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Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Sadie Owen (Principal Democratic Services Officer) 

No. Item


Election of the Chairman

To elect a Chairman of the Personnel Committee for the remainder of the 2023/2024 Municipal Year.



RESOLVED that Councillor Matt Shakespeare be elected as Chairman of the Personnel Committee for the remainder of the 2023/2024 Municipal Year.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 11 September 2023.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2023 were approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 304 KB

To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any personal, disclosable pecuniary or other registrable interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.


There were no declarations of interest received.


Update on HR Activity Q1 and Q2 - 2023/2024 pdf icon PDF 833 KB

Purpose: the report is an information only report for the purposes of updating on HR activity for Q1 and Q2 of 2023/2024 for Personnel Committee, Corporate Board and Operations Board.


The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 5) which provided an update on HR activity for Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2023/2024. Paula Goodwin introduced the report, starting with the Executive Summary, and highlighted the following positive points:

·       The number of established posts had increased over the past five years, but the number of occupied posts had remained relatively flat over this period.

·       Voluntary turnover had reduced to 12% over the past year and there had been a marked reduction in the amount of HR casework across the Council.

·       There had been significant recruitment in the past year. Especially in challenging areas for recruitment. This had helped to reduce the reliance on agency staff.

·       Sickness absence had reduced to 8.75 days per worker on average.

Turning to section 6 of the report (Starters, Leavers and Turnover), it was noted that the People Directorate had yet to be split into the separate Directorates of Children and Family Services and Adult Social Care for the purposes of this report, but this would change in the next financial year.

Councillor Vicky Poole queried whether there had been any feedback as to why people were leaving the Council, had any trends been identified or areas of concern. She highlighted that the report did not mention longevity of staff and further queried whether there were any areas that had experienced particularly high staff turnover.

Paula Goodwin noted that outgoing staff were given the opportunity to complete exit questionnaires when leaving but take up of this was not as high as they would like and this would be promoted more going forward. It was advised that individual reasons for leaving varied, often this was for promotion to another role, and that there was an ongoing effort to improve quality of data gathered so that there could be greater focus on retaining staff. Longevity figures had not been included in the report but the average length of service for Council employees was eight years.

Councillor Jeff Brooks noted that there were lots of encouraging aspects of the report and that work was ongoing to better understand the reasoning behind staff leaving within 12 months of joining. He was hopeful that HR could be involved in the exit interview process, capacity allowing, as it was important to give departing staff a safe space to encourage a more open and honest dialogue.

Councillor Brooks then queried section 5 of the report (employment data) in order to understand whether the increased headcount was due to the ongoing process of converting agency staff or due to increased service demand.

Paula Goodwin explained that the higher headcount was partially due to changes in the way data was collated and partially due to a move away from temporary staffing arrangements. She noted that both this and how length of service related to turnover, could be explored in more detail in future reports.

Councillor Antony Amirtharaj queried whether there was a disconnect due to the large disparity in the number of vacancies mentioned  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Statutory Pay Policy (C4491) pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Purpose: the Council is required, in accordance with section 38 of the Localism Act 2011, to publish an annual pay policy statement. This report seeks to secure compliance with that duty, by seeking approval of the Statutory Pay Policy Statement for publication.


Additional documents:


The Committee considered the Statutory Pay Policy Statement (Agenda Item 6). Approval of the Statement would be sought at the Council meeting on 26 March 2024, prior to its publication which was required by 1 April 2024. This was an annual requirement and was based on the previous 12 months.

Councillor Antony Amirtharaj queried whether the report contained a discrepancy regarding bonuses. Section 4.5 of the report referred to bonuses, but this did not align with the information within the Statement. He queried if this was applicable as the Council was a not-for-profit organisation. Councillor Amirtharaj also queried whether a reward or recognition scheme existed to reward exceptional work by staff.

Paula Goodwin explained that reward schemes were not covered by the Pay Policy. She clarified that there was no bonus scheme for officers. She advised that pay policy statements followed a standard template and reference to bonuses had to be included as some councils did offer them. Paula further clarified that allowances were paid for some departments.

Paula Goodwin went on to advise that the approach taken on recognition was being reviewed.

Councillor Jeff Brooks requested further detail on the methodology of the report and the pay scales used by the Council. Paula Goodwin explained that the Council used local pay scales, but increases in pay were determined by the national pay award. It was also noted that pay scales and grades were determined by Hay job evaluation.

Councillor Vicky Poole queried how the Council’s pay scales compared to those used elsewhere. Did others pay, giving them an advantage with regards to recruiting staff.

Paula Goodwin advised that the Council did link with other local authorities, particularly with regards to hard to fill roles, and benchmarked pay against them. It was also explained that in some cases, jobs were evaluated to ensure the grading was correct. There was also a market supplement policy in place to help to recruit in more challenging areas.

Councillor Shakespeare queried when the report would be published. Paula Goodwin advised that the approved report would be published subject to approval by Council.

RESOLVED that the report be noted and the Statutory Pay Policy Statement be recommended for approval by Council.