Agenda and minutes

Human Resources Committee
Wednesday 10th January, 2018 3.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Wallfields, Hertford

Contact: Lorraine Blackburn  Tel: (01279) 502172 Email:  lorraine.blackburn@eastherts.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

310.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 October 2017 as a correct record.

Minutes:

 

 

In respect of Minute 176 – Minutes, Councillor P Boylan referred to his suggestion for an action log so that actions requested by Members would not be lost.  The Democratic Services Officer explained that Minutes were written in accordance with the corporate format.   Councillor Boylan stated that if they could not be changed, then the action should be shown as detailed within resolutions (B) and (C) of Minute 176.

 

In respect of Minute 177 - Equality and Diversity Annual Report 2016/17, Councillor M McMullen referred to paragraph 4 and the gender profile of employees and clarified that he had asked why this was happening. 

 

On the same Minute, the Chairman referred to paragraph 7 and asked that comments such as “the Head of HR and Organisational Development explained the positive steps….” be listed. 

 

Councillor P Boylan referred to the fact that 25% of staff were “exceeding expectations” on their PDRs.  He asked for further information on how HR was managing that pool of talent bearing in mind the number of staff who could retire shortly.

 

Finally, the Chairman confirmed that the omission of Councillor M Stevenson from the attendance listing had been amended on the website and the Minutes to be signed. 

 

RESOLVED – that (A) the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 October 2017 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman; and

 

(B)     the Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development’s Annual Report to the April 2018 meeting address the issue of talent management given that 25% were “exceeding expectations” on their PDRs.

 

311.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed guest speakers, Dr Weston and Ms D Watkins to the meeting. 

 

 

312.

Presentation by Occupational Health

There will be a presentation by external guests: Ms Debbie Watkins CEO (Harlow Occupational Health) and Dr Weston an Occupational Health Physician.

Minutes:

A presentation was provided by Dr Weston, an Occupational Health Physician.  She explained that one in four people would experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives and the impact this had on the individual, their employers and on the economy (estimated to be in the billions of pounds).  Dr Weston explained the risk associated with people who were coming to work when they should not.

 

The speaker referred to stress and the availability of mental health information on websites (e.g. the Health and Safety Executive and ACAS).  Dr Weston explained how situations needed to be managed with open and honest discussion and the legal requirements in terms of the need to evaluate risk and of the consequences of not promoting a positive mental health approach. 

 

Dr Weston referred to the “six management standard stresses” which impacted on an individual (including management of change) and what legal assessments needed to be carried out.  The Human Resources Officer assured Members that Officers followed HSE guidelines, including the HSE toolkit.  Dr Weston acknowledged that an employer would not be able to address issues which related to serious mental health, but that that it could address work related stresses.  She encouraged the need to create a culture in the workplace which enabled employees to talk about mental health and for the employer to provide adequate support to returning employees including the need to make reasonable adjustments such as phased returns to work, home and flexible working arrangements. 

 

Dr Weston referred to new training in mental health supported by the Government (mental health first aiders) and to a number of documents which were good sources of information for an employer including “Thriving at Work” written by a senior member of staff at Deloitte who had suffered a breakdown. 

Dr Weston commented that she had reviewed the Council’s sickness and absence records and by comparison, the Council was doing relatively well.  Of particular note was the fact that the Council had a small number of staff and that one employee with a mental health issue, could have a dramatic impact on its HR statistics.  She referred to the possibility of under reporting in that an employee might not be able to cope and could be off sick for a day and record this as a cold.  Dr Weston suggested that the Council might wish to consider the introduction of Mental Health First Aiders and a Mental Health Policy. 

 

The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development explained that the Council was particularly good at supporting health and wellbeing across its services and cited, by example a new initiative, “Fresh Start”, recently promoted by the Head of Housing and Health.

 

The Committee Chairman stated that a number of Councillors acted as champions on the Health and Wellbeing Forum which included one for Mental Health.  Councillor P Ruffles sought clarification on Members’ supporting roles.  The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development explained the Council’s proactive and open approach to mental health, in providing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 312.

313.

MyView - Presentation

Presentation on the MyView HR system by Helen Farrell

Minutes:

The Human Resources Officer provided a presentation on the recently introduced HR software MyView.  Its use and applications in relation to HR matters including the ability to manage absence, book leave, amend personal details, submit expense claims and view online pay slips was explained.  The software had been bought as a “shell” and had been designed in consultation with Stevenage Borough Council in view of the joint working relationship.

 

The Human Resources Officer explained that the information contained was hierarchical in that a section’s manager could only view staff working within their specific section.  The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development thanked Officers for the hard work by the team which had gone into developing the software.  She explained that Officers hoped within the next 18 months, to include more information to manage issues such as training and development, the PDR process, leavers and starters, exit interviews and linking core recruitment to the website.

 

In response to a query from Councillor P Boylan, the Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development explained that the system would eventually be extended for Members’ use, e.g. submission of expense claims, learning and development.

 

The Committee Chairman, on behalf of Members, thanked Officers for their hard working in driving the initiative forward.

 

RESOLVED – that the presentation be received.

 

314.

Human Resources Management Statistics - Quarterly Report pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development submitted a report setting out management statistics for the period 1 October 2017 to 14 December 2017.  The Human Resources Officer summarised the report and highlighted a number of key areas.  She referred to the current headcount of 355 which equated to 304 full time equivalent posts.  It was noted that the number of vacant posts was 50.

 

Members were advised that the projected turnover for 2017/18 was 17.7 % against a target of 10%.  The current voluntary leavers’ rate was 14.4% against a projected (voluntary) turnover of 7% for 2017/18.  A summary of leaver turnover, sickness absence and work related accidents, was provided.  There were no reportable accidents. 

 

The Human Resources Officer provided a summary of the Learning and Development programme for 2017/18.  Clarification was sought and provided regarding those attending the retirement workshop.  The Head advised that PDRs would be carried out between January and March 2018.  Updates were provided in relation to equalities monitoring data up to 14 December 2017.

 

In response to a query from Councillor M McMullen regarding the 23.4% projected turnover in Quarter 1, the Human Resources Officer explained that the high number of leavers was as a result of re-structures in the Council, but that turnover was falling.

 

Councillor P Boylan commented that Members should be provided with comparative data from last year which would help identify whether there were any emerging trends in the figures as presented.

 

The Human Resources Officer explained that she would be including comparative information from the start of the next financial year.  The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development stated that the Annual Report went into greater depth in terms of presenting comparative information.  Councillor M Stevenson asked that the information be presented from a service viewpoint.  She sought and was provided with information on how staff were encouraged to train and how this was co-ordinated.

 

Members noted the HR Statistics as presented.

 

RESOLVED – that the Human Management Statistics for the period 1October 2017 to 14 December 2017 as now submitted, be noted.

 

315.

Local Joint Panel - Minutes of the meeting: 29 November 2017 pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Members are asked to bring with them their copy of the agenda of the Local Joint Panel meeting held on 29 November 2017.

 

To consider the recommendations on the matters below:

 

(A)     Social Media Policy

 

          Minute 8 refers

 

(B)     Expenses Policy

 

          Minute 9 refers

 

(C)    Training and Development Policy

 

          Minute 10 refers

Minutes:

RESOLVED – that the Minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2017 be received.

 

(see also Minutes…. to …..)

 

316.

Social Media Guide

Minutes:

The Committee considered and approved the recommendation of the Local Joint Panel meeting held on 29 November 2017 on a new Social Media Guide.

 

RESOLVED – that the Social Media Guide as now submitted, be approved.

 

          (See Minute ….above)

 

317.

Expenses Policy

Minutes:

The Committee considered and approved the recommendation of the Local Joint Panel held on 29 November 2017 on a revised Expenses Policy.

 

RESOLVED – that the revised Expenses Policy as now submitted, be approved.

 

(see Minute xxxx above)

 

318.

Training and Development

Minutes:

The Committee considered and approved the recommendation of the Local Joint Panel held on 29 November 2017 on a revised Training and Development Policy.

 

RESOLVED – that the revised Training and Development Policy as now submitted, be approved.

 

(see Minute xxxx above)

 

319.

Health and Safety: Minutes pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To receive the Minutes of the Health and Safety Committee held on 28 September 2017

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Health and Safety Committee held on 28 September 2017 were submitted for information.

 

RESOLVED – that the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2017 be received.