Agenda and draft minutes

Personnel Board
Monday, 1st July, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: First Floor 12 - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN

Contact: Madeleine Shopland  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chairman 2019-2020

To elect a Chairman for the 2019-2020 municipal year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That Councillor John Halsall be elected Chairman for the 2019-2020 municipal year.

2.

Appointment of Vice Chairman

To appoint a Vice Chairman for the 2019-2020 municipal year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That Councillor John Kaiser be appointed Vice Chairman for the 2019-2020 municipal year.

3.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.  

4.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 201 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 March 2019 and the Minutes of the Extraordinary Meetings held on 13 March and 26 March 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 13 March 2019 and the Minutes of the Extraordinary meetings held on 13 March and 26 March 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

5.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made.

6.

Public Question Time

To answer any public questions

 

A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.

 

The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of this committee.

 

Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Committee or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting.  For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

7.

Member Question Time

To answer any member questions

Minutes:

There were no Member questions.

8.

Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 403 KB

To consider the Pay Policy Statement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered the Pay Policy.

 

During the discussion of this item the following points were made:

 

·         Under sections 38 to 43 of the Localism Act 2011 the Council was required to prepare, approve by Full Council (as a Part 1 item), and publish on its website a pay policy statement for the financial year 2019/2020.

·         Members were advised that while there had been a slight increase to Senior Management pay the gap was narrowing due to the higher increases at the bottom end of the pay-scales as a result of National Minimum Wage increases.  Councillor Helliar Symons asked whether any concerns had been raised about this and was informed that there had not.

·         Councillor Weeks noted that the Personnel Board appointed Directors.  He went on to ask where the creation of Assistant Director posts were agreed. Sarah Swindley indicated that it was the responsibility of the Chief Executive.  There were currently 17 Assistant Directors. 

·         In response to a question from Councillor Jones regarding the appointment of Assistant Directors Sarah Swindley indicated that the appointment of the Assistant Directors by the Personnel Board would require changes to the Constitution and would also be difficult to resource from HR point of view.  She indicated that if there was not sufficient budget for an Assistant Director post the relevant service area would have to request a supplementary estimate which would be considered by the Executive.

·         Councillor Jones asked how many Assistant Director posts had been in place prior to the 21st Century initiative.  Sarah Swindley indicated that she would circulate this information outside of the meeting.

·         Councillor Jones asked what was meant by the ‘wider market’ in terms of benchmarking.  Sarah Swindley stated that Wokingham benchmarked salaries against other unitaries and some county councils in the South East using E-Paycheck.  The search could be widened if necessary.

·         Members asked how often increments had been withheld in the event of unsatisfactory performance and were informed that this had not happened and that this would only occur if it was a sanction as part of a formal capability.

·         It was at an individual manager’s discretion to raise a member of staff up more than one more increment at a time.  There had to be sufficient budget.  Sarah Swindley clarified that the budget manager was usually at Lead Specialist or Assistant Director level. 

·         The Council did not enhance the number of statutory week’s redundancy pay an individual was entitled to under the Employment Rights Act 1996. Any requests would be considered by the Personnel Board.

·         A Member questioned at what age was the earliest a member of staff could retire and was informed that it depended on their age and the length of service.  Currently if a member of staff was made redundant aged over 55, the Council was required to release non-actuarially pension.  At present there was legislation under consideration that would put a limit of £90,000 on exit payments.  Councillor Kaiser asked if an employee who was over 55  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Annual Equality Monitoring Workforce Report pdf icon PDF 118 KB

To consider the Annual Equality Monitoring Workforce Report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered the Annual Equality Monitoring Report.  The Council had a duty to have an equality action plan for its workforce.  The Equality Monitoring Report was owned by the Equality Action Group.

 

During the discussion of this item the following points were made:

 

·         The annual report provided information on employees obtained from the Council’s monitoring processes and procedures, which allows the Council to meet the reporting requirements outlined in the Equality Act 2010. 

·         A key challenge was getting staff to include their equality data on BWO, even if they put ‘prefer not to say.’

·         The Council looked at the data it received to ascertain whether its workforce was representative of its population.

·         Councillor Halsall asked the Council were less represented in some areas.  Sarah Swindley commented that it was not.

·         In response to a question regarding staff paid over £50,000 Lee Washbrook indicated that there was information on the Council’s website under the transparency section regarding this.  Sarah Swindley agreed to send the link to the website to Members.

·         Councillor Helliar-Symons referred to work on recruitment and retention of Children’s Services staff that a Task and Finish Group had undertaken.  She hoped that the Task and Finish Group’s final report which contained a number of recommendations would be taken into consideration.

·         Councillor Doran asked about the number of staff that worked flexibly.  He was informed that the workforce data would indicate the make up of the workforce.

·         Councillor Ferris asked about staff morale.  Sarah Swindley indicated that an employment engagement survey was being developed and would be circulated in September.  The results would be presented to the Personnel Board.

 

RESOLVED:  That the 2019-2020 Annual Equality Workforce Monitoring Report be approved.

10.

Agency Worker usage pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To receive an update on agency worker usage. (contains Part 2 sheets)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board received the Agency Worker usage update.

11.

Exclusion of the Public

The Personnel Board will exclude press and public in order to discuss the Part 2 sheets of Agenda Item 10 above and to do so it must pass a resolution in the following terms:

 

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the 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 Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) as appropriate.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the 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 Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) as appropriate.

 

12.

Agency Worker usage

Minutes:

The Board received an update on Agency Worker Usage.

 

RESOLVED: That the update be noted.