The Head of HR and OD presented the HR and Payroll Team Update to the Committee. He briefly summarised the contents of the report. Specifically, he mentioned:
· The Council’s drive for consistency in customer service standards, such as uniform email signatures and voicemails.
· The Council had been working on building its online visibility and presence, such as on recruitment sites like Indeed.
· As previously mentioned, some staff had returned to the office, and others were supported by giving access to local Launchpad facilities.
· The Council would proceed with plans to buy a number of influenza vaccination jab vouchers for staff, which had been supported by the previous fall in short-term absence.
· There had been ongoing issues with the payroll system, which had led to talks about the provider hosting the system itself. However, as this was a shared system with Stevenage Borough Council, the partner authority would need to agree to any changes.
Councillor Ruffles said that the tone of the report was positive and Members could be pleased about this. However, the report contained some jargon which could make it difficult for the general public to understand.
The Head of HR and OD said he would endeavour to ensure future reports had further explanatory wording alongside any industry-specific language.
Councillor Alder said it would be helpful for staff voicemails to be kept up to date as in some cases the messages were months out of date. The Head of HR and OD said that the Infrastructure Contributions and Spend Manager had been leading work to improve this problem as part of the East Herts Together initiative.
Councillor Dumont said he was encouraged to see the uptake of influenza vaccinations. This protection was particularly important this year so that there would be no potential confusion between symptoms of influenza and COVID-19 amongst any unwell staff.
The HR Officer said that in previous years, only those with underlying health conditions would have been eligible for a free influenza vaccination via their GP, but this year anyone over the age of 50 would qualify, subject to demand, which would be made clear to staff.
The Head of HR and OD said previously some staff had taken the voucher simply because it was more convenient than visiting their GP. However, this would be discouraged if the staff member was eligible for a free vaccination with their GP as this was not the best use of the Council’s resources.
RESOLVED – that the report be noted.