Agenda item




To receive and update on the progress made in the last quarter on HR work and projects and supporting people issues.


RESOLVED: That the Committee note the HR Update Information Note



Audio recording – 3:40


Rebecca Webb presented the HR Update Information Note and highlighted points including:


·         Teams have been developing how they work after the pandemic. This looks at balancing the benefits of face-to-face collaborative work and homeworking

·         As mentioned in the last item, a formal document is being developed to show these new ways of working and it is being taken to the senior management group

·         The Committee requested further detail on recruitment and retention as this is an ongoing issue

·         This quarter, the overall number of vacancies has stayed the same (compared to the same quarter last year), but there has been an increase in the number of apprenticeship posts.

·         There has been an increase in the number of apprenticeship applicants, but the number of other applicants has decreased

·         19 posts this quarter have been filled, there were 4 that weren’t filled at first attempt and so HR have worked with recruiting managers to fill these roles. One has been filled and the rest are being re-advertised

·         There is a recruitment refresh project which includes a welcome payment to support recruitment

·         The use of feedback from apprenticeship groups and senior managers feedback group will be used to improve the project, website, and the processes

·         Turnover seems to have stabilised at roughly 10% but there is potential for this to increase

·         The apprentice scheme continues and there was a careers fair with schools to advertise the apprenticeships and job roles at the Council. Many apprentices secure job roles after their apprenticeship which is a positive outcome.

·         In relations to pay bargaining for 2022, the unions are consulting with members for the final pay offer. We don’t expect an outcome until late October, early November

·         HR are currently looking at options for the benefits review as the surveys have been completed. This will be presented to the leadership team

·         A real focus for the HR team is mental health and wellbeing.

·         Reminders of support are sent out regularly to employees as well as the flu vaccine

·         There is a financial wellbeing intranet page to signpost where employees can find help

·         There is also a salary advance scheme to help employees that need it

·         The inclusion group is continuing to meet quarterly and at a recent meeting discussed marriage, civil partnership, pregnancy, maternity, paternity, fertility, and adoption. There was also a guest speaker who shared their personal career journey and challenges

·         The inclusion group has asked all employees to use a photo of themselves on internal Microsoft accounts to promote diversity at the Council.

·         The number of absences due to covid is reducing. This feeds into the short term absence levels which are high.

·         The Council continue to support both long and short term absences


The following Members asked questions:


·         Councillor Claire Strong

·         Councillor Tony Hunter

·         Councillor Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg


In response to questions, Rebecca Webb and Jo Keshishian advised:


·         The three job roles that couldn’t be filled were a Civil Enforcement Officer role, a Customer Assistant role, and a Food Safety role in Environmental Health

·         The welcome payment would be funded from the salary lag initially. This would be up to 10% of the starting salary and would be spread over a period of 12 months and would get the first half after their successful probation period, and the second at the end of the 12 months.

·         The welcome payment wouldn’t apply to all posts, only ones where it has been shown it is hard to fill

·         At the time of writing, 2 employees have used the salary advance scheme. When we issue the advance, we issue advice on finances and managing finances and look at the advance as a short term solution for those who are struggling. We want to introduce further financial support in the benefits review but are still looking at this

·         There is one case of long covid but it is not a significant impact so we don’t know the amount of absences due to this. We look at support and any adjustments we can make for those individuals with long covid.


It was:


RESOLVED: That the Committee note the HR Update Information Note


Supporting documents: