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Agenda item

Workforce Plan 2019/20

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



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 concentrate with regard to retaining staff, particularly the planning professionals. 


·              Appendix B (gender pay gap report) – The Head of HR and Customer                 Services highlighted that both the mean and median gender pay gaps                 were in favour of women.  Responding to a question from the Portfolio                Holder, she advised that the Council compared very well with other          neighbouring authorities.”




1.     the feedback on the draft Workforce Plan 2019-2020 from the Local Joint Committee as set out above and other stakeholders be noted;


2.     the draft Workforce Plan 2019-2020 be agreed subject to the approval of the Workforce Strategy 2019-2021 by the full Council on 27 February 2019; and


3.     the actions to implement the annual pay award of 2%, as set out in paragraphs 3.1 to 3.2 of the report, be agreed subject to consideration of the feedback from consultation with staff and the LJC and approval of the Pay Policy Statement 2019-2020 by the Council on 27 February 2019.


(Action:  Head of HR and Customer Services/HR Advisers)



Supporting documents: