Venue: DBC Dacorum Room - Civic Centre. View directions
Contact: Michelle Anderson
Apologies for absence
To receive any apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors, G Adshead, S Adshead, and Brown.
Bill O’Gorman has retired and is no longer a member of the committee.
The constitution of the Joint Committee sets out that to be quorate both elements -Councillors and Trade Union/Staff side - have to have three members present.
Once again the union side was underrepresented and the meeting not quorate but those present agreed to proceed and discus the items on the agenda without making any decisions.
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting – to be circulated
The notes of the meeting held on 7 March 2016 were agreed by the members present and signed by the Chairman.
To discuss any matters arising from the previous meeting
Councillor Chapman took the meeting through the report provided by Paul O'Day, the Corporate Health and Safety Officer, and the updates set out in the agenda including:
The Chairman asked for and was given an update on the process for Random Alcohol Testing which will be applied under the new policy. He was assured that the necessary publicity had been undertaken and that managers and staff were being trained appropriately.
At the request of the Chairman the Health & Safety Officer outlined how the cemeteries section will use the wrist mounted Reactec system to monitor the extent of their exposure to vibration.
Verbal update on HR matters
A verbal update will be given at the meeting.
A Stunell (AS) gave the meeting an update on recent matters and developments in DBC Human Resources.
The council have employed two apprentices but are holding off on appointing more until the details of funding for apprentice initiatives are given by central government.
Cllr Chapman sought confirmation that we would be expecting to employ around 15 apprentices and that they would be paid the ‘living wage’. A Stunell confirmed that the intention is to pay the London living wage and to review this each year.
First care sickness management
AS outlined the work done by the Sickness Management Group.
Currently the projections for the annual sickness rate 6.06 days per employee and the figures, reported on CorVu, would suggest that sickness absence is reducing.
In the event that someone is off with a long term sickness then a capability programme would be initiated.
Mental Health first Aiders
Staff training is still underway and at the moment involves 50 staff volunteers. AS informed the committee that unfortunately the drop out rate from the volunteers is quite high. Cllr Whitman suggested making the training mandatory for managers and team leaders. P O’Day pointed out that high drop out rates are a recurring issue in H&S Training as managers often have other priorities to put before voluntary training. Cllr Taylor explained a similar difficulty with Member Development training which was being addressed by explaining the crucial need to participate in further training.
Replacement Employment HR System
At the moment Serco use SAPs for the Payroll provision and HR are examining compatible ‘bolt-on modules for a replacement Employment HR System. The followed a short discussion on the possible savings this could generate.
Fourteen staff members (including Porters and Building Managers) were TUPE’d back to the Council in May. The transfer of these employees out to another external provider for the Forum is possible by the end of the year.
Temporary Employee Provision
The current provider of temporary employees has been struggling to provide professional staff and other options are being considered to source the professional/administrative employees needed. The Council spends around £950k on temporary employment. The Chairman asked if the move to the Forum will affect the requirements for temporary staff. AS was of the opinion that maintaining planning and building control are areas of concern that may involve approaches such as market forces payments.
The new People Strategy formed part of the Local Government Peer Review which took place last week (first week in July) and the assessment will be reported later in the year.
T Boggins again raised some issues of concern for the Trades Union side on the application of the new Sickness Capability policy; the fact that it is not agreed with the trade unions; and the use of historical data when considering how to deal with staff.
Any Other Business / Future Agenda Items
Members to suggest any items for the future agendas.
Cllr Whitman raised some concerns regarding the refuse collections in Warners End and the unhelpful response of the team involved when challenged by residents. The Chairman agreed that this should be taken up with the managers concerned.
Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be held on Monday 5th of September 2016 at 6.30pm in the Gade Room
The dates of future meetings were agreed as follows:
The date of the next meeting is Monday 5 September 2016.