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Decision details

Workforce Plan 2018/19

Decision Maker: Personnel Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Members noted the presentation of this report to the Local Joint Committee and its discussion set out below:


“The Head of HR and Customer Services referred the Committee to the local government workforce strategy - ‘Great for People for Growing Places’ and ‘Outside the Box – the council workforce of tomorrow’ which together comprised Appendix A to the report.  She reminded members that these documents had been examined in detail at the previous meeting and were now enclosed for ease of reference.


The Head of HR and Customer Services advised that the Workforce Plan for 2018/19 (at Appendix B), which had been approved earlier this year, had been updated further following discussion with senior          managers.  She then took the Committee through the main features     of the updated Plan and the following points were raised:


·             HR2 – Policies are fit for purpose.  The Head of HR and Customer    Services advised that this included developing a new policy on the      management of employee personal data to comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


The Chair asked whether the Council had a dedicated officer in place to deal with the significant work entailed by GDPR.  The Head of HR and Customer Services clarified that the Chief Executive had overall responsibility.  She said that the Head of Legal and Democratic Services was acting as the Data Protection Officer as an interim measure pending consideration of a shared post with another local authority.  She advised that mandatory training had been arranged for all staff and follow-up consultancy work was being pursued.  The Head of HR and Customer Services added that GDPR was not just about the Council’s employees but also concerned its local residents and that leads of service were currently engaged in data mapping with assistance from consultants.


·             HR4 – Improve employee engagement.  The Head of HR and Customer Services confirmed that she and the Chief Executive would be visiting Kesteven Council to view that authority’s ‘glass box’ employee engagement process.  She extended an invitation to the Chair as a staff representative.


·             HR6 – Leadership development.  A Councillor expressed interest in the dynamic of Members and Officers sitting on the same board with slightly different responsibilities and asked why the decision had been made to conduct Institute of Directors (IOD) training separately for Member Directors and Officer Directors.  The Head of HR and Customer Services replied that joint training would be undertaken and that dates for IOD training had been identified in September to November 2018.


·             HR16 – Retain Silver Standard Investors in People. (IiP).  The Head of HR and Customer Services advised that the standard had changed and that retention involved a substantial amount of work was involved.  The proposal had been made to consider dropping or shelving the standard. 


        Responding to questions, she acknowledged that the standard represented a badge of achievement but at the cost of at least £3.5K to 4K for a year’s assessment.  She said that the Council had last been assessed in March 2017 when it received a pleasingly good report.  However, the standard had been extended in many areas involving a lot of time consuming preparation by Officers.  Following discussion, it was agreed that, particularly in view of the many recent internal restructures, the matter should be deferred for at least a year when the decision could be reviewed.  The Head of HR and Customer Services added that the Council would however continue with its regular survey of staff which shared common ground with the IiP.  In response to questions from staff members, the Head of HR and Customer Services confirmed that, while the current award lasted until September 2019, retaining it would involve a mid-term review in September 2018.


·             HR18 – Make fullest use of the Apprenticeships Levy.  The Head of HR and Customer Services reported that the Council continued to do well with its engagement of apprentices.  Responding to a Member’s question, she confirmed that, while apprenticeships were not by definition permanent positions, the Council was working on its succession planning and had been successful in retaining a number of apprentices in permanent posts. 


In response to a staff member’s comment on the possibility of losing potential staff who had been trained, the Head of HR and Customer Services agreed that retention was always difficult in this area but needed to be balanced against the impact on the Apprenticeships Levy.  She pointed out that existing members of staff could also be considered for apprenticeships.


·             HR32 – Improve home working options.  The Head of HR and Customer Services advised that this subject would be included in the new Workforce Strategy 2019/2021 which itself would be brought to a meeting of the Operations Review Committee in October 2018.”


A Councillor said that he understood that there had been some resistance to home working from senior officers.  The Head of HR and Customer Services confirmed that Chief Officers were concerned that there would be gaps around the office that would be criticised by Members.  A second Councillor pointed out that it might not be wise to be out of alignment with the planning process which now saw properties being developed with less reliance on cars and aimed at home working.


RESOLVED that the updates to the Workforce Plan 2018/19, as set out in Appendix B and taking account of the comments of the LJC outlined above, be approved, subject to any financial implications being approved by the Executive.


(Action:  Head of HR and Customer Services)


Report author: J Fear

Publication date: 18/07/2018

Date of decision: 04/07/2018

Decided at meeting: 04/07/2018 - Personnel Committee

Accompanying Documents: