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Agenda item

Workforce Plan 2017/18

The report provides an update on the Workforce Plan for 2017 to 2018.

 

Minutes:

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 presented the report,  highlighting for the Committee’s particular attention, paragraphs 3.1.2, 3.1.5 and  3.1.7, which concerned respectively the following topics:

 

·          Para 3.1.2 - use of ‘letters of expectation’ within the Council’s Discipline, Grievance, Capability, Sickness Absence and Dignity at Work policies in order to consolidate the informal resolution of problems and avoid formal procedures.  In response to some concerns from staff members, the Head of HR and Customer Services that the proposal was intended as a tool for managers to resolve a problem informally before it became formal.  She emphasised that the letter was not a formal action, nor was it meant to be punitive.  She added that it was not always understood that the purpose of disciplinary action was always correction rather than punishment.  Responding to a Councillor’s question, the Head of HR and Customer Services confirmed that recognition from a manager would be given to an employee, during appraisals and 1:1 meetings, where the matter had progressed positively as compliance with the letter was an indication of a person’s willingness to embrace change.

 

·          Para 3.1.5 – development of a protocol for the use of audio recordings of meetings where an HR Adviser was present in a professional capacity.  The Head of HR and Customer Services stressed the importance of having a protocol in place and that advice from the Head of Legal would be taken in this regard.  Concerns were expressed by both the staff and councillor sides in terms of a person’s awareness that a meeting was being recorded and that the recording could be retained.  A Councillor advised that the form of device was immaterial but that it was possible to give a recording a unique code to prevent it being tampered with.  He said that the IS department would be able to help with the matter of generating unique codes.  It was agreed that this action would provide some assurance.  The Vice-Chairman (of the LJC) considered that it was of vital importance however for staff to be made aware of recordings taking place, through use of an advisory sign on the interview desk, for example.

 

·         Para 3.1.7 – development of proposals to toughen up the Council’s Abusive Behaviour Policy.  The HR Operations Manager advised that the Corporate Health and Safety group had highlighted the increased incidence of abusive behaviour towards staff from customers.  She said that the general view was that the bar was currently being set too high, particularly with regard to verbal abuse on the telephone.  Responding to a Councillor’s question on action taken with repeat offenders, the Head of HR and Customer Services advised that people could be placed on the Council’s Potentially Violent Persons List but further action was clearly needed.  The Committee was referred to Appendix A to the report which set out the strategy for tackling the abuse of staff.”

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.          developments relevant to the Workforce Plan 2017/18, as set out in the report, be noted;

 

2.          the revised actions, as proposed in the report, be incorporated into the Workforce Plan 2017/18 subject to approval by the Executive of any financial implications; and

 

3.          the feedback arising from consultation of the LJC, as outlined above, be noted.

 

(Action:  Head of HR and Customer Services)

 

Supporting documents: