William Eichler 06 February 2020

Glasgow CC ‘successfully delivered’ £500m in equal pay claims, watchdog says

Glasgow City Council has successfully delivered a project to finance £500m in equal pay claims, Scotland’s local authority watchdog says.

The Accounts Commission has concluded that the council developed and demonstrated good governance arrangements throughout a project to raise the funds for women who have been paid historically less than men in jobs of the same grade.

The local authority agreed a deal that will see Legal & General invest £285m in the city over 30 years, refinancing the council’s existing property portfolio.

It also agreed a deal that will see Pension Insurance Corporation plc invest £195m of debt finance in City Property Glasgow Ltd, a subsidiary of the Glasgow City Council Group. The council is using these investments to help fund the equal pay claim.

The Accounts Commission found that the council had developed and applied appropriate project management and governance arrangements whilst assessing claims and making payments.

However, the commission also warned that there remain risks for the council in the future as it deals with outstanding equal pay claims, as well as possible future claims before they implement a new pay and grading structure in 2021.

Glasgow City Council, however, anticipates that these potential future claims are likely to be on a much smaller claim than the settlements completed in 2019.

‘We welcome that the council successfully delivered a challenging and complex project within a short space of time, with good governance arrangements and appropriate controls to ensure equal pay settlements were accurate,’ said Graham Sharp, chair of the Accounts Commission.

‘We strongly encourage the council to implement its new pay and grading structure by April 2021.’ 

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