Agenda and draft minutes

Remuneration Committee
Wednesday 21st July 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Suite. View directions

Contact: Joe Suffield  Democratic Services

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Ms Maggie Hurt, and Councillor L McCarthy. Councillor Courts submitted his apologies and was substituted by Councillor K Grinsell.

(Councillor McCarthy joined the meeting virtually)

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

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 or deputations.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To consider for approval the Minutes arising from the Remuneration Committee meeting held on 2nd June 2021.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 2 June 2021 were presented for information.

 

The Head of Human Resources noted that the job post noted in the resolution for item 5 should be “Area Manager A”. The correct amount was approved by Full Council.

 

RESOLVED

The minutes of the meeting held on 2 June 2021 were approved subject to the changes mentioned above.

5.

Pay Policy Statement 2021 v2 updated July 2021 pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To present to the Remuneration Committee the Council’s updated Pay Policy Statement for 2021 that is fully compliant with Section 38 (1) of the Localism Act.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources introduced the report and provided the following information:

·  This was an annual report which would be approved by the Committee and then presented to Full Council, prior to publication.

·  The previous Pay Policy Statement which had been approved by the committee in January 2021 included the arrangements for Public Sector Exit Cap Payments. The government had since revoked these regulations and this was reflected in the updated Pay Policy Statement.

·  The changes which resulted from this included that for payments over £100,000 Full Council approval was required and that the changes were reflected in the Terms of Reference for the Committee.

 

A Member noted the changes to the minimum wage and asked which employees this would impact. The Head of Human Resources confirmed that the bottom point on Band A was above the minimum wage. This was a result of steps to regrade the payment bands a number of years ago which were intended to prevent the national minimum wage from overtaking the minimum point on the spinal band. The Member then queried whether the option to alter the pay bands to reflect the figure promoted by the Real Living Wage Campaign wage had been considered. The Head of Human Resources responded that the Committee had been asked to consider this on a number of occasions, however it had chosen to continue to align with the local government pay structure. This was subject to review.

 

A Member queried the changes to the pay structure in grades C and D. The Head of Human Resources stated the changes aimed to streamline the broad payment bands to prevent the time taken to move up the band. This could not be undertaken quickly, as it was not affordable.

 

RESOLVED

Remuneration Committee noted the contents of the report and recommended the Council’s amended Pay Policy Statement v2 contained within Appendix A for approval by Full Council.

6.

Approval of Severance Costs – Unity Trust pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To seek the Remuneration Committee’s approval for payment of staff costs relating to redundancy and pension strain, which are at a level that requires the Remuneration Committee’s approval in accordance with the Council’s Pay Policy Statement.

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources introduced the report and provided the following information:

·  This item related to a management of change which had taken place and the severance costs in relation to the Community Development Officer. A review of provision highlighted that participating schools had different requirements and there were significant budget pressures.

·  The payback for this particular severance was 1.27 years.

·  The Trust would continue to provides services to the northern collaboration but some support services had to be reduced to ensure that they remained viable in the future.

 

Members made comments and asked the following questions:

·  A Member sought reassurance that all steps had been taken to prevent redundancy as an option. The Head of Human Resources confirmed all steps had been taken to prevent redundancies. Other options had been considered as part of the process to find suitable alternative employment. This included recruitment into posts on a lower salary with salary protection for a period of two years.

 

RESOLVED

The Remuneration Committee approved the redundancy and pension strain costs of the Community Development Officer as set out in paragraph 3.10.

7.

Payment of Severance Costs – Chuckles and Chums pdf icon PDF 254 KB

To seek approval from Remuneration Committee for the Redundancy and Pension Strain costs in respect of the Cleaner within the childcare/ nursery provision at Coleshill Health School in accordance with the Council’s Pay Policy Statement.

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources introduced the item and made the following points:

·  The Early Years provision (Chuckles and Chums) at Coleshill Heath School had undertaken a review of their financial stability. This had led to proposals for a management of change, which involved redundancies.

·  The only redundancy which required Remuneration Committee approval was for a cleaner. Other staff redundancies fell under delegated authority.

·  There had been a significant decrease in recent years in the use of this provision, which included pre-pandemic. The impact had largely been mitigated during the pandemic through the use of the furlough scheme. The proposals by the school would mean that the provision would continue as a viable service.

·  The payback period for this severance was 2.44 years and would be met from the DSG.

 

Members made comments and asked the following questions:

·  A Member asked whether it had been ensured that the staff ratios were appropriate for the service provided, and whether it would be possible to rehire staff if the demand for the service increased. The Head of Human Resources confirmed that the current requirements would provide the necessary resources with some flexibility. If the demand did increase, then staffing levels would need to be reassessed. It was noted that this was a governor led service, and the revised structure was approved by the school governing body.

·  A Member highlighted that the service had only been provided for four years, and queried whether a management of change was the correct option for the service. The Head of Human Resources explained that the service opened in 1991, and the demand for government funded places had reduced over recent years.

·  A Member sought clarification that parents had been forewarned of the change to the service. The Head of Human Resources reassured Members that they had assessed the predicted demand for places, and it was likely to be significantly lower than the current level of staffing, with the new proposals deemed more appropriate.

·  A Member asked if redeployment had been considered for the staff affected. The Head of Human Resources explained that options for redeployment had been investigated, however this was more of a challenge within schools.

·  A Member queried whether government funding for nursery places had impacted the demand for places. The Head of Human Resources highlighted that the report was based on predicted demand in the future.

 

RESOLVED

The Remuneration Committee approved the redundancy and pension strain costs for the Cleaner as set out in paragraph 3.9.

8.

Trade Union Facility Time Publication Requirements pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To inform the Remuneration Committee of the 2020-21 Trade Union Facility Time information in respect of the Council and schools.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources explained that this report was a requirement of government legislation introduced in 2017, and was split between the core Council and schools. The key points included:

·  There are two types of trade union officials:

o  branch secretaries who are full time officials paid by the Council

o  workplace representatives who have time off from their role which they are paid for in order to undertake trade union duties.

·  The overall percentage of the pay bill spent on facility time was generally similar between schools and the core Council. However there was a difference on Paid Trade Union Activities, as the Council had more workplace union representatives, who had undertaken trade union activities. As a result of COVID-19 there had been a reduction in the time spent on union activities.

·  One significant change was the change of union branch secretary. As the Council was reliant on the information provided by these individuals to record the hours worked, more time has been recorded with the new branch secretary.

 

Members made comments and asked the following questions:

·  A Member sought clarification that the divergence in paid trade union activity (table 4) was most likely a result of changes in how hours were recorded. The Head of Human Resources confirmed that this was the case, as there was a significant difference between the current and former branch secretary hours which were submitted.

·  A Member asked whether the changes in how hours recorded meant one branch secretary underreported and one branch secretary over reported. The Head of Human Resources explained that it was likely that the new branch secretary recorded their hours more accurately.

 

RESOLVED

The Remuneration Committee approved the publication of the information contained within Appendix A and Appendix B in accordance with legislative requirements.

9.

Severance Cases Approved 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 175 KB

To inform the Committee of the Severance cases approved during 2020/21.

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources introduced the report. They explained that this was an annual report which covered the approved severance cases. There were 24 severance cases as a result of service restructure in a number of directorates. The total cost of the cases was £487,000, £118,000 from the Severance reserve and £369,000 from individual Directorate or schools budget. This would be a cost saving for the MTFS.

 

RESOLVED

The Committee noted the report.

10.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The item is likely not to be open to the public during discussion of the following items because the reports contain exempt information as defined in Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

That, pursuant to Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be now excluded from the meeting for the remainder of the business to be transacted, on the grounds that there would be disclosure to them of exempt information in terms of paragraph 2 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the said Act.

11.

Private Documents to Support Agenda Item 9

Minutes:

These documents were considered as part of the decision for Item 9.