Agenda and minutes

Human Resources Panel - Monday, 4th July, 2016 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Epsom Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Fiona Cotter, tel: 01372 732124  email:

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in respect of any item of business to be considered at the meeting.


No declarations of interest were made by Councillors in items on this agenda.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 91 KB

The Panel is asked to agree as a true record the Minutes of the Meeting of the Human Resources Panel held on 18 November 2014 and the Minutes of the Panel (meeting as the Joint Staff Committee) held on 13 October 2015 and to authorise the Chairman to sign them.

Additional documents:


The Minutes of the Meeting of the Human Resources Panel held on 18 November 2014 and the Minutes of the Panel (meeting as the Joint Staff Committee) held on 13 October 2015 were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.


Annual Review of HR Matters pdf icon PDF 131 KB

This report provides an overview of the following HR matters at Epsom and Ewell Borough Council during 2015-16:


           Annex 1 - Recruitment Equal Opportunities Monitoring

           Annex 2 - Recruitment & Selection Spend / Activity

           Annex 3 - Sickness Absence

           Annex 4 - Labour Turnover

           Annex 5 - Workforce Profile

           Annex 6 - Learning & Development

           Annex 7 - Employee Relations (restricted document by virtue of paragraph(s) 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972)


Additional documents:


The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Shona Mason, gave a brief introduction to the role of her small team in the context of the new organisational structure and the significant budget challenges facing the Council.  In the area of Human Resources, this had resulted in freezes in recruitment and learning and development.

Whilst there was a recruitment freeze between August 2015 and March 2016, activities associated with recruitment continued to be a significant part of the team’s work in order to ensure that posts were filled when the freeze came to an end.  A total of 61 recruitment campaigns (a slight increase on 2014/15) had been run in 2015/16 attracting a total of 631 applicants overall.  Eight campaigns related to more than one vacant post.

In regard to Recruitment Equal Opportunities Monitoring, interrogation of the data had not flagged up any issues and the work force profile was broadly representative of the Borough.  Whilst not a statistic that was monitored, it was confirmed that many employees lived on the borders of the Borough or commuted in from further away.

All posts were advertised in Surrey Jobs and Jobs Go Public with specialist websites/publications being used if necessary.  Whilst it was considered that the organisation was attracting a good calibre of applicants, it was confirmed that HR was starting to analyse which routes attracted the strongest applicants.  Some very specialist roles continued to be challenging to recruit.  Agency staff were employed in the case of short term immediate requirements.  The ability to employ agency staff gave a bit of flexibility and were an important competent of the workforce.  Such staff were not necessarily more expensive to employ.  The Council was currently looking to set up a procurement framework for this area.

A total of 6.75 days on average had been lost to sickness in 2015/16.  This was below the CIPD average of 8.2 days but was on the increase.  The Council had a robust sickness absence policy which balanced the needs of the organisation against providing help and support for those with genuine long term health problems.  It was evident that physically demanding jobs were more likely to have an impact on sickness levels which is why Operational Services (also the Council’s largest department) accounted for 50.96% of cases.  In terms of the top ten reasons for absence in 2015/16, chest infections had risen by 19% which was largely attributed to one case of long term sickness.  Cases of anxiety/stress were slightly down (by 9%) on last year but were still considered a high risk to the organisation.  Such cases tended to represent an interrelationship between finding work to be stressful in addition to contributing stresses from home life.  Occupational Health was a medical intervention used by the Council to assist the organisation in managing sickness with clear advice and practical support.  If stress at work was flagged as an issue, a risk assessment would be undertaken and the Council also provided access to counselling via the Employment Assistance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Legal Update pdf icon PDF 109 KB

This report provides an overview of the following employment legislation and the impacts on the Council:


           Shared Parental Leave

           Living Wage

           Exit/Termination Payments

           Gender Pay Gap Reporting



The Panel received and noted a report which provided an overview of recent employment legislation and its impact on the Council in regards to shared parental leave, the living wage, exit/termination payments and gender pay gap reporting.

A Shared Parental Leave policy had been developed and implemented in response to this new statutory right.  It was noted that to date, no applications for this had been received.

The National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour came into in effect on 1 April 2016.  This would increase to £9 per hour by 2020 and the Council needed to be mindful of this and take this into account as part of the wider review on pay and performance.

It was anticipated that capping of exit payments in the public sector would come into force in October 2016.  This was a fairly complex area but it was highlighted that redundancy payments and redundancy costs were likely to included.

It was noted that it was likely that the public sector would be exempt from proposed provisions on gender pay gap reporting which would already be publishing pay information as part of complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty.  Nevertheless, the Council needed to be mindful of these provisions.  Whilst there was not a conscious gender pay gap within the organisation, this was a complex area and the review of pay and performance would take this into consideration and highlight any issues.