Agenda and draft minutes

Employment Matters Committee - Wednesday, 31 August 2022 7.00pm

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

Contact: Stephanie Davis, Democratic Services Officer 

Media

Items
No. Item

213.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were none.

214.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 201 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 31 May 2022.

 

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 31 May 2022 was agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman. 

215.

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. 

216.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 371 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

 

Councillor Mahil disclosed that he was a member of the GMB trade union.

 

Councillor Prenter disclosed that he was a member of the ASLEF trade union.

 

Councillor Van Dyke disclosed that she was a member of the Unite Trade Union and received a pension from Unison.

217.

Review of MedPay pdf icon PDF 231 KB

Following a decision made at the January 2020 meeting of the Employment Matters Committee (EMC), and further at Full Council in April 2020 it was agreed Medway should review the Council’s current performance pay arrangements (known as MedPay).  Members agreed they wanted the scheme independently reviewed in order that Members could satisfy themselves it was robust and delivering its objectives fairly.  Due to the pandemic the independent review has not taken place, however now we are almost 2 years on, the rationale for reviewing MedPay has significantly grown, due to recruitment and retention issues. This paper follows a Corporate Management Team (CMT) endorsement of February 2022 and presents EMC with a proposal to develop a reward solution to address the identified challenges with MedPay and the current market challenges.  It offers a proposal to move to an enhanced MedPay pay approach and provides a further opportunity to add flexibility in a changing market.

Minutes:

Discussion

 

Members considered a report which set out a proposal following a review of the Council’s current performance pay arrangements to develop a reward solution to address identified challenges with Medpay and current market challenges. The Chief Organisational Culture Officer directed Members to paragraph 3.2 of the report which detailed why the current pay method needed to be reviewed. Inconsistent judgements and approaches to pay salaries had occurred in a system with a one for all process that was not appropriate. This review sought to potentially not only review pay, but to allow for progression through the bands through a choice based professional framework. This review would allow for a balanced structural mechanism that enabled an allowance that aligned with the market that could be reviewed based on market fluctuations.

 

Members then raised a number of questions and comments which included:

 

Independent Review- it was asked what the rationale was behind not following through with an independent review and whether this was due to a lack of need or due to resource issues. The Chief Organisation Culture Officer said that following her review,  assessment of the situation and all the concerns that were drawn out of the review, it was concluded that an independent review was not needed as it would identify the same issues. Consideration could be given to a review of the sample tests conducted as part of the pilot if determined that it was needed.

 

Two Tier System – in response to a question on whether the proposal would create a two-tier system with a market premium applied to certain positions and not others, the officer said that the intention was not to create a two-tier system but to create a system that rewarded existing as well as new employees. The current system did not adequately reward long standing employees.

 

Redundancies- in response to a question as to whether this would affect current pay or result in job loses, the officer said that this proposal was not intended to adversely affect pay or result in job loss. This project would take place alongside the Council’s transformation programme which would look at operations and how to do things differently to improve outcomes for the residents of Medway.

 

National Joint Council (NJC) – it was asked if it would be easier to return to the NJC system or if this system delivered aspects that would be beneficial to staff that the NJC system did not. The officer said that whilst it would be easier to return to the NJC system, it was not advisable to do so as the proposed system would be more beneficial for staff. The difference with the proposed system was that it would drive better performance development through enhanced progression in a professional framework.

 

Fair System – in response to a question on how staff would be convinced that this would be a fairer system, the officer acknowledged that gaining staff trust through this process would be crucial. This was why a Pilot  ...  view the full minutes text for item 217.

218.

Employee Value Proposition pdf icon PDF 195 KB

To introduce the Council’sEmployee Value Proposition.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion

 

Members considered a report that set out a summary of the significant benefits individuals could receive in exchange for choosing to work for Medway Council. The Chief Cultural Organisation Officer added that this report built on some of the discussion around the MedPay review by focussing on how to ensure that the offer in place was beneficial to staff. Work was underway with Medway Makers to gain a better understanding of what attracted staff and made them want to continue working for the Council. The Council wide staff survey was due to be circulated in the coming week which would be instrumental to finding out staff needs.

 

Staff Survey – it was asked what the predicted percentage response to the survey would be. The officer said that response rates from the short surveys during the pandemic were high and was hopeful that the responses to this would be slightly higher. The questions for this survey had been tailored to ensure they were more meaningful in the current climate and extensive work had taken place with the communications team to ensure the survey was accessible to all staff. Managers were being encouraged to allow time for staff to complete the survey.

 

It would be crucial to publish the results of the survey quickly and evidence that the Council had listened by publishing actions taken from suggestions.

 

Decision

 

The Committee noted the contents of the report

219.

Learning & Development Policy pdf icon PDF 159 KB

The current Learning & Development Policy (previously known as the Workforce Development Policy) has recently been reviewed and updated as part of the 3 year review. The proposed revisions have been consulted upon with a deadline of 26.08.2022 and no comments have been raised from the trade unions or employee forums for consideration.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion

 

Members considered a report on the proposed revision on the current Learning and Development policy as part of its 3 year review.

 

Conditions of Training – It was asked if staff left within two years of having received particular training, either through ill health or redundancy, if they would have to pay back the cost of training. The officer confirmed that the condition to repay would not apply in those circumstances.

 

It was further asked what would happen if a member of staff became pregnant and went on maternity leave and the officer confirmed that there would be a pause in their training. The employee would be expected to resume the course upon their return to work.

 

Decision

 

The Committee approved the revised Learning and Development Policy at Appendix 2 and subsequent amendments to the Learning & Development policy as laid out in section 3 the report.