Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual meeting

Contact: Alexander Murray  Governance Officer

Note: PLease note that this meeting is to be held vurtually rather than in person at Trafford Town Hall. The meeting will be broadcast live and be available for subsequent viewing at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjwbIOW5x0NSe38sgFU8bKg. 

Items
No. Item

18.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 281 KB

To receive and if so determined, to approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings held on 28 June 2021 and 6 September 2021.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 September 2021 be approved as a correct record.

 

19.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC

A maximum of 15 minutes will be allocated to public questions submitted in writing to Democratic Services (democratic.services@trafford.gov.uk) by 4 p.m. on the working day prior to the meeting. Questions must be relevant to items appearing on the agenda and will be submitted in the order in which they were received.

Minutes:

No questions were received.

20.

PEOPLE UPDATE pdf icon PDF 591 KB

To receive a presentation from the Interim Director of Human Resources.

Minutes:

The interim Director of HR delivered an update to the Committee picking out key highlights of the work that has been done in the last three months. HR had continued to support staff through the pandemic and had been working with Managers and staff to develop their skills and support them in the delivery of services. Attendance levels had been impacted by the pandemic and HR had supported services through a fast-track recruitment process. The recruitment process had been tightened so all vacancies were advertised internally in the first instance with a few exceptions including traded services, front line social workers, and shared services. The improved process required all external advertisements to be approved by the Interim Director of HR and the Director of Finance and systems. The Interim Director of HR assured the Committee the recruitment process aligned with the Council’s “grow our own” strategy.

 

The Strategic HR Lead for Health and Safety then provided a detailed health and safety update.  The update covered the support the team were providing to staff across the Council both within council buildings and when working from home.  In response to the omicron variant the Council had moved to the essential wearing of face coverings in all buildings. CO2 monitors were being utilised to ensure the levels of ventilation within council buildings was adequate. The first aid arrangements within Council workspaces were being updated to align with the move to hybrid working and ensure the Council remained compliant with its first aid responsibilities.  The Strategic HR Lead for Health and Safety concluded their update by informing the committee of the ongoing work to support schools on a range of health and safety issues. The support included risk assessments, outbreak control, and providing information and guidance.

 

The Interim Director of HR then provided information on the other key activities of the department. The Council’s employee recognition rewards were due to be held the next day and the Committee were informed of the award categories along with details of the process of selection of winners.  The Council were to undertake a workforce survey in the new year. The exercise would include a “you said we did” document detailing staff feedback received within the last survey and the actions the Council had taken. An update on the outcomes of the survey would be provided at the next Committee meeting in March 2022.

 

There had been a lot of work done to provide and support Apprenticeships and kickstart placements during the year with 43 apprenticeships and 13 Kickstarter placements achieved.  The first cohort of Kickstarter placements were due to graduate in December 2021 and 2 young people had attained full time positions, one within STAR Procurement, and the other had begun an apprenticeship in business support. 8 Trafford young people were due to start as part of the next cohort with 2 due to start on the following Monday.

 

The Interim Director of HR detailed the ongoing work to increase the number of social workers within the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

AGENCY SPEND JULY - SEPTEMBER 2021 pdf icon PDF 457 KB

To receive a report from the Interim Director of Human Resources.

Minutes:

The Interim Director of HR introduced the report, which covered July to September 2021. The key highlights were the tightening of the vacancy process and the increase agency spend within Children’s Services. There had been an increase of £240K due to an underreporting in the first quarter. The Strategic Lead for Practice Improvement and Learning then went through a presentation on the four main areas of focus in Trafford for improving stability within the Social Care workforce. The presentation gave a detailed overview of the work being done in each of the four areas which were recruiting, retaining, growing and developing, and sustaining.

 

Following the presentation, the Chair asked whether any analysis was done comparing the current retention rates to the rates ten years ago. The Interim Director of HR responded that the service could look back at historic data although there was a limit to how far due to changes in. HR did use exit interviews for leavers to understand why people were leaving the Council. The feedback from those interviews then fed into the Council’s staff engagement plans.

 

The Chair noted that there was a total of 115 vacancies within Children’s services and asked for a more detailed breakdown identifying where those vacancies were. The Interim Director of HR responded that a supplementary report with the additional information would be provided for the next meeting in March.

 

Councillor O’Sullivan asked whether the agency workers were offered employment within the Council. The Strategic Lead for Practice Improvement and Learning responded that throughout the implementation of the new structure positions were offered to Council employees and the remaining posts were offered to agency staff. Through this process 2 team leaders became Council employees reducing the number of agency staff at that level to 3 or 4. For advanced practitioners 4 or 5 staff became Council staff, 2 permanently and 2 or 3 on an interim basis. The Strategic Lead for Practice Improvement and Learning informed the Committee that the service could see how long each agency staff member had been in their role and the next step was to approach agency staff who had been at Trafford for over six months with an employment offer. 

 

RESOLVED:

1)    That the report be noted.

2)    That supplementary report with additional information be provided for the next meeting of the Committee.

22.

QUARTERLY REPORT ON EXEMPTIONS TO THE SICKNESS POLICY

To consider a verbal report of the Interim Director of Human Resources.

Minutes:

The Head of HR Operations informed the Committee that during the last quarter 10 applications had been received and all had been agreed. Of the ten 3 were related to Covid and most of the remaining cases related to conditions with long treatment and recovery times. 4 requests had come from Children’s Services, 3 had come from Adult Services, and 3 had come from Strategy and Resource.

 

RESOLVED: That the update be noted.