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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms A and B, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood

Contact: Democratic Services  020 8207 7484

Items
No. Item

452.

Membership

To receive details of any changes in membership of this Committee notified since the agenda was printed.

 

Minutes:

Noted that, since the publication of the agenda, there had been no changes to the membership of the Committee.

 

453.

Communications and apologies

(a)       Communications (if any) relating to business on the agenda.

 

(b)       Apologies for absence.

 

(c)        To receive presentations (if any) made in pursuance of a petition in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.

 

No presentation shall exceed five minutes and consideration of the subject matter will normally take place at the next ordinary scheduled meeting of the Committee and not at this meeting.

 

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Members and Officers to this meeting of the Personnel Committee.

454.

Declarations of Interest

Members are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests they or their spouse/partner have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.  Members must also declare any other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they have in any matter to be considered at this meeting. The responsibility for declaring an interest rests solely with the member concerned.

 

Members must clearly state to the meeting the existence and nature of any disclosable pecuniary interest, other pecuniary interest or non‑pecuniary interest and the agenda item(s) to which it/they apply.

 

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests are prescribed by the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012 as follows;

 

Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation

Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

 

 

 

Sponsorship

Any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the relevant authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by a member in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses. This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

 

 

Contracts

Any contract which is made between the relevant person (or a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest) and the relevant authority— (a) under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and (b) which has not been fully discharged.

 

 

Land

Any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the relevant authority.

 

 

Licences

Any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the relevant authority for a month or longer.

 

Corporate tenancies

Any tenancy where (to the member’s knowledge) - (a) the landlord is the relevant authority; and (b) the tenant is a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest.

 

 

Securities

Any beneficial interest in securities of a body where - (a) that body (to the member’s knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the relevant authority; and (b) either (i) the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or
(ii) if the share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

 

In cases of disclosable pecuniary interest, Members must withdraw from the meeting room while the matter is being considered.

 

 

Minutes:

No Members had an interest to declare in any of the items of business on the agenda.

455.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 12 December 2018.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 12 December 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.

 

456.

Driving at Work Policy pdf icon PDF 78 KB

The report recommends approval of the Driving at Work Policy which has undergone a scheduled review.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report PER/19/04 presented the Driving at Work Policy for the Committee’s approval following its scheduled review.

 

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

 

“During members’ appraisal of the revised policy, the following points were raised:

 

·       A Councillor asked whether drivers had to sign out vehicles so it was known who was driving at any given time.  The HR Adviser replied that they were not required to sign out as such but a system was in place to provide awareness of who was driving.  The Chair added that, in terms of the goods vehicles, each vehicle and driver had a log or record book.

 

·       Another Councillor referred to the requirement under Employees to notify the manager if the driver was not fit to drive and asked about the legal position.  The HR Adviser replied that a GP’s statement was needed if they were ill.  The Head of HR and Customer Services clarified that the legal onus was on the driver to make such declarations, she stressed the line managers’ responsibilities outlined under Roles and Responsibilities (agenda pages 28 to 29) and advised that the Council had sufficient policies to cover all of these checks.

 

·       A Councillor asked whether the Council had the power to carry out random checks with regard to drinking etc and was informed by the Head of HR and Customer Services that there was a policy allowing a test to be requested if there were reasonable grounds to suspect substance misuse including alcohol.

 

·       With reference to bullet point 16 in section 5 (agenda page 30) on the reporting of driving offences, a Councillor pointed that further details should be given in this section to include the requirement to report any charge, prosecution or bail arrangement connected with a driving offence.

 

RESOLVED that, subject to the amendment of section 5 as outlined above, the Driving at Work Policy, attached at the appendix to the report, be approved following its scheduled review.

 

(Action:  HR Adviser)

 

 

457.

Pay Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 85 KB

The report recommends a pay policy statement for 2018/19 to be adopted by the Council in compliance with Section 38 of the Localism Act 2011.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report PER/19/03 presented the Committee with the Pay Policy Statement (PPS) 2019/20 prior to its adoption by the Council in compliance with Section 38 of the Localism Act 2011.

 

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

 

“Following an introduction of the report by the HR Adviser, the Committee commented as follows:

 

·             Paragraph 1.5 – A Councillor suggested that the wording of this section was misleading as, to his knowledge the panel referred to had never met.  The Head of HR and Customer Services undertook to tighten the wording of this paragraph, following consultation with the Head of Legal and Democratic Services, prior to the submission of the PPS to the full Council the following week.

 

·             Section 6 (Remuneration of the lowest paid employees) – A Councillor asked whether the parameters outlined held true for agency workers.  The Head of HR and Customer Services advised that, after the first 12 weeks of employment, the agency workers were paid the same rate as permanent staff.  Responding to further questions, she confirmed that the precise level of pay was the responsibility of the agency who in turn had to comply with the law as the employer of the agency staff.  At the Councillor’s request, it was agreed that an analysis of rates paid to agency workers should be presented to the next meeting. The Councillor emphasised that, in his view, pay for agency staff should be included within the Policy and any distinctions explained.  The Head of HR and Customer Services advised that the Council’s pay policies applied to its own employees and the Council was complying with the legal requirements for the engagement of temporary staff through agencies.”

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.     the Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20, as amended above, be recommended to the Council on 27 February 2019; the precise wording of the amendment to paragraph 1.5 to be delegated to the HR Officers in consultation with the Head of Legal and Democratic Services and the Chair;

 

2.     the pay award of 2% on 1 April 2019 be recommended to the Council for approval on 27 February 2019; and

 

3.     an analysis of rates paid to agency workers be presented to the next meeting of the Committee on 30 April 2019.

 

(Action:  HR Adviser/Head of Legal and Democratic Services)

 

458.

Workforce Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 158 KB

The report provides an update on the Workforce Plan for 2019 to 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The draft Workforce Plan, attached as Appendix A to the report, reflected the immediate priorities for action identified through the extensive consultation of staff and other stakeholders and informed the review and development of the new Workforce Strategy.

 

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

 

           

·                 HR2 (review of all policies) - The Head of HR and Customer Servies referred to the key policies that needed to be reviewed including the Council’s Sickness Absence Management Policy and the Standby Policy.  The Chair asked whether the review of policies would take account of emergency planning.  He pointed out that major incidents such as fire or flooding would require an incident room to be set up.  It was acknowledged that there was a lot of reliance on goodwill working in these matters.  The Chair advised that the volunteers involved were not in receipt of overtime payments but received TOIL (time off in lieu) if approved by their manager.  He suggested that some payment was required for this service to the public.  The Head of HR and Customer Services agreed to look into this aspect.

 

·                 HR4 (development of organisation as an enterprising council) – A    Councillor suggested that charges be made for services to HDL (Hertsmere Developments Ltd) and asked that the Head of Legal be         invited to a future meeting to clarify the Council’s position in that regard        and also to give assurances that, in terms of recruitment of Directors,          people were not taken on who might have interests.  The Head of HR          and Customer Services undertook to amend the current wording in the        Plan to “examine the protocols to avoid liabilities to the authority.”

 

·                           HR11 (reducing short term sickness) – The Head of HR and Customer                     Services was pleased to report that the latest figures showed that the                     average short term sickness absence had now reduced to 3.39 days           per FTE.

 

·                           HR12 (wellbeing initiatives) – A staff member requested that the fitness          sessions be held at the end of the day.

 

·                 HR18 (apprenticeships levy) – The same staff member was informed that it was not possible to ‘tie in’ apprenticeships to the Council by having clawback provisions for tuition fees.  The Head of HR and Customer Services clarified that, in terms of the levy, however, the number of apprenticeships starting was the important governing factor and meant that turnover was not necessarily a bad thing.

 

·                 HR27 (developing the total reward package including salary sacrifice           schemes) - The Head of HR and Customer Services reported that a           much broader range of schemes was available to staff than previously.            A Councillor referred to the loss of planning staff to the London           Boroughs.  The Chair pointed out that staff were also being lost to the           private sector.  The Portfolio Holder added that a London authority was completely different in terms of sheer size.  The Head of HR and Customer Services advised that flexible working was the most beneficial area on which to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 458.

459.

Off Payroll Working (IR35) Policy pdf icon PDF 129 KB

The report recommends the approval of the IR35 ‘Off Payroll’ Policy which is a new policy.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report PER/19/05 presented the Committee with the new IR35 ‘Off Payroll’ Policy.

 

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

 

“The Head of HR and Customer Services advised that the new policy had arisen from a recent audit conducted by the Shared Internal Audit Service (SIAS) into the Council’s management and monitoring of agency workers in relation to the new IR35 legislation.  She said that the policy was aimed at non tax avoidance and placed the onus on the Council to make the necessary checks and on managers to make clear the nature of the engagement.

 

During discussion, a Councillor asked whether there were staff working for the Council at the same time as running their own business.  The Head of HR and Customer Services replied that a small number were working for an ‘umbrella company’ and were therefore outside of the scope for IR35.  A second Councillor wondered how the provisions of the policy would apply to the Council’s Arm’s Length companies, such as Hertsmere Developments Ltd and Elstree Studios, and asked for this to be looked into.”

 

It was agreed that the above mentioned issue in respect of the Arm’s Length companies should be investigated and addressed in the Policy.

 

RESOLVED that, subject to the comments outlined above, the new IR35 ‘Off Payroll’ Policy, as set out in the appendix to the report, be approved.

           

(Action:  HR Adviser)

 

460.

Hertsmere Health and Safety Report - Quarter 3 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 364 KB

To note the Health and Safety report for Quarter 3 of 2018/19.

 

Minutes:

The Committee was provided with details of performance in relation to health and safety for Quarter 3 and an update of emerging health and safety issues, trends or legislative pressures in this field.

 

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

 

“The Head of HR and Customer Services referred the Committee to report paragraph 3.10 regarding personal safety and lone working.  She explained that the Council now had all the required devices in place, including two which had been procured for use by Councillors.

 

A Councillor referred to an earlier suggestion from the Committee that sharps disposal bins be made available for staff and the public at the Depot and possibly in Reception.  The HR Adviser undertook to         discuss the matter with health and safety management in Street Scene and report back on progress at the next meeting.”

 

The Personnel Committee Chair took the opportunity again to urge the street operatives to report any incidents of abusive behaviour and strongly emphasised the need to move away from the perception that such incidents were ‘part of the job’.  During discussion, it emerged that, following an incident, a member of staff needed to complete the relevant form.  Members were sympathetic to the idea that staff might not feel like taking such action following a traumatic incident.  Accordingly, the suggestion was made to consider incorporating a hotline to report incidents which could then involve calls being recorded.  The provision of cameras was another possibility put forward.

 

It was suggested that a phone line could be linked to the Area Offices and that the HR Adviser should be asked to speak to the managers at the Depot in that regard and in addition the Health and Safety Officer contacted.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.     the report be noted;

 

2.     sharps disposal bins be considered for staff and the public at the Civic Offices and the Depot and Area Offices;

 

3.     the managers at the Depot be contacted with regard to the possible installation of an incidents reporting line.

 

(Action:  Head of HR and Customer Services/Senior Health and Safety Officer)

 

461.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 30 April 2019 at the conclusion of the Local Joint Committee meeting.

 

Minutes:

Noted that the next meeting of the Committee was scheduled to take place on Tuesday 30 April 2019 at the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.

 

462.

