Agenda and minutes

Human Resources Committee
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Georgian Room, Kendal Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Una Bell 

Items
No. Item

HR/14

Minutes pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 27 June 2017 (copy attached).

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 27 June 2017.

HR/15

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the revised Code of Conduct, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or other registrable interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests.  (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting.)

 

Members may, however, also decide, in the interests of clarity and transparency, to declare at this point in the meeting, any such disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, as well as any other registrable or other interests.

 

If a Member requires advice on any item involving a possible declaration of interest which could affect his/her ability to speak and/or vote, he/she is advised to contact the Monitoring Officer at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no declarations of interest were raised.

HR/16

Local Government Act 1972 - Excluded Items

To consider whether the items in Part II of the Agenda should be considered in the presence of the press and public.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the items in Part II of the agenda be dealt with following the exclusion of the press and public.

HR/17

Employee Survey 2017 pdf icon PDF 177 KB

To note the results of the Employee Survey 2017.

Minutes:

The Principal Organisational Development Officer presented the results of the Employee Survey 2017. The review had been undertaken between 8 May and 30 June 2017 and the 65% response rate was higher than any previous survey since the new style of survey was introduced in 2009. The last survey, carried out in 2015, had received a response rate of 32%. She drew particular attention to the number of responses from the Neighbourhood Services directorate, which accounted for 40% of the total survey responses.

 

The key improvements shown through the survey were highlighted, and it was explained that an action plan had been created to address areas which could be improved upon. Reference was also made to the introduction of the Employee Assistance Programme and the discontinuation of the Investors in People (IiP) programme.

 

Following concerns raised regarding personal protective equipment, a new supplier had been identified and positive feedback had been received from staff regarding the new equipment.

 

The Principal Organisational Development Officer drew attention to the positive responses regarding health and safety, and explained that this evidenced the successful embedding of a health and safety culture within the workforce.

 

The Chairman of the Committee offered her congratulations for the positive results and the significant increase in response rate. She explained that she had discussed with officers the discontinuation of the IiP process and had agreed with the reasoning behind it.

 

In response to a query regarding the empowerment of staff, the Principal Organisational Development Officer explained that the survey had coincided with a time when Customer Connect messages had been less strong. However, greater engagement was now being offered, and she was confident that if the same questions were asked today that the response would be much more positive. The Committee requested that additional focus be given to this area in the next Employee Survey and the Principal Organisational Development Officer confirmed that this would be taken into account.

 

In response to a query, the Principal Organisational Development Officer reported that there had been no particular area of concern and that steps were being taken to ensure that future surveys were even clearer to staff completing them.

 

RESOLVED – That the following be noted:-

 

(1)        the results of the Employee Survey 2017; and

 

(2)        the actions resultant from the survey.

HR/18

Attendance Management Policy pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To consider the draft updated Attendance Management Policy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The draft Attendance Management Policy was presented by the Human Resources Manager. He confirmed that the Policy had been agreed for submission to the Committee by the Joint Consultative Panel in October.

 

The report proposed that the existing Sickness Management Policy be renamed to become the Attendance Management Policy in order to better reflect the Council’s proactive approach to the issue of absence. A number of initiatives, such as the Better Health at Work Advocate Scheme and the introduction of an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), had been introduced with a great emphasis on employee health and wellbeing.

 

Other amendments to the Policy reflected best practice wording and the importance of line managers in effectively managing sickness, both of which had changed in the years since the original Sickness Absence Policy was implemented.

 

Additional information was provided on the EAP and it was reported that the Council’s current absence level was lower than that of the national and regional public sector averages, and similar to that of private sector employers nationally.

 

The Human Resources Manager explained that the proposed Policy had included a new section providing sensitive guidance and support to employees with a terminal illness. This section had been developed in close consultation with the Unison trade union and was designed as a local model, influenced by the TUC’s Dying to Work Charter, which would be more appropriate for the size of the organisation.

 

In response to queries from the Committee, the Human Resources Manager explained the current and proposed absence management processes and reassured Members that the Council was sympathetic and supportive in its approach.

 

It was highlighted that while the references to “interview” had been replaced with “meeting” throughout the policy, one instance remained within paragraph 6.0.

 

The Committee asked whether the Attendance Management Policy could, or would, be shared with other employers within the area as a best practice example for them to work with. The Human Resources Manager confirmed that requests for advice from employers did come in and that he would be happy to share the Policy.

 

The Chairman highlighted the work of the Human Resources Manager and his team and thanked them for their contribution in making the Council a highly regarded employer within the area. She commended the Human Resources Services for their approach in listening and learning from its employees.

 

The Human Resources Manager confirmed that Members would be provided with information on the number of employees utilising the EAP.

 

RESOLVED – That the updated Attendance Management Policy be approved for implementation.

HR/19

Press and Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED - That, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12 A of the Act as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 by virtue of the paragraphs indicated.

HR/20

Joint Consultative Panel

To receive the notes of the meetings of the Joint Consultative Panel held on 14 June and 24 October 2017 (copies attached).

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Joint Consultative Panel meetings held on 14 June and 24 October 2017 be noted.

HR/21

Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee

To receive the minutes of the meetings of the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee held on 1 August and 10 October 2017 (copies attached).

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meetings of the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee held on 1 August and 10 October 2017 be noted.

HR/22

Organisational Establishment Update

To consider a report on proposed changes to the Council’s organisational establishment.

Minutes:

The Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) presented a report on proposed changes to the Council’s organisational establishment. She gave an overview of the proposed changes with regard to the specific service areas.

 

Queries from the Committee were answered by the Assistant Director Strategic Development, Human Resources Manager and the Solicitor to the Council.

 

Members requested that the proposed changes within the Resources directorate be reviewed 12 months after their implementation.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the proposed changes, as detailed within the Part II report, be approved;

 

(2)        the updated Establishment List, as included at Appendix A to the report, and the full set of Structure Charts as at Appendices B1 to B15, be noted;

 

(3)        delegation to the Director of Policy and Resources (Monitoring Officer) be confirmed to finalise the procedures as detailed at the meeting; and

 

(4)        a review of the changes as requested be carried out 12 months after implementation.