Agenda and minutes

Employment Matters Committee
Wednesday, 2 December 2015 7.00pm

Venue: Meeting Room 2 - Level 3, Gun Wharf. View directions

Contact: Michael Turner, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

507.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 9 September 2015.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 9 September 2015 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.  

508.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Saroy.

509.

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.  

510.

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.

511.

Review of pay progression scheme pdf icon PDF 157 KB

This report updates Members on the suggested changes to the MedPay pay progression scheme following staff consultation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members considered a report on suggested changes to the MedPay pay progression scheme following staff consultation as agreed at the last meeting of the Committee. It was noted that no comments had been received by the Trade Unions with 9 comments received from staff (of which only 5 related to the proposed changes).

 

A Diversity Impact Assessment had been undertaken on the proposals, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, which indicated that the revisions to the scheme were unlikely to have an adverse impact.

 

The Joint Consultative Committee had referred to the Pay Progression Scheme earlier in the evening as part of the wider discussion on the pay claim from GMB and Unison for 2016/2017.

 

Members raised a number of points and questions including:

 

·         Automatic Level 2 for staff with long term absences – clarification was sought on how the proposed change (i.e. no longer automatically awarding Level 2 to staff with long term absence) would be implemented and whether this could lead to inconsistencies or discrimination when undertaking reviews on a case by case basis.

 

Following debate, the Assistant Director offered to report back to the next meeting with proposals on how this policy change will be managed.

 

Decisions:

 

(a)  The Committee agreed the revision to the existing policy by increasing to four levels of assessment by changing Level One to 1(A) and 1(B) (to be implemented with immediate effect).

 

(b)  The Committee asked the Assistant Director, Organisational Services, to report back to the next meeting with proposals on how the change to policy (Automatic Level 2 for staff with long term absences – colleagues who are absent for sickness reasons are no longer given an automatic level and each case will be treated individually) will be implemented.

 

(c)  The Committee noted that the following proposed change – to change the criteria for automatic Level 2 to apply only to staff on maternity, adoption, and other authorised leave – will be suspended pending the outcome of decision (b) above.   

512.

Review of the treatment of ex offenders policy pdf icon PDF 83 KB

This report seeks Members’ agreement to the revised Treatment of Ex-Offenders Policy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members considered a report which set out proposals for a revised Treatment of Ex-Offenders Policy. The Policy had been updated to take account of the updated Disclosure and Barring Service Policy, with further amendments being made to reflect revisions in statutory legislation and updates to current post titles. It was noted that no comments had been received from the Trade Unions and Employee Forums.

 

A Diversity Impact Assessment had been undertaken on the proposals, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, which confirmed that the revisions to the Policy would ensure compliance with current legislation.

 

Members raised the following point:

 

·         Whilst a number of references had been removed from paragraph 10.1 of the Policy (eg Medway Managers Personnel Handbook), it was now unclear as to where employees would be able to find relevant guidance.

 

The Head of HR and Organisational Change stated the references had been removed because all relevant policies/guidance were now available on the Council’s Intranet site. She undertook to ensure suitable referencing would be included in paragraph 10.1 of the Policy prior to final publication.

 

The Head of HR and Organisational Change also stated that following agreement by this Committee, the policy would also be presented to the Teachers Forum for consideration of adoption as a schools based policy.

 

Decisions:

 

(a)  The Committee approved the revised Policy as set out in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

(b)   The Committee agreed that this Policy be reviewed in two years’ time and any proposed changes be referred to this Committee.

513.

Proposed reorganisations pdf icon PDF 57 KB

This report details new reviews and transfers since the last report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members considered a report which covered new reviews and transfers since the last report.

 

Members raised a number of points and questions including:

 

·         Transfers to Academies – whether HR had sufficient capacity to support these transfers.

 

The Head of HR and Organisational Change confirmed that whilst her Teams faced a challenge owing to the numbers of transfers, they were able to manage the process.

 

·         Overall numbers of redundancies – that the overall number of redundancies (21) should be considered in the context of redeployments and the overall number of Council employees.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee noted the present position and the support arrangements for staff.

514.

Equalities Working Group Update pdf icon PDF 24 KB

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

Minutes:

Background:

 

Members considered a report which provided details of the recent meeting of the Equalities Working Group (21 October 2015). The Working Group discussed Declaration Week plus issues raised by the Disabled Workers Forum, Black Workers Forum and the LGBTQ Forum. It was considered that the numbers of declarations would increase on an annual basis owing to initiatives such as Declaration Week.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee noted the report.