Agenda and minutes

Remuneration Committee
Monday 14th December 2020 4.00 pm

Venue: Online via YouTube

Contact: Joe Suffield  Democratic Services

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Mrs Hurt.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor Meeson declared an interest as Chairman of West Midlands Employers which had made representations about the severance cap.

3.

Questions and Deputations

To answer questions, if any, asked by any resident of the Borough pursuant to Standing Orders

 

Minutes:

There were no questions and deputations.

4.

Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 195 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 26th October

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 26th October 2020 were approved.

5.

Public Sector Exit Payments pdf icon PDF 187 KB

To provide the Remuneration Committee with an update on the Public Sector Exit Cap Regulations and their implications for the Council.

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources explained that an update had been requested at a previous meeting on the Public Sector Exit Cap Payments, which came into force on 4th November 2020. The following points from the report were highlighted:

  • The exit cap payment included the severance payments, pension strain cost and notice payments in excess of three months.
  • The three aspects to the regulations were outlined in paragraph 3.3 of the report. It was noted that further guidance was required on the proposals for high earners who had to repay severance payments.
  • There were some mandatory relaxations of the regulations and some discretionary relaxations. The discretionary relaxations which would have to be agreed by Full Council were on the basis that if they did not exercise the power they would cause undue hardship or significantly inhibit workforce reform. Further details would be sought on this and a policy approach to this would be part of the pay policy statement presented to Full Council in January 2021.
  • The discretionary waivers would have to be submitted to the HM Treasury for approval. This was a significant process.
  • A number of legal challenges had been made to these changes. The judicial review into these could take place as early as January 2021.
  • The future proposed changes were highlighted in paragraph 3.16. There was a potential problem of multiple exits, which would require the Council to monitor exits closely. Similarly, Solihull Community Housing was not included in the regulations but a future amendment was almost certain to include local authority owned or controlled companies.
  • The Council’s Payroll Team also administer NHS pensions and teacher’s pensions. The changes implemented would not affect teacher’s pensions. With NHS pensions, there were various considerations such as whether they had transferred through a directions order or a transfer order. Further guidance was awaited on this.

 

Members raised the following questions and comments:

  • Councillor Meeson asked how many staff within the Council would be affected by the change. The Head of Human Resources explained that the Pension Fund suggested it could affect four in five people. It was noted that redundancy benefits could be deferred.
  • Councillor Caudwell asked whether there would be an example of workforce reform (paragraph 3.7). The Head of Human Resources stated that there was no precedent for this, but imagined that it would need to be a fairly significant reform of the workforce, for example Council wide senior management.
  • Members queried that the legislation would lead to the alteration of employees contracts, their terms and conditions, which had been retrospectively changed. The Head of Human Resources stated that there will be significant work about the implementation of this change once they have received more information, such as after the judicial review outcome. If there was an exit prior to this which would be impacted by the legislation, it was confirmed that an individual would receive the reduced pension or defer the receipt of their pension.
  • Councillor Sleigh asked if the Trade Unions had been informed.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.