentor and must demonstrate their competence in understanding and applying the scheme before being signed off as a trained JE Analyst. This usually takes a minimum of 6 months.

The Job Evaluation Process

The JE decision tree provides an overview of the different scenarios where job evaluation may be required. These include:

  • When a new job role is designed / established
  • When an existing job role needs to be redesigned to meet future demands
  • When an existing job role has already had a significant change to duties
  • When it is identified that job roles seen as comparators are scored differently to other roles
  • When it has been a long time since a job was evaluated and changes have not been reflected in the existing outcome and/or to ensure evidence reflects the current remit of the role.

Job evaluation is not appropriate if:

  • the proposed review relates more to the performance of the jobholder than the need to review the requirements of the job itself
  • the JE has been reviewed within the last 12 months, unless in exceptional circumstances
  • the demands and responsibilities of the job have not changed
  • Craft workers fall under different nationally determined terms and conditions, which include stipulated pay arrangements
  • The SNCT website provides the national terms and conditions for teaching staff, and others attached to SNCT arrangements, including pay arrangements.

The key steps in the process are outlined in the JE decision tree which should be followed throughout.

A trained JE Analyst will use the job profile and JE questionnaire (JEQ) to complete an initial assessment of the role based on the evidence provided within these documents. They will work with the manager to seek clarification and particularly when it appears there may be missing, conflicting or unclear information. Consideration will be given to job roles within the team and comparison against roles with similar (provisional) outcomes. This is to ensure both consistency and avoid overlaps of responsibilities.

Once this initial assessment is complete, the JE Analyst will arrange to panel the outcome with a Lead Analyst. The purpose of the panel is for the analysts to review the initial outcome, and the Lead Analyst to challenge any outcomes they do not consider are reflective of the evidence provided.   Both the initial assessment and panel assessment are recorded on the JEQ, with rationale on how the outcomes have been reached.

Following the first panel, the outcome and the job grade will be shared with the manager who will have the opportunity to comment/provide more evidence if required. The JE Analyst will review and, if appropriate, re-panel the outcome considering this new information. This is the 1st review. There can be a maximum of 3 reviews in total after which the outcome is final.

An evaluation review is undertaken when a role has previously been evaluated and key features of that role have subsequently changed. Evaluation review will be considered where at least 12 months have lapsed since the last review and may be requested by an employee or manager. All employee requests must be supported by their line manager.

The outcome of an evaluation review may be that the score stays the same, increases or decreases. Even when there is no change to the grade, it remains important for equal pay purposes that job roles are reviewed when there are changes to duties to ensure that evidence reflects the current remit of the role and this is the basis on which the role has been evaluated.

When a new job is created, or job roles are redesigned, the JE Analyst is required to check the jobs within a team and to consider comparable roles across ACC to ensure that there is no/minimal impact on these and to ensure consistency in the application of the scheme. This could result in the JE for other jobs within the team requiring to be reviewed.

For example, looking at the restaurant example below, in question 16:

  • When the Kitchen Assistant role was created, the JE Analyst undertaking the evaluation would have checked that the duties required of the new role were not currently being undertaken by another role on the structure. This identified however that the Dishwasher would no longer carry out some of the duties currently assigned, that these would transfer to the Kitchen Assistant, and as such it was correct to review the JE for this role also.
  • However, when the Head Chef evaluation was reviewed, the JE Analyst identified that the cookery class training, development and delivery was not currently being carried out by any other role, and this was determined to be a new responsibilities added to the Head Chef role.

The JE team endeavour to progress and complete an evaluation with 14 calendar days on receipt of a complete set of documents (including the JEQ and profile).

An evaluation may take longer where:

  • the documents submitted are incomplete, or where further evidence or clarification is required by the JE Analyst.
  • the JE is part of a service redesign, or similar exercise, where a number of roles within a team are being evaluated. In these situations, outcomes would normally be shared once all the job roles have been panelled; as it will be necessary to ensure that there is no double-counting of responsibilities, that relationships between roles are clear, and that the outcomes are accurate and consistent across the team.

