Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Deanes. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Link: Video Recording

Items
No. Item

29/18

Apologies for absence and substitutions

Minutes:

Councillor Bowyer was replaced by Councillor C Sanders

 

30/18

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Potter declared that he was a member of Unison

 

31/18

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 items.

 

32/18

Minutes of the meeting held on 27th November 2018 pdf icon PDF 111 KB

The Chair will move that the minutes of the meeting be signed as a correct record. The only part of the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 27th November 2018 were confirmed by the Committee as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

33/18

Recruitment of Executive Director Borough Development and Deputy Chief Executive pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Contact Officer:  Anne-Marie Scott

 

This report confirms the process for the recruitment of the Executive Director Borough Development and Deputy Chief Executive.

 

A presentation will also be received from Grey Hayes, Gatenby Sanderson

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development introduced the report which provided an outline of the process to appoint a new permanent Executive Director, Borough Development and Deputy Chief Executive. 

 

Greg Hayes, a representative from GatenbySanderson, who had been appointed by the council to lead the attraction and search for the role, gave a presentation to the committee which consisted of an overview of GatenbySanderson and explained their role in the recruitment process.  He gave details of the proposed salary, how the role would be promoted to the market, key messages about the organisation and area.  He also advised the attraction methods that would be utilised such as a bespoke Microsite, an advert in the Municipal journal and the possibility of advertising online with the guardian.

 

The Committee discussed the report and highlighted a potential issue with two of the dates suggested in the recruitment timetable which were the 21st May and the 5th July.  The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development advised that the dates were not fixed at present and she would look at amending those dates to accommodate members. 

 

Members raised their dissatisfaction with the amendment to the constitution regarding the functions of the Human Resources Committee for the recruitmentofthe HeadofPaid Service(Chief Executive) and Executive Directors.

 

The Chair put forward an amendment to the recommendation in the report “to recommend to the Monitoring Officer to Review 2.6.5 of Part 3 of the constitution to amend the wording to take out (Excluding InterimPosts)”.  Members debated the amendment and a vote was taken with 5 votes in favour, 1 against and 1 abstention. 

 

The amendment to the recommendation was carried.

 

Resolved: The Human Resources Committee

 

  1. Note the process and key dates for the recruitment process. 

 

  1. Recommend to the Monitoring Officer to Review 2.6.5 of Part 3 of the constitution to amend the wording to take out (Excluding InterimPosts).

 

34/18

Pay Policy Statement 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 617 KB

Contact Officer:  Anne-Marie Scott

 

This report proposes a pay policy statement for 2019/20 for HR Committee to recommend to the Council. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development introduced the report which proposed a pay policy statement for 2019/20 for the committee to recommend to Full Council.  It was based on the statement for 2017/18 which had been updated throughout to reflect the requirements of transparency and national changes to salary scales along with other minor amendments to ensure that the council’s approach to paying its employees was clear.

 

The committee were advised in February 2018, that the pay policy statement would be updated to reflect forthcoming legislation which would apply a cap to public sector exit payments and impact on recovery of exit payments.  It was still not clear when the legislation would come in to force and further, the details of the specific data requirements relating to each element of legislation had still not been published.  She advised that given the time that has passed,  the committee were asked to re-confirm the delegated authority to the Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development to make any changes required to the pay policy statement as a result of these statutory changes should they come into force in 2019/20.

 

The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development brought members attention to section 16.4, settlements agreements, in particular that “Full Council will be given the opportunity to vote on severance packages over £100,000 before they are approved”.

 

Further clarification on the intention and role of Full Council concerning the above severance package.  The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development advised that the Localism Act suggested that members should have the opportunity to determine whether it would be a good use of public money in terms of settlement arrangements that would come to over £100,000.  She believed that there would be difficulties around the logistics of settling agreements in a timely and confidential manner.   She said that a vast majority of authorities had included the statement in their pay policies.  However, although the Localism Act guidance recommended the inclusion of such approval, the council was not obliged to use the Full Council approval route and it would be for the committee to determine whether they would like to include the statement in the Pay Policy.  She confirmed that any settlement agreement that had been recommended to Full Council but was not approved would have to be renegotiated with the employee.

 

Members discussed the severance package and decided to include the statement in the Pay Policy but felt that it was important to include a caveat on the limitations of the Full Council role so that the details and discussion of the settlement agreement would not comprise either party.  The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development confirmed she would review the position and provide members with a written response of the suggest wording for a caveat.

 

The Committee made the following comments which included:-

 

  • An amendment to the report on page 16, point 3.1 second bullet point should read 16.4 instead of 15.3.

 

35/18

HR Operations and Workforce Update Report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Contact Officer:  Anne-Marie Scott

 

This report sets out key people indicators and management information to the end of the third quarter 2018/19 and makes comparisons with previous years’ performance where applicable.

 

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development introduced the report which set out key people indicators and management information to the end of the third quarter 2018/19 and made comparisons with previous years’ performance where applicable.

 

She advised members that there was a higher turnover of staff in the first 2 years of service and further analysis would be undertaken to establish the reasons.  In terms of sickness the highest reason for sickness continued to be anxiety, stress, depression and other psychiatric illnesses and more work was being carried out to improve mental and physical wellbeing in the organisation.

 

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

 

  • Welcomed the new process that had been put in place to encourage feedback and completion of the exit interviews and the subsequent collection of the data to help support the retention of staff.

 

  • Would like to see the Senior Management Team more visible to the staff around the organisation and suggested walkabouts.

 

  • The recent introduction of pre-employment medical checks were referred to and members thought it was good practice, which protected both the employer and employee.

 

  • It was suggested that the apprentices employed at the council had a more rounded experience by moving them around the organisation.

 

Resolved: The Human Resources Committee

1.    Notes the workforce information and key trends based on quarter 3 for the current year

2.    Notes progress on key strands of organisational development activity

 

36/18

Accessibility concerns of the Beresford Centre located at the Community Services Operations Depot at Wade Road pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Contact Officer:  Paul Beaumont

This report addresses the concern made by a Unison Representative at a HR Committee meeting in September 2018 concerning inadequate accessibility for the disabled at the Beresford Centre since a recent refurbishment of the Wade Road complex. 

 

Minutes:

The Corporate Health and Safety Advisor introduced the report which addressed the concern made by a Unison Representative at a Human Resources Committee meeting in September 2018, concerning inadequate accessibility for the disabled at the Beresford Centre since a recent refurbishment of the Wade Road complex.

He confirmed that officers of the Operations Team and Property Services at Basingstoke and Deane, set about in conjunction with a Fire Safety Consultant to revisit the Beresford Centre and they found no areas of contravention of disabled, health, safety, welfare or fire safety legislation.

Furthermore, a request by the Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development was made to the councils Equalities Opportunities Group to evaluate their satisfaction of accessibility compliance to tenants and their visitors who used the centre. The group found that Basingstoke and Deane adequately fulfilled their ‘Duty of Care’ required of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to all persons who visit and use the centre. The Equalities Opportunities Group consisted of a Unison representation.

 

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

 

  • Disappointed with the tone of the report and felt that the Unison Representative had raised the concern in good faith at the meeting held on the 18th September.

 

  • Accepted the analysis and findings in the report.

 

  • Acknowledged that the mechanism for raising matters at a local level would be revisited and should work well in the future.

 

Resolved: The Human Resources Committee

1.    Note the information provided in response to the issue raised by Unison at the last HR Committee meeting.

2.    Confirm that in order to achieve nationally agreed consultative arrangements of health and safety concerns between employers and employee representatives it is imperative that Unison follows the established hierarchy channels and documentary trails at the council.

 

37/18

Revised Sickness Absence Policy pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Contact Officer:  Anne-Marie Scott

 

This report seeks HR Committee’s approval for a revised Sickness Absence Policy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development introduced the report, which set out the proposed changes to the council’s Sickness Absence policy and is one of the key policies designated as requiring Human Resources Committee approval.

 

She highlighted the following key points of the revised policy:

 

·                                   Updates to information management reflecting the 2018 GDPR regulations.

 

·           Expansion of information on Occupational Health and the employee counselling service.

 

·           Changes to the classification of long-term absence to 20 days + in line with industry norms, allowing for more appropriate management of short/long-term absence access to comparator information.

 

·           A number of other measures have been put in place to support managers in reducing levels of absence where appropriate.

 

She confirmed that Unison had been consulted, their comments had been incorporated and they have subsequently confirmed they are content with the revised policy, which would be made effective by the 1st April 2019.

 

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

 

  • Agreed with the changed figure of long-term absence to 20 days and felt it would assist in the interpretation of the figures in future reports.

 

  • The recent reopening of the centenary room event, which combined “time to talk” a national event on mental health.  The event was well attended by staff and included activities and information around wellbeing and mindfulness.  Members were encouraged by the new initiative for staff to volunteer and train as mental health champions.

 

  • Some dismay was expressed that only one member of the senior management team attended the event.

 

  • Previous seminars offered to staff on mental health was acknowledged and welcomed but a request was made for future session to extend to members.

 

Resolved: The Human Resources Committee

1.    Approves the revised Sickness Absence Policy at Appendix 1 of the report.

2.    Notes the wider initiatives to improve wellbeing and reduce absence in place and planned for 2019/20.

 

38/18

Gender Pay Gap report for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council pdf icon PDF 336 KB

Contact Officer:  Anne-Marie Scott

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development introduced the report and advised that the overall the council was in a good position.  The vast majority of organisations had a larger gender pay gap, with a mean gender pay gap nationally of 17.1% (according to the October 2018 Office for National Statistics Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings figures).  The council’s mean gender pay gap was -1.28% and the median gender pay gap was -11.39% (in favour of women) which compared very favourably with that of other organisations.

