Agenda and minutes

Extra Employment Committee, Employment Committee
Tuesday, 20 March 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Easthampstead House, Town Square, Bracknell, RG12 1AQ

Contact: Hannah Stevenson  01344 352308

Items
No. Item

41.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary or affected interests in respect of any matter to be considered at this meeting.

 

Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in a matter should withdraw from the meeting when the matter is under consideration and should notify the Democratic Services Officer in attendance that they are withdrawing as they have such an interest. If the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is not entered on the register of Members interests the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.

 

Any Member with an affected Interest in a matter must disclose the interest to the meeting.  There is no requirement to withdraw from the meeting when the interest is only an affected interest, but the Monitoring Officer should be notified of the interest, if not previously notified of it, within 28 days of the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

42.

Minutes from previous meeting pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 13 December 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Committee held on 13 December 2017 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

The typographical error of “customer practice” would be amended to “custom and practice”.

 

Arising from the minutes the Bracknell Forest Supplement item would be brought back to a future meeting of the Employment Committee once the National Joint Council had concluded and confirmed the national pay negotiations for Local Government Services to enable the pay modelling on the Bracknell Forest Supplement to be completed. The date for it to be brought back to Employment Committee was yet to be confirmed.

 

43.

Urgent Items of Business

Any other items which, pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chairman decides are urgent.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items of business.

44.

Update from the Chairman of the Local Joint Committee

A verbal update from the Chairman of the Local Joint Committee.

Minutes:

Councillor Allen reported that UNSION had raised some concerns of discontent in the Adults Social Care team in relation to the Children’s Social Work Recruitment and Retention incentives. However the Chief Officer:HR highlighted that these concerns had been discussed at the LJC and the reasons for the proposal to the extension of the recruitment and retention payments  as set out in the report were based on there being objective justification for these payments in these specialist roles due to the market forces and supply and demand. There was no evidence to suggest that the same pressures existed in relation to recruitment and retention in Adults Social Care at this time. It was acknowledged that the communications relating to these payments needed to be made clear.

 

A response had been submitted from the Director of Adult Social Care, Health and Housing in response to the Accountable Care Systems paper that had been tabled by UNISON at the Local Joint Committee in February 2018. A subsequent response was tabled from UNISONS regional office as they felt their concerns had not been addressed. There were many uncertainties that could not yet be addressed by the Council as Central Government had not released detailed information and this was set out in the Directors response.

 

The Chief Officer: HR proposed that a further meeting was held with the Director and UNISON to discuss further.

45.

Minutes of Sub Groups pdf icon PDF 216 KB

The Committee is asked to note the minutes of the Local Joint Committee held on 13 December 2017 and 14 February 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted the minutes of the Local Joint Committee held on 13 December 2017 and 14 February 2018.

46.

Social Work Recruitment & Retention Incentives pdf icon PDF 46 KB

To agree for the extension of the market premia and retention payments for children’s social workers until 31 March 2020.

Minutes:

The Chief Officer: Human Resources and the Chief Officer: Children’s Social Care reported that the recruitment and retention of Children’s Social Worker pay incentives that the Council had implemented in 2015, in the form of market premia and retention payments, were due for review in April 2018.

 

To date the incentives had greatly impacted in stabilising the team, reducing agency workers and significantly reduced the agency and recruitment costs whist retaining a stable level of care for children and families in the Borough. Ofsted had also commented on the ability to stabilise the service in their recent inspection and the positive impact this had had on service.

 

The turn over of staff had reduced from 40% in 2014 to 15.6% in 2017 which was below the national average. The vacancy rate had also reduced from 14.1% to 6.8% which was again below the national average of 17%. As a result the use of agency staff had decreased which allowed for a more consistent approach with customers and installed more stability within the team which in turn had increased the teams moral. However turnover had slight crept up since September 2017 due to the successful Ofsted inspection. Since October 2017 nine social workers had been recruited, with seven of these experienced.

 

Addition funding had been secured through the family safeguarding model for the next 18 months, but case loads were still high at approximately seventeen cases, these still needed to be reduced to thirteen or fourteen cases.

 

Locally a project had taken place in 2015 in the South East which developed a regional protocol through the Memorandum of Cooperation. At the time eighteen of the nineteen South East authorities had signed up, however it was thought that some of the inadequate rated Local Authorities may chose to opt out of the Memorandum which could have an impact on staffing should they choose to pay a higher rate then set out in the memorandum. 

 

In response to the Committee’s queries the following points were made:

 

·         There was also a saving from recruitment costs which should be included in the report, as this would probably be approximately £140k.

·         A review had been undertaken to ensure that the incentives were consistent with neighbouring authorities, Bracknell Forest were fairly consistent however this would be kept under review.

·         The retention payment was paid after the completion of the first year.

·         A variety of reasons had been given during staffs exit interviews including, moving out of the area, moving to a different authority or getting jobs at Cafcass.

·         Often staff were only in post for 6/7 years due to the difficult and complex nature of the role which resulted in staff wanting to take a different career path.

·         Higher rates of pay wasn’t given as a key reason for staff leaving.

·         Without the incentive it was expected that staff would leave, Southampton had reduced their incentive by 5% which had resulted in staff loss. There was such a shortage of Children’s Social Workers that they would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

Exclusion of Public and Press

To consider the following motion:

 

That pursuant to Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) Regulations 2000 and having regard to the public interest, members of the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the consideration of item 9 which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information under the following category of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972:

 

(3)       Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person.

Minutes:

That pursuant to Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) Regulations 2000 and having regard to the public interest, members of the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the consideration of item 9 of the agenda (item 48 in the minutes) which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information under the following category of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972:

 

(3)        Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person.

48.

Information Item - Urgent Action Redundancy

An information item updating the Committee on the redundancy taken under urgent action.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer: Human Resources reported that a request for urgent action had been presented to the Chairman of Employment Committee to consider the proposed redundancy of a chief officer. The report and reasons had been circulated to Members of the Committee at the time of the request for urgent action.

 

The Committee noted the report.