(NB: where there are partnership agreements in place in devolved administrations to provide local support, the following chapter will not apply.)
1. Support offered
JEG offers two levels of support to local organisations with job evaluation problems or disputes:
- independent panels.
2. Expert advice
2.1 Local job evaluation leads, either management or staff side, can ask JEG for advice to assist them in their job evaluation work.
2.2 Leads are asked to ensure that they have consulted the relevant sections of this handbook and any related information on the NHS Employers website before seeking advice.
2.3 Requests for advice should be sent to JEG via NHS Employers – JEG@nhsemployers.org
2.4 JEG will aim to respond within 4 weeks but may require further information before being able to consider the matter fully.
2.5 In exceptional circumstances, the JEG secretariat* can be asked to mediate on a local issue. Both parties to the dispute must be in agreement to such a request. The JEG secretariat will meet with the parties, individually and jointly to attempt to find a way forward and resolve the matter in hand.
2.6 Expert advice received in this way is not binding and is available only once on a particular issue, except in exceptional circumstances.
2.7 JEG will log and monitor all requests for advice and will develop guidance for the service as appropriate.
3. Independent panels
3.1 Where the parties within an employing organisation (management and staff side) have been unable to conclude the matching and/or evaluation, or consistency checking process locally for any post or group of posts, the JEG secretariat* may be approached in writing, in partnership, (to JEG@nhsemployers.org) to convene a panel of job evaluation independent expert practitioners to consider the matter in hand.
If agreement in partnership to request an independent panel cannot be reached, either party may approach the JEG secretariat* for advice in line with section 2 of this chapter.
3.2 Independent panels can be set up where, locally, either
a. A matching, evaluation or review panel has been unable to reach a consensus, despite best attempts to resolve the situation, or
b. A consistency checking panel has been unable to reach agreement with the original panel, despite best attempts to resolve the situation
c. Exceptional circumstances have led to a serious breakdown in process.
3.3 An initial discussion will take place with the JEG secretariat* and if the situation is agreed by all parties to be genuinely intractable, the JEG secretariat*will establish an independent panel to undertake matching or evaluation or consistency checking of the job or group of jobs. Terms of reference will be drawn up by the JEG secretariat*, using a standard template and agreed by the employing organisation in partnership, setting out clearly what is expected from the panel and what happens once an agreed outcome is reached. This will be signed and dated by management and staff sides locally, prior to the panel being convened. The parties will need to submit all relevant documentation (e.g. job descriptions, JAQs, matching/evaluation outcomes, consistency checking records) to the JEG secretariat*, and will need to agree that date from which any change of outcome will be effective from (see also 3.13).
3.4 The JEG secretariat will be responsible for selecting the members of the independent panel, keeping the parties informed on progress in order to maintain confidence and confidentiality.
3.5 The panel of four will be drawn from a pool of matching and/or evaluation panellists drawn in equal numbers from management and staff side and may include JEG members. Panel members will not include panellists from the organisations within the same area or anyone connected with the same job group, directorate or organisational department type, including the trade unions that represent them.
3.6 All panellists will be qualified and experienced in both matching and evaluation processes; in the case of a consistency checking panel, they will additionally have been trained in consistency checking. The JEG secretariat* will provide a pro forma for recording the panel outcome.
3.7 Job advisors (representatives of the post(s) being considered and of their line management) must be available to the panel to answer any questions or points of clarification felt necessary on the day. This could be in person or by telephone. Panels may already have sufficient information and may not need to ask any further questions of job advisors.
3.8 The panel may be assisted by the JEG Chairs, who themselves may be supported by an independent job evaluation expert. Exceptionally, if matters emerge from the process that would benefit from national advice, the secretariat may refer to the NHS Staff Council Executive for their view.
3.9 The organisation making the request will bear the costs of the panel meeting and may be asked to host the meeting.
3.10 All outcomes shall be subject to consistency checking in accordance with the process described in the chapter 14. This may include reference to other outcomes, locally and/or nationally, and organisations may be requested to provide additional JE information at this stage or provide access to their JE records.
3.11 The JEG secretariat will be responsible for the notification of the banding outcome to the named parties within the organisation once all JE procedures, including consistency checking, have been completed.
3.12 Once the relevant parties have been informed of the outcome of the independent panel, the post holder(s) may request a review within three months of notification. In order to trigger the review process, evidence setting out the reasons for the review and to support the areas of difference must be submitted in writing to the JEG secretariat*. Subsequent changes to the role that occur after the original submission will not be considered. The JEG secretariat* reserves the right to decline the review request if it is clear, after careful consideration and consultation with the previous external panel, that no new evidence has been presented.
Where this procedure is set up for an independent panel to conduct a review, there is no further right of review and the independent panel’s outcome (confirmed by consistency checking) would be final.
3.13 The organisation is expected to implement the final outcome of the independent panel backdated to date agreed in 3.3. This is the end of the process.
* 'JEG secretariat' means the joint chairs of JEG plus the NHS Employers JE Lead when the procedure is used in England. Where it is used in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, any reference to 'JEG secretariat' should be substituted by 'Country JE leads'.