Brief History of Barnet Council grading structures.

Back in 2016 the Council moved away from how most London Councils pay their staff and agreed to a major change in how it would pay Barnet staff. Previously staff would be on a grade which would have several increments contained within the grade. A member of staff would automatically move up each year until they reached the top of their grade.

The current system is less transparent. Staff are still on grades but there are no increments. The only way staff can progress is through the annual performance appraisal scheme.

Each year, depending on the outcome of their performance appraisal, staff will be issued with a percentage increase of 0, 1, 2.25, 3 %, which process will continue until the top of the grade is reached.

UNISON, in negotiations before the current scheme, warned that linking performance to pay grade increases would create a problem when staff reach the top of the grade. Our warning was ignored, and staff are consequently upset when they realise that no matter how good their appraisal there is no financial increase because they are at the top of the grade,

What happens if I am at the top of my grade?

This is a question which is being increasingly asked as more and more members reach the top of their grade.

The simple answer is that you remain at the top until there is a change.

A change could be that your job description is out of date so would need to be updated and agreed on before going to a Job Evaluation Panel. The Panel would evaluate the new job description and produce a grade. The outcome could be that it goes up or down or remains the same. There is an opportunity for staff to Appeal the outcome of a job evaluation panel.


Sometimes when a restructure takes place job descriptions are reviewed and if they change they are subject to job evaluation.

Change is coming.

Barnet UNISON is in talks with the Council about a new scheme. When the negotiations are complete the new scheme will be announced to the workforce.

National Pay

The other way that staff can obtain an increase in Pay is through National Pay negotiations. Barnet Council staff are subject to National negotiation on Pay each year. The outcome of the negotiations is applied to the grades as from the 1 April of that year.