JE is overseen by the Organisational Change and Design team in People & Organisational Development. The evaluations are undertaken by trained JE Analysts based in the P&OD cluster, and panelled with a Lead Analyst.

Managers have a key role and responsibility in job evaluation.  They “own” the jobs within their teams/service in terms of deciding what the role needs to cover, and the demands and responsibilities assigned to the job(s). Therefore, they will either provide the information/ evidence required for the JE to be undertaken, or when the exercise has been initiated by the jobholder, they (the manager) will need to agree to, and comment on the evidence provided.

During an evaluation, the JE Analyst will work with the manager to ask questions and discuss the role to get a better understanding of the information provided.

The jobholder may initiate the JE request and will be involved in reviewing the evidence provided for evaluation review.  

Trade Unions may also be involved in the process and support their members throughout. Any TU requests for a JE to be undertaken/reviewed should be raised with the line manager of the post as the “owner” of the job who can take this forward as appropriate in accordance with the JE decision tree.

There is no formal appeal process for job evaluation. Instead there is the option for the JE Analyst to review the questionnaire along with any additional evidence provided and, if appropriate, re-panel the outcome considering this new information. This is the 1st review. There can be a maximum of 3 reviews in total after which the outcome is final.

Job Evaluation scores and grading

A robust JE process will give an organisation an accurate rank order of the scope (in terms of demands and responsibilities) of their jobs. To illustrate this please see below a fictional example for a restaurant:

Job Title                              JE Outcome/Score

1. Restaurant Manager      400
2. Head Chef                        373
3. Assistant Head Chef      297
4. Commis Chef                  250
5. Trainee Chef                    198
6. Dishwasher                     100

The above gives the organisation information on which roles will be the highest and lowest paid based on the JE score, but the organisation needs to then consider what the pay and grading structure will be. Considerations for determining a pay and grading structure may include – available budgets, benchmark against other organisations, minimum and living wage, banding widths and how they impact on progression and hierarchy flexibility to incorporate new and redesigned job roles. 

The below illustrates one example of what the grading structure could look like, and what happens when job roles change:

There are three kinds of equal work:

  • like work is work that is considered the same or broadly similar. It involves similar tasks which require similar knowledge and skills, and any differences in the work are not of practical importance.
  • work rated as equivalent where work has been rated under a valid job evaluation scheme as being of equal value in terms of how demanding it is.
  • work of equal value is work which is not similar and has not been rated as equivalent but is of equal value in terms of demands such as effort, skill, and decision-making.

Using the JE scheme, jobs which score the same have been rated as equivalent. As the scheme has 13 factors which need to be considered and evaluated there are several ways the same score could be achieved; and the demands and responsibilities could vary. This, is illustrated in the below table:

The following may account for this situation:

  1. While job profiles may appear very similar, there may be enough difference resulting in the score for the two job roles being different in one or more JE factors. This difference may not be clear when comparing job profiles, but the information in the JEQ clearly identifies where there is a distinct difference. For example, two office-based roles may have the job profile outcome: ‘To carry out scheduling to support service delivery’, however, the JEQs provide different supporting evidence for what this entails:

  • Job Role 1 Evidence states – I am responsible for developing the staff rota for the care home. This includes ensuring that we have the right number of nurses, care staff, kitchen, cleaning and any other relevant staff. We have a core team but depending on the requirements of our residents we may need to use relief staff and / or agency staff. Additionally, I need to cover sickness and annual leave. There are statutory and safety considerations and as such failure to ensure proper staffing can have real consequences. When new staff start I need to factor in the need for them to shadow a senior for training and induction, and where it is not possible I would reschedule the start date. The scheduling also requires consideration of budgets, ensuring that charges are made to the correct cost-centres and that best value can be demonstrated.
  • Job Role 2 Evidence states – I am responsible for managing the diaries for senior management, they will expect me to ensure that there is no double booking and that events such as committee dates are marked months in advance. If they need to cancel a meeting as they need to attend another event, then I am expected to go back to the other attendees and find a mutually suitable date to reschedule the meeting.

The 2 examples above would result in a different score being awarded to each of the roles and could result in both jobs which look similar, having a different grade outcome.

Other examples could include roles having responsibility for managing a budget, which when evidenced shows one budget in JE terms to be large, and the other very large, resulting in the Finance factor levels to be different, and therefore the score different.

Depending where the role sits within the grade boundaries it could be that a difference in one factor outcome will move two similar job roles into different boundaries.

  1. The job titles of the two roles are the same, or very similar but the actual demands and responsibilities are different.

  1. The two roles have historically been very similar, but there has been a change to the design of one which has led it to being re-evaluated and the score changing. Depending on the change in score, and where the role sits in the grading boundaries, a change in grade may result.

  1. Your role needs to be reviewed, and if there is appropriate evidence then an evaluation review needs to be undertaken

Reasons why this could happen include:

  • The change may be that the employee is required to do more of the same level/responsibility of tasks and therefore this doesn’t impact on the factor level, e.g. if the change is that – as well as delivering training in first aid – the role now delivers training in fire safety then the level of demand would most likely remain the same. As JE does not consider workload (although JE Analysts will highlight to managers if they have concerns that the workload is too great/ unrealistic), as the same degree of communication is required to deliver both courses and the same mental skills to develop the training then there would be no increase to those factor levels resulting in the grade being unchanged.
  • The change in the role does increase one of the 13 factor levels with the impact that it increases the overall score, this would consequently change the rank order of where the role sits against others in the organisation, however when this is mapped to the pay and grading structure it might not increase the grade, if the current JE outcome falls low in the grading boundary.
  • Changes to a job may mean that one or more of the 13 factors increase, but other factors decrease, thus having no impact on the overall score or grade.

Updates and other considerations

JE considers permanent demands and responsibilities of roles; at the moment we must assume that changes are temporary and as such not a predominant demand of the role going forward. Additionally, most changes have been introduced for health and safety reasons, and to ensure we follow the advice and instructions of Scottish Government and other agencies and are not directly a demand of the job.

For higher graded duties to be appropriate it must be evidenced that the duties being undertaken are indeed at a higher grade than a substantive job role. The only way this can be demonstrated is to have a job evaluation outcome for the role which the higher graded duties are being claimed against. Just as with Job Evaluation for audit, equal pay and best value reasons there needs to be clear and robust information which supports any HGDs that are progressed.

For Employees

You will need to complete a job evaluation request form to formally request your role to be evaluated. There are 2 forms – one for managers and one for employees. Please refer to the JE decision tree which outlines when these forms are required and how a job evaluation will be progressed. It is recommended that you discuss your intentions to request a job evaluation review with your line manager at the earliest opportunity. A JE request must be supported by your Chief Officer or Service Manager as indicated on the form.

There needs to be a valid reason to progress an evaluation review and this must be supported by line management. It may not be appropriate for a review to be progressed, and your manager should confirm the reason for rejecting a request and discuss this with you. While you are responsible for undertaking your role; your manager is responsible for its demands and responsibilities. Therefore, key to any discussion will be establishing if any new duty / responsibility is a core demand of the role, rather than ad hoc arrangements. If, following discussions, you are not in agreement with your manager’s decision you may escalate the matter to your service manager or Chief Officer for further review.

The Organisational Change and Design Team in P&OD will also be notified of all employee requests and decisions, and where there are any concerns with the decision made will discuss this with the manager.

