Agenda and draft minutes

Employment Matters Committee
Wednesday, 12 June 2019 7.00pm

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

Contact: Michael Turner, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

54.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were none.

55.

Record of meetings pdf icon PDF 228 KB

To approve the record of the meeting of the Committee held on 30 January 2019 and the Joint Meeting of Committees held on 22 May 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The records of the meeting of the Committee held on 30 January 2019 and the Joint Meeting of Committees held on 22 May 2019 were agreed and signed by the Chairman as correct.

56.

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. 

57.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Members are invited to disclose any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in accordance with the Member Code of Conduct.  Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 4.

 

 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other significant interests (OSIs)

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

Councillors Khan and Mahill disclosed that they were a member of the GMB Trade Union.

 

Councillor Prenter disclosed that he was a member of a Trade Union that did not have any dealings with the Council.

 

58.

Report on the Results of the Medpay Pay Progression Award Scheme 2018/2019 pdf icon PDF 154 KB

This report sets out the results of the Council’s MedPay Pay Progression Award Scheme for the 2018/2019 reporting year.

 

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee considered a report on the results of the Council’s MedPay Pay Progression Award Scheme for the 2018/2019 reporting year.

 

The following issues were discussed:

 

·         Employee Survey – Members were informed that about 45% of staff had completed the last survey. The survey was bi-annual and the latest one was underway. One of the questions asked staff how they wished to be rewarded.

 

·         Independent review of the Medpay Scheme – in response to a question, the Assistant Director - Transformation confirmed that whilst the Scheme had been reviewed internally, in consultation with the trade unions, it had not been reviewed independently. A Member proposed that the Committee should look again at whether the Scheme should be independently reviewed in order that Members could satisfy themselves it was robust and delivering its objectives fairly. The point was made that an Employment Tribunal finding that the Scheme was discriminatory would cost the Council more than the estimated £23k cost of having the scheme independently reviewed. Only 45% of staff had completed the employee survey and therefore staff  views on Medpay were limited to this group. It was argued the Council, as a responsible employer, had an obligation to commission a review. It was proposed that the reconsideration of whether to review the Scheme take place later in the year at the same time the results of the latest employee survey were considered.

 

·         The performance element of the pay award – the Assistant Director – Transformation advised that anyone at the top of their pay range (at Levels 1A, 1B and 2) would not receive the performance element of the pay award, as it was not affordable for the pay bands to continually increase.

 

PDR Assessment Levels - the lack of any differential between the awards for Level 2 when at the top of the pay range and Level 3 was queried and why Level 2 no longer resulted in an additional day’s leave. The Assistant Director – Transformation explained the extra day’s leave had resulted from a proposal from the Trade Unions as part of their pay claim in a previous year’s pay negotiations.

 

Members queried the eligibility for being assessed as Level 1A and whether the assessment would take into account the fact that a member of staff had responsibilities as a carer etc. as this may prevent them from being able to take on extra responsibilities, for example, that may lead to a 1A award.  Members were advised that taking on extra responsibilities would not in itself result in Level 1A. Rather it was designed to reward people who went the extra mile and having caring responsibilities would not in itself preclude Level 1A  being awarded.

 

A Member queried why only employees classed as ethnically white had been assessed as Level 1A and was advised that all assessments were based on merit. After staff were assessed by line managers there was then a rigorous moderation process undertaken by senior management and the Acting Head of HR attended all  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.

59.

Organisational Change pdf icon PDF 331 KB

This report covers new reviews and transfers for the period 31 November 2018 to 31 May 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee considered a report covering new reviews and transfers for the period 31 November 2018 to 31 May 2019.

 

In response to a question, Members were advised that phases 2 and 3 of the Front Line Services restructuring had been delayed until the outcome of the review of the waste contract.

 

A Member referred to Medway Norse’s decision to no longer run the catering service at the Innovation Centre and queried how the Joint Venture was able to decide which contracts it wished to hand back to the Council. The Assistant Director – Transformation undertook to ask the Medway Norse Board and report back.

 

Referring to the number of times staff working in leisure centre catering had been TUPE transferred, a Member asked what terms and conditions the staff were now engaged on. Officers advised that staff retained their original terms and conditions but could decide to adopt those of their new employer.

 

In response to a query, officers undertook to provide details of those reorganisations where the number of staff involved had reduced by the end of the process.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee agreed to note the present position and also the support arrangements for staff.

 

 

60.

Early Retirement and Severance Payments pdf icon PDF 88 KB

This report sets out details of all decisions taken in relation to early retirements and severance payments for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

 

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members considered a report which set out all decisions taken in relation to early retirements and severance payments for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

 

In response to a question about the relatively high capitalised cost of an early retirement compared to the low redundancy payment, Members were advised this was probably the result of a member of staff with only a few years’ service who had just turned 55. The Council did not make any enhanced pension payments and staff retiring were paid what they were entitled to.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee agreed to note the report.

 

61.

Exclusion of the press and public pdf icon PDF 11 KB

This report summarises the content of the appendix to agenda item 7, which, in the opinion of the proper officer, contains exempt information within one of the categories in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. It is a matter for the Committee to determine whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the document.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee agreed to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the exempt material contained within the appendix to agenda item 7 (Early Retirements and Severance Payments) for the reasons set out in the report.