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Public Sector Pay Policy for Staff Pay Remits 2010-11

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7. AFTER APPROVAL

When can you negotiate with your Trade Union(s)?

7.1 Pay remit proposals should reflect your maximum negotiating position within Public Sector Pay Policy limits and approval of those proposals sets the parameters for detailed negotiations with your recognised Trade Union(s). We encourage you to work constructively with your relevant Trades Union(s) on the development of your overall pay and reward strategies prior to submitting your remit. However, whilst informal discussions can take place you must not enter into formal negotiations with your Trades Union(s) until your remit has been approved. Trade Unions should note that informal discussions cannot be treated as agreement until the remit is approved.

What is the policy on legal commitments?

7.2 Approval of pay remits is on the basis that you do not enter into any legally-binding contractual agreements in Trade Union negotiations that effectively commits you to automatic costs in the future ( i.e. beyond the duration of the approved remit).

7.3 All existing legally binding commitments should take into consideration affordability and financial constraints in current and future years. All public bodies are advised to take legal advice on the drafting of pay commitments to ensure that these are affordable and consistent with the pay remit process.

Can you make changes to your approved remit during negotiations?

7.4 If, during negotiations, you are considering: entering into an agreement that exceeds the percentages approved in your remit; or deviating substantially from the basis of approval (such as the pay structure you proposed) then you need to contact the Finance Pay Policy Team in the first instance. You may need to revise your proposals and seek further approval from the Scottish Government. Changes within the limits approved are a normal part of negotiations and need not be referred for further advice.

What information are you required to provide once you have implemented your pay settlement?

7.5 Formal approval of your proposals will set out any conditions on that approval. You will be expected to confirm that these have been met in the settlement proforma which must be completed and returned to the Finance Pay Policy Team within one month of your settlement being implemented. More detail on this proforma is set out in the Technical Guide.

7.6 The Finance Pay Policy Team will also send you an outturn proforma for you to complete at the appropriate time. You will be required to provide a brief statement of assurance that the outturn is within the approved remit and that the assumptions made in regard of savings to fund your pay award are still valid.

7.7 You should contact the Finance Pay Policy Team if you require any assistance in completing this proforma.

What happens if you exceed your pay remit?

7.8 If you go beyond the three key pay metric percentages in your approved remit; or deviate from the basis on which the remit was approved; or if you negotiate changes to pay and conditions without featuring or costing them in your pay remit proposals then you will be considered to have exceeded your approved pay remit. Ministers expect you to adhere to the basis on which your remit has been approved, including any key features of the remit involving the use of resources to meet the Key Pay Policy Priorities.

7.9 There may be circumstances that could not have been foreseen when you submitted your remit for approval. If this means that you exceed your approved remit, you must contact the Finance Pay Policy Team. Your Sponsor Team may be required to notify Remuneration Group who will consider whether the issue needs to be brought to the attention of Ministers. Examples of this would be where you have significantly exceeded the approved remit or have materially moved away from the basis of that remit. The Remuneration Group expect Ministers will take action. Action may require the Sponsor Team and Accountable Officer to justify the matter to the Portfolio Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth and may result in action being taken, such as capping of future pay remits or a governance review of the body.