Agenda and draft minutes

Employment Committee - Wednesday, 8 July 2020 6.30 pm

Contact: Hannah Stevenson  01344 352308

Link: This meeting will be held online

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chairman

Councillor Leake has been nominated Chairman for the 2020/21 municipal

year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Councillor Leake be elected Chairman of the Employment Committee for the municipal year 2020/21.

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

Councillor Allen has been nominated Vice-Chairman for the 2020/21 municipal

year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Councillor Allen be appointed Vice Chairman of the Employment Committee for the municipal year 2020/21.

3.

Appointment of Sub and Advisory Groups

Education Employment - Sub Committee of Employment Committee

(7 Councillors)

 

Conservative (6)                                 Labour (1)

Allen (Chairman Elect)                       Neil

Bhandari

Leake

Porter

Tullett

Wade (Vice-Chairman Elect)

 

Non-voting Members of the Teachers Associations:

David Allais (UNISON)

Graham Jackson (NASUWT)

Gregory Wilton (NUT)

Asia Allison (GMB)

 

Substitute Members

Conservative (3)                                 Labour (3)

Angell                                                  Brown

Brossard                                              Temperton

Mrs Hamilton  

 

 

Personnel Appeals Panel – Sub Committee of Employment Committee

(5 Councillors)

 

Five Councillors drawn from the Employment Committee in the first instance as follows:

           At least one Executive Member and one opposition Member

           Three other Members

           Up to three substitutes per political group(s)

 

Members must not have had any previous involvement in the matter being considered.

 

Chief Executive to agree the appointments in accordance with the wishes of the political group(s)

 

 

Local Joint Committee, Consultative Committee of Employment Committee

(4 Councillors)

 

Conservative (4)

Allen

Angell

Leake (Chairman elect)

Wade

 

Staff side representatives

David Allais (Unison)

Vacant (Unison)

Nikki Dancey (GMB)

 

Substitute Members

Conservative (3)

Bhandari

Porter

Tullett

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Education Employment Sub Committee, Personnel Appeals Panel and Local Joint Committee Membership for the 2020/21 municipal year is as below:

 

Education Employment - Sub Committee of Employment Committee

(7 Councillors)

 

Conservative (6) Labour (1)

Allen (Chairman Elect) Neil

Bhandari

Leake

Porter

Tullett

Wade (Vice-Chairman Elect)

 

Non-voting Members of the Teachers Associations:

David Allais (UNISON)

Graham Jackson (NASUWT)

Gregory Wilton (NUT)

Asia Allison (GMB)

 

Substitute Members

Conservative (3) Labour (3)

Angell Brown

Brossard Temperton

Mrs Hamilton

 

Personnel Appeals Panel – Sub Committee of Employment Committee

(5 Councillors)

 

Five Councillors drawn from the Employment Committee in the first instance

as follows:

• At least one Executive Member and one opposition Member

• Three other Members

• Up to three substitutes per political group(s)

 

Members must not have had any previous involvement in the matter being

considered.

 

Chief Executive to agree the appointments in accordance with the wishes of

the political group(s)

 

Local Joint Committee, Consultative Committee of Employment

Committee (4 Councillors)

Conservative (4)

Allen

Angell

Leake (Chairman elect)

Wade

 

Staff side representatives

David Allais (Unison)

Vacant (Unison)

Nikki Dancey (GMB)

Substitute Members

Conservative (3)

Bhandari

Porter

Tullett

4.

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.

5.

Minutes from previous meeting pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 12 February 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 February 2020 be approved

as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

6.

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.

7.

Update from the Chairman of Sub Committees and Committee Review pdf icon PDF 20 KB

A verbal update from the Chairman of the Local Joint Committee and the Chairman of the Education Employment Sub Committee. 

 

Attached are the terms of reference for the Employment Committee, Education Employment Sub Committee and the Local Joint Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman update the Committee that Local Joint Committee had been held earlier in the afternoon and had covered the items that were on the Employment Committee agenda. There were no particular issues raised. The Chairman also paid his respects to Lorna Cameron who had been a long standing member on the Local Joint Committee and had asked for condolences to be passed on to family and colleagues.

 

Councillor Allen provided an update on the Education Employment Sub Committee, which had been held informally due to the timing of the meeting. The Committee rarely met but gave the Unions relating to school the opportunity to ask questions. These included the local lockdown process in Bracknell Forest, any contractual issues for the return of staff to schools in the summer and autumn terms and If there were any financial support for staff. Paul Young was the officer in attendance and had provided the Unions with their answers.

 

The Chairman had requested that the terms of reference be included on the Employment Committee agenda as the three meetings all fell on the same afternoon and there was often repetition for members and officers. However, on reflection it was agreed that the meetings should remain as separate committees.

 

It was raised that previously there had been a Health & Safety Committee which had since been disbanded but it was though that the committee’s role would be undertaken by the Local Joint Committee or Education Sub Committee. The Clerk, Hannah Stevenson, would look into the matter outside of the meeting and circulate the findings.

8.

Parental Bereavement Leave pdf icon PDF 323 KB

A report outlining new legislation introduced in April 2020 in relation to the death of a child.  The Committee is asked to consider and agree the recommendation to adopt an enhanced allowance for all staff rather than the statutory minimum allowance for staff with the statutory qualifying length of service.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director: HR reported that new legislation had been introduced in April 2020 in relation to the death of a child. The report set out the options regarding support for staff who experienced the loss of a child and to pay an enhanced rate of Parental Bereavement Leave for two weeks for all staff, rather than the statutory minimum amount for qualifying staff.

 

The bereavement of a child was a significant loss to an employee and the legislation had been introduced to allow employees a statutory right to time off. The right to be paid was dependent on length of service with an organisation.

 

The Council’s current policy was to pay for up to one-week compassionate leave on full pay

 

As a result of the Members comments and questions, the following points were made:

 

·        The statutory minimum service was the criteria that the Council could claim back the statutory amount.

·        The Assistant Director was having regular regional catch up with HR Directors’ and all were on board with the same approach to enhance the pay to 2 weeks. It was thought that this was also the national approach, but the Assistant Director: HR would confirm this.

 

RESOLVED that the Employment Committee agree the options outlined below

regarding support for staff experiencing loss of a child and approve the

recommendation to pay an enhanced rate of Parental Bereavement Leave for

two weeks for all staff, rather than the statutory minimum amount for qualifying

staff.

 

This would be consistent with other employment rights where an enhanced

rate has been applied rather than the statutory minimum, i.e. annual leave,

parental leave, maternity leave.

9.

Challenges and Successes during Covid19

To receive a presentation highlighting challenges and successes of altered ways of working through the pandemic based on Managers’ feedback.

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation on challenges and successes during Covid19. The information within the presentation had been gathered at recent two manager forums, rather than a full survey of all managers. The forums had been broken into facilitated breakout groups who were asked two questions:

 

·        What aspects of working have gone well that we may want to preserve in our new normal?

·        What aspects of work have been problematic and challenging?

 

The presentation would be circulated to all committee members following the meeting.

 

As a result of members comments and questions, the following points were made:

 

·        The presentation looked very positive.

·        An O&S task and finish group was being held on isolation and loneliness and it was requested that any information be fed into this group.

·        A stress audit  hadn’t been undertaken, but  three strands of risk assessment had been, which ensured staff had undertaken a DSE workstation set up survey at home, a home working risk assessment was under constant review by staff and recently a further vulnerable group risk assessment had been sent out to those in that fitted into the vulnerable category. But the Assistant Director would take back the Stress Survey to the Assistant Director: Delivery, who was responsible for Health and Safety.

·        Managers forums happened regularly, and these were in place prior to COVID19.

·        The staff survey included managers, and this would be undertaken quarterly as a temperature check.

·        It was important to ensure data was taken confidentially.

·        Many of the comments made, were already being actioned.

·        For some staff, work was also a social activity, a counselling service had been provided which was avlaible 24/7. Managers were ensuring that work was not all about targets and outputs. Many teams were having virtual weekly socials and quizzes.

·        It was important to recognise those staff who were isolated without prying into people personal lives.

 

The commitee noted the information provided within the presentation.

10.

Wellbeing Survey

To receive a presentation highlighting the introduction and results of a staff Wellbeing Survey. The survey is proposed to run for the duration of 2020 as an additional tool to ensure the Council has regular feedback from staff across the council which will inform support and recovery planning.

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation on the staff wellbeing which had been undertaken with all staff. It was the intention that this would be undertaken quarterly.

 

There had been 589 responses, which was 44% off staff. Which was very good for a staff survey response.

 

The Committee would receive a copy of the presentation.

 

Arising from the member’s comment and question, the following points were made:

 

·        The Assistant Director: HR wasn’t sure the exact break down of female staff across the council and in schools.

·        The survey had been undertaken using a platform called objectives, which would have been accessible on a number of devices, including mobile phones.

·        The survey was anonymous, the lowest drill down was to service level.

·        The survey was undertaken in June, a whole report with more detail would be brought back to the committee, including the questions.

·        There were a number of options being but together for the future of Time Square going forward.

·        If there was a vaccination, there wasn’t a demand for all staff to return to the office, it was doubted that the office would ever be as full as it was pre Covid-19.

·        Any options surrounding Time Square would be brought to members for decision.

 

The committee noted the information provided within the presentation.

 

 

 

11.

Exclusion of Public and Press

To consider the following motion:

 

That pursuant to Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, and having regard to the public interest, members of the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the consideration of the following item which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information under the following category of Schedule 12A of that Act:

 

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED that pursuant to Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, and having regard to the public interest, members of the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the consideration of the following item which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information under the following category of Schedule 12A of that Act:

 

(1)        Information relating to any individual  (Item 13).

12.

Furloughed Staff

Report outlining staff furloughed under the Job Retention Scheme.

Minutes:

The Committee were provided with an overview of Bracknell Forest Council employees who had been put forward under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

 

RESOLVED that the Committee noted the report.