Fears over town hall wages
Staff at Dudley Council are being told their wages are safe after a recent audit report warned their pay could be late or wrongly calculated.
Local authority bosses are now reassuring their 13,000 staff they will be paid on time and correctly after a recent report stated there was a ‘major’ issue in the payroll service.
In a corporate risk register presented to councillors on the audit and standards committee, senior officers gave the issue its highest rating of 20, stating: “Failure to address the actions in the internal audit report may result in staff not being paid or not being paid correctly.”
It added: “Payroll, ICT and Finance are working closely to identify the root causes of the issues.
“If necessary, the previous payroll months would be applied, with priority efforts concentrated on new starters and over payments. “
The report did not specify what the problem was but said the risk level had increased from a previous rating of 16.
Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for procurement, transformation and commercialisation, said: “Dudley Council cares about the welfare and wellbeing of everyone on our payroll, our employees and the employees we pay on behalf of other organisations. We always prioritise work to ensure they are paid correctly and on time.
“Internal audit work has identified scope for improvement to our payroll.
“We are now working hard to strengthen the relevant processes and this will be reviewed by Audit and Standards Committee later this year.”
A spokesman for the town hall trade union, Unison, said they had not seen an increase in complaints over wages but it would now be seeking clarification from senior management.