Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Gilbert and Washington, Tony Ellingford (amicus), David Shamma (GMB), Phil Gooden, Dawn Sadler and John Nolan.
WE AGREED as an accurate record the minutes of our meeting held on 19 March 2003. We also agreed to meet three times a year, if meetings were not necessary these could be cancelled.
Exclusion of Press and Public
In accordance with Standing Orders we agreed that the remainder of the meeting would contain exempt information as defined by paragraph 11 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and the press and public would be excluded.
Human Resources Policies
i) Right to request Flexible Working
The right to request flexible working was introduced as part of the Employment Act 2002. IT WAS RECOMMENDED that Employment Committee incorporate this section into the existing worklife balance policy.
ii) Jobshare Policy
We were advised that there were no formal guidelines in place for those employees who work within a job share contract. IT WAS RECOMMENDED that Employment Committee incorporate this section into the existing worklife balance policy to ensure that terms and conditions are clear for this group of employees.
iii) Professional Fees
We have had a request to pay professional fees for various jobs. IT WAS RECOMMENDED that Employment Committee agree that professional fees be paid where a qualification or membership to a professional organisation is considered to be an essential criterion for the post to allow the Council to provide a credible service.
iv) Honorarium/Acting Up Policy
We received details of the proposed honorarium policy IT IS RECOMMENDED to Employment Committee that this be formalised as the new policy and any such payments are applied consistently and fairly across the Council when such payments are considered appropriate.
v) Retention of HR Documents
The policy had been introduced to ensure the Council's Human Resources Section complies in the areas of Data Protection, Freedom of Information, and the Local Government Act in respect of retention of documentation.
v) Annual Leave
We were reminded of the decision at Employment Committee on the 14 January that employees could carry over five days leave, with their line manager's approval. The five days must be taken at any time within the next year's entitlement, these five days cannot be carried forward again.
The Trade Unions had been told at the Joint Consultative Forum that employees would be allowed to take over 5 days to the next year without the approval of their line manager. The trade unions said this was a problem in some areas as Managers were not allowing this to happen and staff were very disappointed by this attitude.
Members on the Employment Committee were sorry to hear about this and asked Officers to monitor where this was happening and trade union representatives should refer this to the Head of Human Resources for discussion with Directors Group and an Employment Committee would be convened if necessary. The Chairman said it was imperative that the five days carried forward was approved by the line manager to ensure that the service was maintained.
IT IS RECOMMENDED that Employment Committee endorse their previous decision that five days leave can be carried forward to the next year with their line manager's approval. If any problems were encountered this should be referred to the Head of Human Resources.
The Chairman was advised that it would be Lawrence Wright's last JCP meeting as he was retiring, he and the Committee wished Lawrence well in his retirement and thanked him for his contributions to the meetings.
The meeting having commenced at 3.30pm concluded at 4.15pm.