 

She confirmed that most senior grades at the council there were more men employed than women, which accounted for the biggest mean gender pay gap in favour of men at 8.7% in the upper quartile pay level. 

 

The Committee discussed the report and advised that they were pleased to see such a significant upswing to the national average.

 

Resolved: The Human Resources Committee notes the council’s Gender Pay Gap report in Appendix 1.

39/18

Employment Termination Costs during 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 222 KB

Contact Officer:  Anne-Marie Scott

 

This annual statement provides information to the committee about the cost of redundancies, early retirements and settlement agreements (previously known as compromise agreements) that have taken place during the last complete financial year.

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development introduced the report and advised that the annual statement provided information to the committee about the cost of redundancies, early retirements and settlement agreements (previously known as compromise agreements) that had taken place during the last complete financial year.  Usually reviewed in September, the Committee requested an update on the position to date at the March meeting. No further termination payments were anticipated in 2018-19.

 

Members raised concern over the statement in the report that “there were no costs associated with redundancy or pension during this year”.  It was highlighted that there were two political assistant posts that were made redundant in the middle of 2018.   The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development responded and said that she believed those posts were made redundant and she would verify which financial year the figure had been included in.  She confirmed that a report detailing the full position of the Employment Termination Costs During 2018/19 would be included on the agenda held on the 9th September.

 

As members disputed the interim figure given in the recommendation of the report, it was agreed to amend the resolution to defer noting the report until the next meeting held on the 9th September.  The Employment Termination Costs During 2018/19 report would be reviewed and updated with the end of year financial figure.

Resolved: The Human Resources Committee deferred the report until the meeting held on 9th September.

 

40/18

Late Night Working and The Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2003 pdf icon PDF 254 KB

Contact Officer:  Paul Beaumont

This report identifies the management safe systems of work that are in place at the council to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of its staff when working alone, working late at night and when hosting meetings very late at night.

 

 

Minutes:

The Corporate Health and Safety Advisor introduced the report which identified the management safe systems of work that were in place at the council to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of its staff when working alone, working late at night and when hosting meetings very late at night.

 

Despite an objective to curtail evening meetings at 9.30pm some committees frequently over-ran. Those situations impacted on staffing levels the next day and presented challenges for the council to comply with the statutory obligations required of The Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2003.

 

He advised the proposed arrangements to mitigate risks in late night working were as follows: 

 

·         Formalise arrangements for taxi transport home where appropriate.

 

·         Set up a corporate account with a local hotel to provide accommodation where appropriate

 

·         Formalise arrangements for staff covering evening meetings not to work the morning of a the meeting and/or the morning following the meeting in order to comply with Working Time Regulations (rest periods) which require a minimum of 11 consecutive rest hours in any 24 hour period

 

The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development confirmed that subject to the committees comments the measures put in place would be publically made available to staff.

 

the Executive Director of Finance and Resources (section 151 officer) said that it was important to ensure that the meetings were kept on track and the agenda items were relevant to that committee.  She confirmed that training would be arranged for both officers and chairs to support and manage the committee agendas.

 

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

 

  • Welcomed the report, which responded to previous issue raised at a previous meeting in terms of the over-run late night committees and the impact on health and safety for staff and members.

 

  • Felt it was unrealistic and unpractical for employees who work late were expected to phone their family/friend or neighbour periodically to acknowledge their wellbeing and the family/friend to reciprocate and return the call(s) at specific times as stated in the report.

 

  • The responsibility of the employer through their manager to ensure staff working late arrival home safely.

 

  • Members advised that the provisions put in place for late working, such as taxis or hotel accommodation should be available to all employees regardless of distance. 

 

  • The Leader was asked to speak to the chairs again on finishing the committee meetings within 3 hours.

 

Resolved: The Human Resources Committee

  1. Note the arrangements being put in place to ensure the Council ensures safe working practices for officers covering late meetings.
  2. Support the centralisation of a lone worker safety system at work at BDBC and interim arrangements to ensure the safety of staff and members.

 

41/18

Review of Work Programme

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

 

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development confirmed the work programme.

 

The Committee noted the work programme and asked for the following reports to be scheduled for the 9th September 2019 meeting:-

 

  • Employment Termination Costs During 2018/19

 

  • Pay Review

 

  • Human Resources Terms of Reference Annual Review of Policies

 

  • Health and safety guidelines for Members.

 

  • Flexible Working  for Staff

 

The meeting ended at 16:40

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chairman