Agenda and draft minutes

Employment and Appeals Committee - Wednesday, 7th July, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Via Zoom https://zoom.us/j/93410817190

Contact: Joanna Morley  01572 758271

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr Bool.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

In accordance with the Regulations, Members are invited to declare any disclosable interests under the Code of Conduct and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

MINUTES

To confirm the minutes of the Employment and Appeals Committee meeting held on 16 February 2021, previously circulated.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Employment and Appeals Committee meeting held on 16 February 2021 were approved.

4.

PETITIONS, DEPUTATIONS AND QUESTIONS

To receive any petitions, deputations and questions received from members of the public in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 93.

 

The total time allowed for this shall be 30 minutes. Petitions, deputations and questions shall be dealt with in the order in which they are received.

 

Minutes:

No petitions, deputations or questions had been received.

5.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS

To consider any questions received from Members of the Council in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 95.

Minutes:

There were no questions from Members.

6.

NOTICES OF MOTION

To consider any Notices of Motion from Members submitted under Procedure Rule 97.

 

Minutes:

No notices of motion had been received.

7.

ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 228 KB

To receive Report No.69/2021 from the Strategic Director for Resources.

Minutes:

Report No.69/2021 was received from the Strategic Director for Resources. Carol Snell, Head of Human Resources, introduced the report the purpose of which was to set out the work of the Committee for the periods 2019-20 and 2020-21 in an annual report, in line with best practice. An annual report had not been submitted to the Committee in 2020 as some meetings had been cancelled due to Covid.

 

During discussion the following points were noted:

 

·         It was unclear whether the Committee still had responsibility to hear appeals for Children’s Social Services Complaints as it was understood by some that these were now heard by an Independent Panel, outside of the Council. This would be confirmed with the Committee and any changes to the Constitution that were needed would be referred to the Constitutional Review Working Group (CRWG)

·         An additional Committee meeting would be scheduled for the autumn when the Gender Pay Gap data, up to March 2021, would be presented.

·         Cllr Brown, as Chair of the Committee would request that the Annual Report be included under the agenda item ‘Reports from Committees of the Council’ at the next scheduled Council meeting.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the annual report of the Employment and Appeals Committee be APPROVED.

8.

APPRENTICESHIP ACTION PLAN pdf icon PDF 216 KB

To receive Report No.67/2021 from the Strategic Director for Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No.67/2021 was received from the Strategic Director for Resources. Ms Snell introduced the report the purpose of which was to present to the Committee an Apprenticeship Action Plan for the Council, following the approval by the Committee of the Apprenticeship Strategy in February 2021.

 

During discussion the following points were noted:

 

·         Traditionally when apprenticeships were talked about it was in regard to recruiting and training young people rather than developing existing staff and it was felt that there was some blurring of the lines between these two different categories. Cllr Harvey was keen that care leavers joining or coming back to the workplace were given every opportunity to upskill and gain work experience and qualifications.

·         Ms Snell confirmed that the Apprenticeship levy pot applied to Apprenticeship posts and also to Apprenticeship programmes undertaken by staff in their permanent role.  From an organisational perspective it remained the Council’s objective to support both. 

·         Cllr Harvey felt that young people and care leavers who were at the start of their work journey needed a different support system around them than more confident experienced members of staff who were undertaking additional qualifications.

·         Ms Snell supported that the action plan be more explicit so that actions reinforced the need to actively look for opportunities to create roles targeted for young people.

·         3 offers for entry level posts had been made under the Government’s Kickstart scheme.

·         Members requested that an update on apprenticeships and the Kickstart scheme be presented to the Committee in 12 months’ time.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Action Plan be APPROVED subject to more emphasis being placed on developing and promoting entry level apprenticeships to young people and care leavers.

9.

FUTURE WAYS OF WORKING pdf icon PDF 717 KB

To receive Report No.68/2021 from the Strategic Director for Resources.

Minutes:

Report No.68/2021 was received from the Strategic Director for Resources. Ms Snell introduced the report the purpose of which was to update the Committee on progress of a future working model that would enable the Council to continue to effectively deliver its services to customers, support staff to be productive and achieve a healthy work/life balance and which contributed to the Council’s objective of minimising its carbon footprint.

 

During discussion the following points were noted:

 

·         The Policy needed to be in two steps; what was best for the business and defining the roles within that, and then a section reflecting the aspirations and expectations of the individual.

·         It was important that teams still came together in the office from time to time especially so for the effective induction of new staff.

·         An audit of existing IT was currently being undertaken so that there would be sufficient and appropriate equipment to support a hybrid model of working.

·         In general, most staff reported a much better work life balance.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Members supported the model and the approach outlined and requested updates at subsequent meetings.

10.

ANY URGENT BUSINESS

To receive items of urgent business which have previously been notified to the person presiding.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.