Venue: Online meeting - Livestreamed. View directions
Contact: William Troop Email: William.Troop@eastherts.gov.uk, 01279 502173
Link: To access directions to the YouTube livestream for this meeting click here
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Buckmaster and Haysey. It was noted that Councillor Kemp was substituting for Councillor Haysey.
Minutes - 1 July 2020 PDF 64 KB
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 1 July 2020.
It was moved by Councillor Ward-Booth and seconded by Councillor Dumont that the Minutes of the meeting held on 1 July 2020 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman. After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED.
RESOLVED – that the Minutes of the meeting held on 1 July 2020 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
The Chairman welcomed Members, Officers and the public to the meeting. She said the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 came into force on Saturday 4 April 2020 to enable Councils to hold remote committee meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic period. This was to ensure local authorities could conduct business during the current public health emergency. This meeting of the Local Joint Panel was being held remotely under these regulations, via the Zoom application and was being recorded and live streamed on YouTube.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any Members’ Declarations of Interest.
There were no declarations of interest.
Reports by Secretary to the Employer's Side PDF 132 KB
The Chairman said the policies being presented to the Panel had been the subject of extensive scrutiny by the Employer’s and Staff sides, as well as being considered by the Leadership Team and East Herts Together.
The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development (HR and OD) gave a brief summary of the changes and explained that agreement had been reached between both sides, so it was not necessary to present the policies in great detail. Rather, any questions from Members would be answered.
Vicki David, HR Officer, briefly introduced the Discipline Policy and invited questions.
Councillor Dumont asked about the potential outcomes of a disciplinary hearing and whether there was an outcome which absolved the employee of blame.
The HR Officer and Head of HR and OD explained that a hearing would only take place if the prior investigation period established that there was a case to answer. If there was no case to answer, no further action would be taken. Hearing Officers also retained the option of deciding that no disciplinary action was warranted.
Councillor Kemp commended the quality of the report. He also referred to the removal of the requirement to have a hearing within ten working days, to bring the Council’s policy in line with the recommendations of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). He asked what ACAS’ recommendation was and where this was referenced in the policy.
The Chairman and Head of HR and OD explained that ACAS’ recommendation was for a hearing to take place within a ‘reasonable’ timeframe. This could feasibly be over ten days, especially in complex cases, with the additional pressures on Officers and logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was agreed that a more explicit reference to the recommended ‘reasonable’ timeframe would be incorporated into the policy, in addition to the existing phrasing of ‘promptly and adequately’.
Vicki David, HR Officer, briefly introduced the Code of Conduct and invited questions.
Councillor Dumont queried whether the references to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were now redundant following the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.
The Head of HR and OD said the references to MEPs would be removed, and that he would also raise this point with the Head of Legal and Democratic Services, as the code was part of the Council’s constitution.
Claire Kirby, HR Officer, briefly introduced the Grievance Policy and explained the main changes.
The Head of HR and OD said that amendments to the flowchart illustrating the policy had been implemented to more clearly reflect what was already in the written policy.
The Chairman thanked UNISON members for their involvement in scrutinising and updating the policy.
The Head of HR and OD presented the Probation Policy, explaining the main changes. The policy now made clear that performance was not the only factor which would be considered during probation. The first increment of the pay award would also not be available until a staff member successfully passed their probationary period.
The Head of ... view the full minutes text for item 11.
Reports by Secretary to the Staff Side
There are no reports by the Secretary to the Staff Side.
There were no reports by the Secretary to the Staff Side.