Reasons why this could happen include:

  • The change may be that the employee is required to do more of the same level/responsibility of tasks and therefore this doesn’t impact on the factor level, e.g. if the change is that – as well as delivering training in first aid – the role now delivers training in fire safety then the level of demand would most likely remain the same. As job evaluation does not consider workload (although analysts will highlight to managers if they have concerns that the workload is too great/ unrealistic), as the same degree of communication is required to deliver both courses and the same mental skills to develop the training then there would be no increase to those factor levels resulting in the grade being unchanged.
  • The change in the role does increase one of the 13 factor levels with the impact that it increases the overall score, this would consequently change the rank order of where the role sits against other roles in the organisation, however when this is mapped to the pay and grading structure it might not increase the grade, if the current JE outcome fall low down in the grading boundary.
  • Changes to a job may mean that one or more of the 13 factors increase, but other factors decrease, thus having no impact on the overall score or grade.

Please refer to question 17 in General Questions for a detailed response to this.

To ensure the job is evaluated correctly and the final score reflects the scope of the role it is important that all questions are completed, and full responses provided with examples to illustrate the predominant demands and responsibilities of the role. You should avoid using the factor level definitions and instead focus on providing facts and evidence about the specific job role. Provide details about what you do (or will do) and what you are responsible for. You should review the completed question with your line manager to agree on the content.

The JE questionnaire offers specific guidance for individual questions and the  ‘JE Top 10 Tips’ document offers some helpful hints.

The line manager fulfils a supportive role during the process where an employee’s job role is to be reviewed or redesigned and is responsible for consulting on these changes. Trade Union colleagues will also be able to offer support to their members.

The support materials referenced in the documents, along with the information available on People Anytime provide information on best practice and guidance/tips on completing a questionnaire.

Yes, a copy of the current JEQ for your role can be requested by contacting AskHR. If you are currently completing a questionnaire, it is important to remember to focus on the current/future roles and responsibilities, rather than what the job used to do. As such, an earlier questionnaire may have limited value in assisting you completing a questionnaire to represent your current role.

For Managers

You will need to complete a job evaluation request form to formally request a role to be evaluated. There are 2 forms – one for managers and one for employees. Please refer to the JE decision tree which outlines when these forms are required and how a job evaluation will be progressed. Any JE request must be supported by your Chief Officer or Service Manager, as indicated on the form.

  • A job evaluation request form
  • An up-to-date and accurate job profile
  • A completed job evaluation questionnaire (JEQ)
  • In some cases, a business case will also be required (link)

All documents submitted must be complete. Where incomplete, the JE Analyst will return these for revision, providing detail of the areas which need to be addressed, and if appropriate will arrange to meet to discuss. Incomplete documents may delay the process – if you have any queries whilst completing the documents, please get in contact.

You will need to discuss the JE with your Chief Officer or Service Manager who must be in support of the JE request. Please refer to the JE decision tree which suggests key points where discussion is appropriate throughout the process.

A business case will be required to formally request approval to establish any new job roles or changes to existing roles arising from the job evaluation process. The JE decision tree details where in the JE process business cases may be required and further information can be found here.

This form can be used when a JE review(s) of existing job role(s) has resulted in an increase to the grade of the job only and there are no other changes to the organisational structure. Please refer to the JE decision tree.

To ensure the job is evaluated correctly and the final score reflects the scope of the role it is important that all questions are completed, and full responses provided with examples to illustrate the predominant demands and responsibilities of the role. You should avoid using the factor level definitions and instead focus on providing facts and evidence about the specific job role. Provide details about what the role actually does (or will do) and what they are responsible for. Where an employee is in post you should discuss and agree the content with them.

The JE questionnaire offers specific guidance for individual questions and the ‘JE Top 10 Tips’  document offers some helpful hints.

You can discuss your requirements with a P&OD Advisor in the Organisational Change and Design Team who are responsible for overseeing the JE process. The questionnaire provides guidance specific to individual questions, and these have been developed to best support individuals completing the questionnaire. JE Analysts are also available to discuss the questionnaire completion prior to submission.

For managers progressing a service redesign, which will likely include a number of redesigned job roles and/or new roles, the P&OD Advisor assigned to provide support and advice will be able to discuss your JE requirements and any additional support that may be required.

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