Agenda and minutes

Employment Matters Committee
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 7.00pm

Venue: Meeting Room 9 - Level 3, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR. View directions

Contact: Wayne Hemingway, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

524.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 37 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 3 September 2014

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 3 September 2014 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record. 

 

 

                       

525.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

 Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Mackinlay.

526.

Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which he/she has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report.

Minutes:

There were none. 

527.

Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests

A member need only disclose at any meeting the existence of a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) in a matter to be considered at that meeting if that DPI has not been entered on the disclosable pecuniary interests register maintained by the Monitoring Officer.

 

A member disclosing a DPI at a meeting must thereafter notify the Monitoring Officer in writing of that interest within 28 days from the date of disclosure at the meeting.

 

A member may not participate in a discussion of or vote on any matter in which he or she has a DPI (both those already registered and those disclosed at the meeting) and must withdraw from the room during such discussion/vote.

 

Members may choose to voluntarily disclose a DPI at a meeting even if it is registered on the council’s register of disclosable pecuniary interests but there is no legal requirement to do so.

 

Members should also ensure they disclose any other interests which may give rise to a conflict under the council’s code of conduct.

 

In line with the training provided to members by the Monitoring Officer members will also need to consider bias and pre-determination in certain circumstances and whether they have a conflict of interest or should otherwise leave the room for Code reasons. 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

There were none.

528.

Review of Annual Leave Policy and Guidelines pdf icon PDF 91 KB

This report seeks agreement to the revised Annual Leave Policy and Guidelines.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director, Organisational Services introduced this report which sought Members' agreement to the revised Annual Leave Policy and Guidelines, the purpose of which was to:

 

  • ensure a uniform and equitable approach to the calculation of

annual leave entitlement under a number of scenarios

  • provide clarity and guidance on the annual leave request and

approval process

  • provide guidance to the Council’s approach where annual leave is

disrupted through sickness

  • establish the Council’s expectations concerning the use of SelfServe4You as the single media for employees to request and managers to approve annual leave

 

Decisions:

                       

The Employment Matters Committee:

 

a)     agreed to approve the revised Annual Leave Policy and Guidelines (as set out in Appendix 1 to the report)

 

b)     agreed to review the policy in two years time and that any proposed changes be referred to the Employment Matters Committee.

529.

Budget Proposals and Implications for Staff pdf icon PDF 72 KB

This report covers new reviews and transfers since the last report (3 September 2014).

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of HR and Organisational Change introduced a report which covered new reviews and transfers since the last meeting.

 

A Member expressed some concern at the high number of compulsory redundancies reported to this meeting given the Council’s long-standing position of avoiding compulsory redundancies wherever possible. The Assistant Director, Organisational Services  commented that the level of compulsory redundancies in the report were not typical and had largely come about as a result of changes in how services were delivered by providers the Council contracted with as opposed to restructurings within the Council as a result of budget pressures. As the staff were still Council employees the costs of redundancy had been met by the Council. The Council had in fact been very successful in avoiding compulsory redundancies. The Committee asked for further information on the numbers of redundancies and the associated costs. It was agreed this would be reported to the next meeting.

 

Decisions:

 

The Employment Matters Committee:

                     

a)     noted the present position and the support arrangements for staff.

 

b)     agreed that a report be brought to the next meeting detailing numbers of redundancies and the costs involved

 

c)      asked that their best wishes to those staff leaving the employment of the Council be placed on record.

530.

Equalities Working Group Update pdf icon PDF 35 KB

This report informs the Committee of the outcome of a recent meeting of the Equalities Working Group. 

Minutes:

The Assistant Director, Organisational Services presented a report which informed the Committee of the outcome of a meeting of the Equalities Working Group held on 15 October 2014. She drew attention to the low number of Medway staff who stated they had a disability (3.6%) compared to people living in the community (16%). Whilst she felt the actual figure of disabled staff employed by the Council was likely to be higher (due to differences in the definition of disability between the census and the Council and also a reluctance amongst some members of staff to self declare a disability) the low figure remained a concern for the Council.

 

The Assistant Director, Organisational Services commented that the Council hoped to enter into the Top 100 regarding the Stonewall workplace quality index. Members congratulated those involved for the significant progress made in this area and also the re-accreditation of the Positive about Disability “Two Tick” symbol.

 

A Member asked if the Council kept records of employees who were citizens of other EU countries. The Assistant Director, Organisational Services replied that she suspected this information was not requested when staff were employed but would check.

 

Decision:

 

The Employment Matters Committee noted the report.

531.

Whistleblowing, Anti-Bribery and Anti-Money Laundering Policies: Report on Instances September 2013 - September 2014 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

This report is to advise Members about the nature of concerns raised, between September 2013 and September 2014, under the Council’s Whistleblowing, Anti-Bribery and Anti-Money Laundering Policies. 

Minutes:

The Assistant Director, Organisational Services presented a report which advised Members about the nature of concerns raised, between September 2013 and September 2014, under the Council’s Whistle blowing, Anti-Bribery and Anti-Money Laundering Policies.

 

Decision:

 

The Employment Matters Committee noted the report.