Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

38/20

Apologies for absence and substitutions

Minutes:

Councillor Reid sent her apologies

Councillor Capon sent his apologies

 

39/20

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

40/20

Urgent matters

To consider any items of business, other than those shown on this agenda and which, by reason of special circumstances to be stated at the meeting, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

 

Minutes:

There were no urgent matters.

 

41/20

Minutes of the meetings held on the 17th, 24th and 29th September 2020 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

The Chair will move that the minutes of the meetings held on the 17th, 24th and 29th September 2020 be signed as a correct record. The only part of the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair confirmed that the minutes of the meetings held on the held on the 17th, 24th and 29th September 2020 were confirmed by the Committee as a correct record.

 

42/20

Gender Pay Gap Report pdf icon PDF 345 KB

This report updates the Committee on the council’s Gender Pay Gap report.

 

Contact Officer:  Sarah Cragg

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources (HR) Communications and Policy introduced the report and advised the Committee that there was a requirement for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) to publish information relating to the relative pay gap between male and female employees is within The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 and Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017.  The information would be published on BDBC’s website and the Government Equalities Office website by 31 March 2021 as required within the legislation.

 

Compared with last year the mean gender pay gap had decreased with the mean pay gap moving from -3.23% in 2019 to -2.22% in 2020 (both in favour of women).

The median gender pay gap has increased from -12.99% in 2019 to -20.52% in 2020 (both in favour of women).

 

The Gender Pay Gap report also referred to the mean and median bonus gender pay gap.   Although the council did not pay bonuses as such, because honoraria could have a performance related element they need to be declared as a bonus.  The mean bonus gender pay gap is -50.69% (in favour of women). Only 3.35% of relevant employees received an honoraria payment and as such the small numbers involved can skew the results. The 2019 mean bonus gender pay gap was 21.96% in favour of male employees.

 

The Committee discussed the report and made the following comments which included:-

 

  • Commended the Head of Human Resources (HR) Communications and Policy and team for an excellent report.

 

  • Queried why there were no comparisons with other local Borough Councils and Hampshire County Council (HCC) contained within the report.  It was confirmed that the information would be included in future reports but it would be for the previous year as the figures were not available for 2020 as they were not required to published until October.

 

  • Requested that the Committee be sent a comparison of the gender pay gap from HCC and other local Borough Councils when they had been published.

 

  • An explanation of the term honoraria payment.  It was confirmed that it was a payment for a member of staff that was acting up into another role temporarily which occurred additional responsibility for example maternity cover.

 

Resolved that:  The Committee notes this report and the council’s Gender Pay Gap report in Appendix 1.

 

43/20

Smarter Ways of Working Programme Update pdf icon PDF 269 KB

This report updates the Committee on the progress of the council’s Smarter Ways of Working Project as part of the Fit for the Future Transformation Programme.

 

Contact Officer:  Sarah Cragg

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources (HR) Communications and Policy introduced the report and advised the Committee that the overall vision for the SWOW programme was that:-

·         Staff were enabled to meet the needs of the Council including Members, residents, businesses and other stakeholders through being able to work flexibly and cost effectively.

·         Staff Wellbeing was supported and valued through enabling a healthy work – life balance, and underpinning our focus on inclusion within our workplace;

·         There was a work environment that was empowered and enabled by technology not hindered by it;

·         Performance was monitored by outcomes not processes;

·         The office has been rationalised, thereby enabling more co-location opportunities with other public sector partners and community hub possibilities;

·         There was a reduced carbon footprint and impact on the environment through the reduced necessity to travel and having a rationalised accommodation requirement;

·         Space was shared enabling more collaborative and effective working across teams and services; and

The SWOW programme was divided into three main workstreams - people, technology and workspace. Those were all sub-divided further to ensure that all aspects required of the programme were delivered.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic had undoubtedly impacted the nature of the work required within the people workstream of the programme. Prior to COVID-19 the majority of staff had rarely worked at home, if at all. As a consequence of the pandemic, the majority of office-based staff were currently working from home for all of their working time. This had necessitated additional activities to support managers and teams to deal with the speed at which this shift occurred due to the national lockdowns and ongoing pandemic.

It was vital to ensure that the policies and processes were reviewed in order to successfully embed SWOW across the council and to ensure an effective transition from working from home during a pandemic to a different way of working under SWOW.

As part of the ongoing commitment to support staff health and wellbeing and in line with updated guidance from the HSE, in December 2020 a mandatory DSE/ Risk self-assessment and e-learning module was launched for all staff working from home to complete. All completed assessments were reviewed by line managers so that any further actions could be identified and undertaken.

A training module on “Managing Remote Teams” was designed and delivered in-house to help address the immediate issues of working during the pandemic. The sessions were designed to help managers to support their teams whilst working from home and provided an opportunity for everyone who attended to share tips and best practice.

 

Following the delivery of “Managing Remote Teams” for managers a virtual wellbeing training module was developed which was open to all staff. The sessions were designed to help support all staff throughout the winter months, addressing how staff could continue to look after both physical and mental wellbeing whilst working away from colleagues and working differently during the pandemic.

To support the stakeholder engagement, a network of staff volunteers from across the council were acting as ‘change champions’  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43/20

44/20

Pay and Benefits Review Project Update pdf icon PDF 321 KB

This report updates the Committee on the pay and benefits review.

 

Contact Officer:  Sarah Cragg

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources (HR) Communications and Policy introduced the report which provided an update on the pay and benefits review and the number of areas that needed addressing such as:-

 

  • BDBC had experienced significant difficulty in securing staff in skills shortage areas compounded by a number of those areas suffering a higher than average level of turnover.  Although there may be a number of reasons for this, there was no doubt that pay remains one of the main motivators for people considering roles. The Council’s proximity to London and location within an area of historically very low unemployment means it was imperative that we had a system which offers contemporary, competitive and flexible pay.
  • Equal pay challenges were one of the most common and costly for public sector organisations a robust job evaluation system is important.
  • Having a fair way of responding to market forces and to attract, retain and reward talented individuals in an often difficult market.
  • The Council had an agreed position on pay which was to reflect upper quartile salaries.  It was clear from benchmarking and other feedback that this was not consistently the case.
  • The staff structure within the organisation had evolved over the years as the nature of the services the council provides had developed.  As a result there were areas within the organisation where the spans of control vary significantly.

In order to achieve that purpose the pay and benefits review had been designed with four workstreams which were introduction of a new job evaluation system, review of existing job roles, review of full benefits package including pay benchmarking and review of spans of control across the organisation.

The Council would be working in partnership with Korn Ferry to deliver the two workstreams associated with the new job evaluation system, introduction of the new system and review of existing job roles within the Council in line with the new system

 

The job evaluation system which would be introduced was the Korn Ferry Hay system.  This was an extensively used and robust system which was used by over 12,000 organisations worldwide and had been used by 125 local authorities.

A key consideration for the pay and benefits review was to ensure the sustainability of the new pay and benefits system structure. As such a key component of the work with Korn Ferry was the knowledge transfer to, and upskilling of, existing BDBC staff both within HR and in the wider organisation.

 

As part of this upskilling of internal staff, Korn Ferry had trained an initial cohort of ten job evaluators from across the authority, two from each directorate, two from HR and two Unison representatives, in the administration of the Korn Ferry Hay job evaluation system.

A piece of scoping work had been undertaken to map out all current job roles across the authority.  A cohort of these job roles would be evaluated by Korn Ferry using the Korn Ferry Hay system to provide a core cross-section of roles graded throughout the authority.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44/20

45/20

Pay Policy Statement 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 291 KB

This report sets out the council’s pay policy statement for 2021/22.

 

Contact Officer:  Sarah Cragg

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources (HR) Communications and Policy introduced the report which detailed the proposed pay policy statement for 2021/22 for the Human Resources Committee to recommend to the Council.  It was based on the statement for 2020/21.

The following points summarised the changes which had been made to the statement for 2021/22:

 

·             Throughout document: Consistent application of officer job titles -  Executive Director of Corporate Services (Section 151 Officer) rather than Chief Financial Officer;

·             Section 4.2: Updating, in line with the pay and benefits review, that the council would be moving to the Korn Ferry Hay job evaluation scheme during 2021/22;

·             Section 4.5: Confirmation of the current position with regards to the national pay freeze;

·             Section 6.4: Update to include the provision for awarding an accelerated increment which was referenced elsewhere in the statement; and

·             Section 15.4: Update to reflect Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020 (public sector exit payments cap).

The Committee discussed the report and made the following comments which included:-

 

  • Requested that the percentage of the employees and employers contributions to the Pension Scheme be included.

 

  • Clarification was sought on the current position of the public sector exit payments cap detailed in Section 15.4.  It was advised that the Payments Regulations 2020 came into force on 4 November 2020 which introduced a £95,000 cap on the aggregate value (before tax) of exit payments made to public sector employees, including redundancy and voluntary exit payments.   However the HM Treasury issued Mandatory Directions on 12 February 2021 that those regulations needed to be disapplied. 

 

  • It was requested that Section 15.4 be reworded to make the statement clearer.

 

  • Disappointed that staff were not getting a pay rise this year.

 

Resolved that:  The Committee

 

·                    Recommends the pay policy statement at Appendix 1 to the Council; and

 

·                     Notes the existing delegation to the Head of Human Resources, Communications and Policy to update the pay policy statement as a result of any pay awards which the council is contractually bound to agree.

 

46/20

HR Operations and Workforce Update Report pdf icon PDF 467 KB

This report sets out key people indicators and management information to the end of the third quarter 2020/21 and makes comparisons with previous years’ performance where applicable.

Contact Officer:  Sarah Cragg

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources (HR) Communications and Policy introduced the report which set out key people indicators and management information to the end of the third quarter 2020/21 and made comparisons with the previous years’ performance.   She advised that the headcount figures were similar to the previous year with a very slight decrease.  The workforce age profile remains stable with 54% of staff falling within the 35-54 age ranges in 2019/20, no change from the previous year.

 

The number of staff that had left the organisation in the first three quarters of 2020/21 had decreased significantly, as had the voluntary resignation rate.  This was likely to be impacted by uncertainty in the labour market due to the impact of both Brexit and COVID-19, so it was difficult to draw long-ranging conclusions at the current time.   Of the 30 leavers so far this year (excluding dismissals), 12 had completed an exit questionnaire citing different reasons for leaving.

 

The average days lost so far this year is 4.17 days.  This was a 29% decrease from the same period in 2019-20.  While mental health related absence has reduced compared to last year (from an average of 34 days) it continued to be the main cause of absence across the organisation.  There were an increasing number of publications and research reports indicating that mental health and wellbeing was being significantly compromised as a result of the pandemic and as such this may be expected to be reflected within our sickness absence data in the coming months.

 

Equality, diversity and inclusion in relation to the current and potential future workforce was a key focus for the council.  One of the main priorities in the 2020 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action plan was to increase diversity in the workforce.

 

The Strategic Emergency Management Team (SEMT) continued to coordinate the Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns, which were impacting the organisation and the workforce.  Staff continued to respond in a very proactive and flexible way, undertaking considerable additional work generated by the pandemic and the national and local response.

 

The Deanes building remains closed, with limited staff access to Parklands and Goldings, and a rota in place for those working out of the Wade Road depot.  Staff were required to work at home and attend the buildings only when absolutely necessary in line with government restrictions.  On-site precautions had been enhanced, with staff required to wear face coverings when in the office buildings. Site visits were permitted only when essential and again face coverings or masks must be worn.

The Council promoted a variety of health based initiatives which were organised by the Wellbeing Group.  This was made up of staff from across the Council and chaired by the HR team.  The purpose of the Wellbeing Group was to assist in the delivery of the Council’s Wellbeing Strategy by promoting a safe and healthy work environment.

The Committee discussed the report and made the following comments which included:-

 

47/20

Review of the Work Programme pdf icon PDF 264 KB

The committee is asked to note and review its Work Programme.

 

Minutes:

The Committee discussed the item and requested that the following items to be timetabled remain on the work programme

 

To be timetabled

 

  • Review of Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy, Home and Remote Working Policy, Lone Worker Policy and Recruitment and Selection Policy.

 

The meeting ended 20:21

 

 

 

 

 

Chairman