292 Our Ways of Working (Flexible Working) PDF 220 KB
This report advised Members that the current suite of flexible working policies has recently been reviewed, updated, combined into one policy and rebranded as the Our Ways of Working Policy.
Members considered a report which advised that the current suite of flexible working policies had recently been reviewed, updated, combined into one policy, and rebranded as the Our Ways of Working Policy and the proposed revisions had been consulted upon.
The following issues were discussed:
· Public liability cover - the need for employees working at or from home to ensure that their home contents policy had public liability cover for at least one million pounds was questioned. Members were advised that this requirement was included in the current policy. Employees would still be covered by the Council’s public liability insurance policy but this provision had been retained in case of something unexpected happening. In terms of the importance of communicating this to staff, Members were advised that guidance would be produced on the practical arrangements of issues like this and there would be a one-page checklist for employees and managers. However, legal advice would be sought on whether this provision should be retained.
· Insurance - it was noted that equipment securely stored in an individual employee’s home was covered by the Council’s insurance cover, but this cover did not extend whilst the equipment was in transit in the employee’s car. Members were advised that this provision was in the existing policy, but advice would be sought on the issue of employees commuting to work with council equipment.
· Technology at home – whether the Council would pay for the cost of a Wi-Fi extender if connectivity was poor in an employee’s home was questioned. Members were advised staff would not be re-imbursed for this. Employees could still choose to come into the office to work unless they were required by their service to work from home.
· Staff unable to work from home – noting there were no plans to revert to pre-pandemic working practices, how the Council intended to deal with staff who could not work from home and felt they were missing out on a benefit. Whether they should be compensated in some way was queried. Members were advised this was often a difficult area given the number of roles in the Council, but it was still possible to try and identify how flexible working could be successfully applied to these roles. The Council was looking at what changes in working conditions for front line staff could be made that would make a difference to them.
· Requests for flexible working – whether this was still once a year opportunity which should be made clear in the policy was questioned.
· Reasonable notice for meeting – reference was made to the requirement that employees working from home would be required to attend meetings and other office-based events as and when required (upon receipt of reasonable notice). It was suggested that some clarity be provided as to what was meant by reasonable.
· Display Screen Equipment assessments – how these assessments, which looked at whether individuals intending to work from home had the ability to do so, were carried ... view the full minutes text for item 292