4th June 2020 H R Sub-Committee Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on 4th June 2020 at 6pm via remote access.

Present: Cllr Peter Clayton (Chairman) with Cllrs Sue Harvey, Phil Harvey, Bill Hancock, Alan Matthews, Mike Facey, Dawn Carey with Sam Winter, Town Clerk,  Lorna Williams, Deputy Town Clerk and Sally Jones, RFO, in attendance.

27/20/HR       Apologies

                        None

28/20/HR       Declarations of Interest in items on this agenda and dispensations given

                        None

29/20/HR       To receive and approve the minutes of the Human Resources Committee meeting held on 13th February 2020 & the extraordinary meeting of the Human Resources Committee on 17th March 2020

The minutes were received and signed by the chairman as a correct record.

Motions for note/resolution

30/20/HR       To note that changes to the staffing line management structure have been implemented.

The line management structure is now in place with teams working well and regular remote access team meetings taking place.

31/20/HR       To receive the reviewed Coronavirus H&S risk assessment for the Courthouse

The risk assessment was received and content noted. It was confirmed that the assessment had already been shared with staff and the meeting agreed that the document will be circulated to all councillors.

32/20/HR       To receive an update on a staff homeworking/flexible working questionnaire

The meeting received an update of the staffing position across service area and that a questionnaire had been circulated to staff to ascertain their needs with regards homeworking/flexible working whilst we continue to face public health concerns. Completed questionnaires had been received back from staff and any requirements are being addressed.   

The meeting heard that although employee stress levels and worries were more prevalent across the staff due to concerns related to COVID 19, productivity is good in the face of increased workload and frustrations with IT & limitations of real-life interactions. The Town Clerk and line managers are freely accessible to each other and their teams. Where tasks have fallen behind whilst we progressed urgent matters, teams are now working to bring those matters up to date.

33/20/HR       To approve the COVID 19 Secure Policy Statement

The policy statement was approved as notification that we are working to Government guidelines.

34/20/TC        To note that the Council is registered with the DWP initiative, Able Futures

The meeting heard that the Town Clerk had registered the Council with the support phone line at no cost and that information about the service is shared with staff.

35/20/TC        To consider the Council’s position with regards provision of a face to face public reception during the period affected by Coronavirus, & consider staffing changes.

The meeting received formal notification of the resignation of the Courthouse receptionist and the meeting wished her well.

The meeting heard that residents & others are in contact with the office by phone and email. The volume of phone calls to the reception has reduced, although direct calls to some individual staff have increased. The volume of email enquiries has increased generally across the staff, but no demand, complaints or comments have been received about the need for or lack of a face to face reception. The meeting considered potential for providing a remote information point at an appropriate and safe point in the future, but it was agreed that for the present not to open a public reception of any kind.

36/20/TC        To consider the position with regards recruitment of a Town Ranger

The meeting heard that nine people had responded to the advert placed in Local Reach and will be sent application packs. An interview panel was agreed and will set a timeline and an interview date. It was also agreed that, if permissible, interviews should be in person and not via remote means. Therefore, any social distancing requirements at the time would be applied and risk assessment undertaken & notified to candidates.

37/20/TC        To receive an update on absence management/levels of toil 

The meeting heard that leave levels were monitored to ensure that staff are taking time off and understand the need to take a break from the home office. Levels of toil are elevated as work levels have increased, but this is being monitored and staff are working together to manage work so as to allow them to take back additional hours. There are no new instances of sickness absence.

38/20/HR       The next meeting of this sub-committee was agreed as 10th August (the next scheduled meeting being 1st October 2020).     

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