chapter  4
25 Pages

Grading systems, estimating value and equality: Sue Hastings


This chapter examines the background to modern grading systems and the influence of cultural, social and legal factors. The first section considers the origins of British grading systems for ‘manual’ and ‘non-manual’ workers and the legacy of these distinct histories for present-day structures. The second section outlines current grading techniques, reviewing competence-based pay (CBP) systems and job evaluation schemes. The impact of equal value legislation on the measurement of job worth is

identified through descriptions of a number of key equal pay claims. The implications of these Tribunal decisions for the design and implementation of job evaluation schemes and the development of grading structures is considered, with analysis of recent systems in the health service and local government sectors, and an assessment of the continuing importance of the concept of equal value for grading and pay in the UK. The chapter concludes with a comment on the future of grading, suggesting that job evaluation is the approach most obviously consistent with equal pay legislation, but developed in more flexible forms than was historically the case.