INCONSISTENCIES in levels of pay and workload for BCP Council employees are set to be addressed in a “disruptive” overhaul.

Cabinet members are being recommended to allocate £2.1 million for a “pay and reward strategy” when they meet on Wednesday with a report saying the move would mitigate potential equality challenges.

However, it warned the work would be a “significant undertaking” for the council and that it would likely be “highly emotive” for staff.

As part of the formation of BCP Council earlier this year, employees of Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Dorset County councils were transferred to create its workforce.

Following the merger, American consultancy firm Korn Ferry was commissioned to “review existing pay structures and provide options for the future”.

According to a report, published ahead of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, it found differences in employees’ wages and workload as well as “significant variation” in contractual terms.

This included differences in allowances, leave and working time.

Sixty-two per cent of council employees were found to be paid below the median for similar positions across the country.

“The council needs to address inconsistencies in job sizing and pay arrangements to mitigate the risk of equal pay challenges,” it said.

“This will require a sizeable level of investment to achieve but in doing so the council also has an opportunity to improve its position in the job market and introduce a modern and more integrated platform for developing its workforce.”

Cabinet members are being asked to allocate £2.1 million extra funding for the proposed pay and reward strategy aimed at addressing the differences when they meet on Wednesday.

“This will be a significant undertaking for the council,” the report added. “It will be disruptive and highly emotive for many employees.

“It is therefore highly desirable to introduce the new pay and reward arrangements as quickly as is reasonably possible in order to minimise the council’s exposure to risk and the impact on employees.”

The report said it would hold negotiations with trade union officials as part of the process.