Staff who suffered wage cuts following a pay and grading review at Birmingham City Council because they refused to complete job evaluation forms are now realising “the error of their ways”, a senior official has claimed.

Director of Equalities and Human Resources, Andy Albon, added that many of the 5,000 employees losing out under the new system had rushed to appeal against their new salary grades because they realised they had failed to provide appropriate information about their duties.

Council HR analysts are dealing with 4,442 appeals from angry employees, some of whom have seen their pay cut by more than £10,000.

The first 400 cases dealt with resulted in 81 per cent of appeals being upheld and higher pay grades awarded.

A further 7,000 claims are in a backlog waiting to be heard at employment tribunals.

Mr Albon’s comments came as it emerged the council, which already employs 450 HR specialists, is recruiting more staff on salaries up to £70,000 to cope with new work being generated by the Excellence in People Management business transformation project – which is supposed to contribute toward £1 billion of savings over the next 10 years.

A national advertising campaign urges applicants to come forward to join a “talent bank of HR professionals”.

The council has not specified how many employees it is looking to take on, but is offering fixed and temporary contracts.

Mr Albon admitted it would take a long time to deal with all of the pay and grading appeals.

He added: “We know that some individuals, for whatever reason, did not provide information about the jobs that were being evaluated.

“We know that trade unions actively lobbied members not to provide information. And we know that some managers colluded in not providing that information.

“People were tardy in providing the necessary information and they now realise the error of their ways.

“It is therefore not surprising that we are seeing appeals result in positive advancement for some people.”

Legal action against the council over the pay and grading review is being taken by Unison and the GMB/Unite unions.

Mr Albon said the council would put forward a “robust” defence against the unions claim that the process was implemented unfairly.