Exclusion of public

Recommendation 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 Part I, Schedule 12A to the said Act:-

 

Part II Agenda Item                                          Paragraphs in Schedule 12A

 

1.      Minutes of the LJC meeting held on                          1, 2 and 4

12 December 2018

 

2.       Sickness Absence Management                               1, 2 and 4

 

3.       Environmental Health and Licensing Review              1, 2 and 4

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 Part I, Schedule 12A to the said Act:-

 

Part II Agenda Item                               Paragraphs in Schedule 12A

 

1.       Minutes of the LJC Meeting held on                  1, 2 and 4

12   December  2018   

 

2.   Sickness Absence Management                       1, 2 and 4

 

2.       Environmental Health and Licensing Review      1, 2 and 4

 

463.

Minutes of Local Joint Committee - 12 December 2018

To note the minutes of the meeting of the Local Joint Committee held on 12 December 2018.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the Local Joint Committee meeting held on 12 December 2018 were noted.

 

464.

Sickness Absence Management

Report of Officers.

 

Minutes:

Report PER/19/02 provided details of sickness absence levels in the Council during 2017/18 and Quarter 3 of 2018/19, highlighted the outturns for December 2018 and explained the actions being taken to improve sickness absence levels.

 

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

 

“The Head of HR and Customer Services was pleased to report that, whilst the average short term sickness absence for the rolling year at the end of December 2018 had shown 3.53 days, just over the target of 3.5, the figure for 31 January 2019 had reduced to 3.39 days.  She added that total sickness absence for the rolling year at the end of December 2018 was 8.01 with 7.86 achieved by the end of January 2019 and that there were 50 days less sickness absence compared with the previous January, 2018.

 

The Committee was also referred to details of the health and wellbeing initiatives that had and were being organised, including a New Year Wellbeing event that ran between 29 January and 6 February this year. 

 

An internet link was then displayed on screen for the Committee’s information which gave visual information on a potential new food bar/kiosk for the staff rest room on the second floor.  The link showed the type of set up that could be provided by Foodies MicroMarket, consisting of chillers containing a range of healthy food options and a self service pay option.  The Head of HR and Customer Services  advised that the self service pay option involved the monitoring of transactions via a camera to ensure food was paid for, the availability of food that could be heated by microwave and food choices to be tailored to the Council’s specific requirements.  She said that the next step was to look at the layout of the service at the company’s headquarters in Hemel and get an idea of the potential costs but she considered that it could be of great benefit to staff if it were affordable.

 

A Councillor asked about the likely cost to the Council which she was told was yet to be ascertained.  Another Councillor asked whether there were any local businesses on the High Street which could provide a similar service.  The Head of HR and Customer Services replied that the Council had engaged a local business several years ago but this had provided less healthy options such as baguettes and crisps and had operated on a mobile basis.  She said that another advantage of the current proposal was that it would be fixed in‑house.

 

          The Committee gave its full support to the proposed addition to the staff rest room.”

 

The Head of HR and Customer Services referred Members to the additional confidential case information provided in Appendix A of the Personnel Committee report and supplied Members with further details in respect of each of the cases.

 

She also highlighted report paragraph 5.2.7 which showed that 50 members of staff had been awarded a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 464.

465.

Environmental Health and Licensing Review

Report of Officers.

 

Minutes:

Report PER/19/06 set out proposals for approval by the Committee for the restructuring of the senior management roles within the Environmental Health department and discussed succession planning measures.

 

The Head of HR and Customer Services drew Members’ particular attention to report paragraph 3.4 regarding the need to develop Centres of Excellence to ensure the future resilience of the service.

 

The proposals were approved by the Committee.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.       the proposals for the restructuring of the senior management roles within Environmental Health and the related succession planning measures be approved subject to consultation with staff and approval of the financial implications by the Executive; and

 

2.       the potential efficiency savings identified, as set out in report paragraph 5.1 and the personnel implications set out in the report, be noted.

 

(Action:  Head of Street Scene Services/Head of HR and Customer Services