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Acas launches new guide to job evaluation

Acas, the employment relations service, has published a new guide to help make businesses less vulnerable to equal pay claims through the use of job evaluation.

Job evaluation - which determines the relative importance of a number of different jobs whilst avoiding prejudice or discrimination - can be a complex process. The 28-page guide explains how a job evaluation risk analysis should be established and implemented.

What you will find in this guide

This Acas guide is designed to help managers and employee representatives decide whether introducing a job evaluation structure is feasible and appropriate for their business. The booklet focuses on the preparation period before embarking on job evaluation. It aims to help you answer the following questions:

  • What is job evaluation?

  • Why should you consider carrying out job evaluation in your workplace?

  • How do you prepare for job evaluation?

Acas takes a close look at the key issues you need to address before deciding whether job evaluation is right for your organisation. Having worked through all the issues you might decide:

  • not to undertake job evaluation

  • to put job evaluation "on hold" until a more appropriate time

  • to carry out job evaluation as soon as possible.

The booklet also explains how analytical job evaluation works in practice and discusses in more detail the use of factor plans.

Non-analytical job evaluation schemes such as paired comparisons or job ranking do not provide a defence against equal value claims and are not included in this guide.

Benefits of job evaluation

According to Acas the benefits of job evaluation are:

  • cornerstone of a fair and equitable pay system

  • facilitates the introduction of new or changed jobs

  • offers a defence against employment tribunal claims of pay discrimination

  • supports recruitment and retention

  • prevents stereotyping of jobs and roles.

A final word

Frank Blair, Director Acas Scotland, who has developed the guide, commented:

"Employers sometimes find it hard to justify their grading and pay systems. Putting in place a job evaluation scheme can remedy this and can also help prevent equality and HR related problems from arising. However, Acas is urging businesses to be fully prepared before embarking on introducing job evaluation. A good number of the difficulties encountered by organisations will be avoided by adequate preparation. The booklet gives advice on the level of preparation required, which if undertaken properly, will create strong business benefits."

Want to know more?

Title: Job Evaluation: Considerations and risks, Acas, July 2008.

Availability: The advisory booklet can be ordered from Acas Publications by calling 08702 42 9090 and costs £3.95 per copy. You can download it in PDF format free of charge at www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=682.

Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services, working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and employer, trade union and independent members.

To find out more visit www.acas.org.uk.

Date 10/09/2008

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