Staff Grade Scheme at ICI

ICI felt that they should reward good service from its workers. In this way they gave employees the chance of improving their position in terms of security of employment. All workers who had completed 3 years continuous service with the company or with any of its constituent firms and who are 21 plus were eligible for promotion to this grade. The Staff Grade Scheme, introduced in 1928, basically meant sick pay and higher wages and so rewarded workers who were loyal to the company and stayed with them. It also gave workers a month’s notice of termination of employment. The Company could decline to give this promotion to an employee. The scheme, however, was given to those considered a ‘good influence’ in the works and was something to be proud of. Assessors would annually review those promoted to staff grade to ensure they kept up their standards.

8 thoughts on “Staff Grade Scheme at ICI

  1. I did not know Sir Alec Zeally, who was I believe chairman of Remploy after he retired from the ICI Main Board, but I knew one of his sons called Christopher Zeally when we were both working in ICI Plastics Division at Welwyn in the late Fifties and he told me the following story. During WWI the British had difficulty in getting natural fertilisers from South America and the government decided to set up synthetic ammonia manufacture in the UK – at Billingham in fact. Few people in the UK knew anything about the process, which had been invented by Haber in Germany. but one of them was ATS Zeally. He had joined the army and was marching up to the front line with his unit when it was halted in the square of a French town and anyone in the ranks who had a chemistry degree was ordered to take one step forward. All these men were ordered to return to the UK but it was ATS Zeally the authorities wanted. He reckoned his degree saved his life.


  2. Eric Collins Hi Eric You are right I have just checked through some back copies of “The Stocktonian” (annual school magazine produced by Stockton Grammar) and there was indeed an annual prize named – “The Sir A.T.S.Zeally Prize for Latin”.


  3. I was interested to note the signature of A T S Zeally on the letter – there was an A T S Zeally prize (for Latin I think) at my school (Stockton Grammar School)


  4. Its lovely to see these documents on the site. I remember from my days in Billibgham, seeing people wearing ICI jackets (black donkey jackets, with an orange stripe) everyone seemed to own one, whether they worked for ICI or not. 🙂 I recall seeing one of these documents of promotion at a gallery exhibition in Billigham art gallery a few years back too.


  5. I started work as a Joiner at the ICI in 1961 and from the day I started I paid into a Pension Fund. I only worked there for 6 months and on leaving all my contributions less Tax was paid back to me.


  6. Jeff Smith – Promotion to Staff Grade probably did entitle pension rights. I can`t be sure as shortly after being awarded Staff Grade status I was transferred permanently from the payroll to the ICI Staff. Although I left ICI at the end of 1965 to go abroad I left my pension contributions in place – a sum of £275 I think. What a wise choice that turned out to be as for the past seven years I have received an ICI pension, currently £90 a month.


  7. Ged Hutchinson – Did promotion to Staff Grade bring pension rights? My father was promoted in the 60″s I think. My mother, in her 90″s, still gets a half pension from ICI.


  8. I was selected for Staff Grade status and have a certificate identical to the one shown in the photo, mine dated 26th June 1961. It was considered a promotion and the accompanying letter described it as such. I can`t remember any financial gain and the main benefit was a guaranteed weekly wage even in times of sickness which, until achieving Staff Grade status, had gone unpaid. Despite this very welcome benefit I cannot recall ever losing a day`s work due to sickness.


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