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To receive the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 July 2016
The Chairman referred to Minute 130 (Turnover Report April 2015 to March 2016) and stated that Members had not received any information on how the “buddy” system in Revenues and Benefits worked. He asked the Human Resources (HR) Officer to follow this up.
The Chairman also referred to Minute 133 (Learning and Development 2015/16) and the issue of Diabetes Awareness Training and sought assurances that the Learning and Development Programme for 2016-18 incorporated this issue. This was confirmed.
RESOLVED – that the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 July 2016 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
The Chairman reminded Members that as the Local Joint Panel meeting on 7 September 2016 was cancelled, there were no Minutes for consideration.
The Chairman reminded Members that Hertford Theatre would be hosting The Mental Awareness World Day and encouraged all to go along.
In conclusion, the Chairman stated that if any Member wanted to include an item on the agenda to contact him.
The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development submitted a report setting out management statistics for the period April to September 2016. The Human Resources Officer provided a summary of the report highlighting key areas.
Councillor P Ruffles referred to the current voluntary leaver’s rate during the period in question, i.e. 4.9% (equating to18 voluntary leavers) and queried what the impact was departmentally. The Human Resources Officer explained that this would be explained in more detail within the Annual Report. In terms of the impact on a department, the HR Officer explained the steps which would be put in place to mitigate a problem, such as succession planning, when vacancies occurred.
Councillor J Goodeve hoped that potential changes in career could be addressed at the Personal Development Review (PDR) stage.
Councillor P Ruffles referred to long term sickness and sought assurances that any sickness which might be brought on, e.g. as a result of stress, was being acted upon. The HR Officer provided such assurance.
Updates were provided in relation in relation to non-reportable accidents and Performance Management.
The HR Officer referred to the new HR Payroll system and the intention to encourage staff to disclose more information which would feed into the equalities monitoring indicators.
It was noted that 70% of the workforce was female. The Chairman suggested that this be broken down by grade to make the information more meaningful and that this be included within future statistical reports. This was supported.
The Committee approved the report, as now detailed.
RESOLVED – that (A) the Human Resource Management Statistics for April to September 2016, be approved; and
(B) in terms of equalities monitoring indicators, future management statistics reports include a breakdown of the employee workforce, by grade and gender.
The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development submitted the Equality and Diversity Annual Report for 2015/16. The HR Officer provided a summary of the report, as now detailed. The report provided a detailed analysis of monitoring data within six key areas:
· Employee profile
· Performance Management (PDR ratings)
· Discipline and Grievance
· Training Course participants
The HR Officer explained that the report had been submitted to the Leadership Team which had asked that the Equalities Monitoring Form be amended to include information regarding sexual orientation. Councillor P Ballam queried the need to do this, given the sensitivity of the information. The HR Officer explained that this information was confidential and that the Equalities Monitoring Form was kept separate from the application.
Councillor P Ruffles hoped that when interviewing, HR was prepared to look beyond qualifications to establish whether an applicant was capable and had the right experience to undertake a role. The HR Officer explained the Council’s position and what steps the Council was able to take in furthering careers including an approach to “grow your own”. The Chairman commented that he was confident that HR was doing all it could in terms of staff improvement.
Councillor M Stevenson hoped that HR was getting the support it needed in terms of disability advice in relation to job applications. In response to a query regarding people with disabilities, the HR Officer explained how, through working patterns and adjustments to equipment, disability needs could be addressed.
The Committee noted the report and approved the recommendations (numbers 1 - 15), as detailed in paragraph 2.2 of the report.
RESOLVED – that (A) the Equality and Diversity Annual Report for 2015/16 be noted; and
(B) the recommendations as detailed in paragraph 2.2 of the report be approved.
The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development submitted a report outlining a new employee volunteering programme. The HR Officer provided a summary of the report.
Councillor P Ballam supported the scheme and wondered whether the Council should be promoting Trustee roles. Councillor J Goodeve queried whether individuals involved in charity work could impact positively in terms of their Personal Development Reviews (PDRs) and the possible award of a higher grade. The HR Officer explained that this would not affect their grades, but an individual’s skill set might benefit from the voluntary work. Councillor Goodeve supported the initiative, adding that this would bring the Council into a positive light in terms of its corporate social responsibility.
The issue of insurances and legal liability were debated. It was suggested that the programme should clearly set out a volunteer’s legal liability and obligations, while working for the Council. This was supported.
The Committee noted the new Employee Volunteering Programme.
RESOLVED – that (A) the new employee volunteering programme be noted; and
(B) the volunteering programme be amended to clearly establish a volunteer’s legal liability and obligations while employed by the Council.
To receive the Minutes of the Health and Safety Committee held on 26 July 2016
The Health and Safety Minutes for 25 July 2016 were submitted for information.
Councillor P Ballam referred to Minute 2 (Note from 9 December 2015) and the ongoing issue of the defective fire door. She hoped that this had now been resolved. The HR Officer agreed to look into this.
Councillor S Bull referred to Minute 3 (Accident/Incident Reports) and expressed concern about the remoteness of Buntingford (Depot) should an accident occur. The HR Officer agreed to feed this back to the Health and Safety Committee.
RESOLVED – that (A) the Minutes be noted; and
(B) the Members’ comments now detailed, be referred back to the Health and Safety Committee.