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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 06/01/2004
Fundamental Service Review of Personnel Services - Update



Summary & Purpose
This report provides further information, including a revised financial breakdown, on the outcome of this review following the consideration of the original report at the Executive meetings on 30th September 2003 and 2nd December 2003.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive


APPENDIX G
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 6TH JANUARY 2004

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Title:
Fundamental Service Review of Personnel Services – Update

[Wards Affected: N/A]
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Summary and purpose:

This report provides further information, including a revised financial breakdown, on the outcome of this review following the consideration of the original report at the Executive meetings on 30th September 2003 and 2nd December 2003.

_________________________________________________________________________

Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

As a support service for the whole of the Council, Personnel has, through its capacity to resource, raise competence levels and encourage productive employee working relationships, a positive but indirect impact on all the issues identified in the graphics above.

E-Government implications:

The review findings identify additional ways of using IT in delivering Personnel services as set out in the Improvement Plan attached to the original report. Also, the service will play a support role in ensuring that the people implications of e-government in general are dealt with in a timely and effective way.

Resource and legal implications:

This report concerns the resourcing of the Personnel Section and the resource implications are as set out in elsewhere in this report. There are no direct legal implications.

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Introduction

1. The original report followed the format of previous Fundamental Service Review (FSR) reports in so far as it addressed the matter of service improvements.

2. In so doing, less emphasis was placed upon the challenges facing the service arising out of a workload that had grown beyond the capacity of the existing resources.

3. Service improvements, whilst desirable, may not be achievable if the necessary investment in the service is not forthcoming. This supplementary report focuses on the current critical issues for the service.

Critical Issues

4. The Personnel Section was reduced in size during the 1990s to reflect a reduced level of activity, in particular in connection with recruitment when staff turnover was around 1% a year.

5. In the past 3 years, increased employment related legislation and recruitment activity arising from a staff turnover rate that has reached a steady 10% to 11% are the predominant reasons why the current staffing levels are not realistic to cope with the volume of work that exists currently. This level of activity is predicted to continue for the foreseeable future.

6. The short-term essential day-to-day work is carried out reasonably well, although that is heavily dependent upon the commitment of the staff employed in delivering the service.

7. However, it is not possible to give attention to the essential and more strategic work in which the service should be engaged. This work is about ensuring the most effective, efficient and economic use of the Council’s staffing resources, i.e. primarily organisational development and workforce planning. Of particular significance is the Housing Options Appraisal which will draw down a significant amount of the time of the Personnel Section.

8. This omission has been tolerated in the short term but failing to pay attention to these areas will be to the long-term detriment of Waverley Borough Council.

Additional Resources for the Personnel Function

9. The original report made the case for a reasonable and realistic increase in staffing in the Personnel team which, even if agreed, would still leave the staffing level below that of the benchmark year of 1989. This report analyses the bid for increased staffing to give greater clarity and detail.

Additional Hours currently being worked to be Consolidated

10. Certain Members of the Personnel team have been working additional hours in excess of their contracted hours. This was, initially, to support the Fundamental Service Review process and the cost was met for from the (then) Best Value budget. These additional hours have continued in the current financial year in order to support the volume of everyday work required of the Personnel Section.

11. Those additional hours are, based on experience, essential to the delivery of the service and need to be consolidated into the staffing establishment. The detail is shown below: -

Additional Hours Annual Cost (2003 rates)

Personnel Officer + 5 hours a week 4,625
Administration Officer + 6.25 hours a week 3,648
Administration Assistant + 7 hours a week 3,637

Total carried forward 11,910
Critical Additional Hours

12. These are required to support the Health & Safety & Emergency Planning Adviser to ensure that, in the Council’s significant interests, a more robust requirement is provided.

Administration Assistant + 15 hours a week 6,970

Total carried forward 18,880

Further Additional Hours

13. These are required to enable the proactive Personnel work to be carried out in supporting the Council’s services.

Personnel Officer + 7 hours a week 6,473

Administration Officer + 3.75 hours a week 2,182

Total carried forward 27,535

Improving the Value of the Training Budget

14. The original Fundamental Service Review report made a case for re-establishing the post of (full time) Training Officer with the cost of the new appointment being partially offset by a reduction in the training budget.

Training Officer (up to) + 37 hours a week up to 33,771 (see paragraph Less offset by reduction in training budget up to 33,771

Net cost of Training Officer Nil

Adjusted Additional Resources

15. The consolidation of the additional hours is considered essential to maintain the current level of service provision at a cost of 11,910 a year.

16. The support for the health and safety and emergency planning function is also considered essential at a cost of 6,970.

17. On the other additional resources requested, the position has been made less certain through the post of Principal Personnel and Training Officer being vacant for in excess of 6 months. The post has been kept vacant pending decisions on the recommendations in the Fundamental Service Review report (an interim manager has been employed to keep essential work progressing against this vacancy). The (unchanged) post was recently advertised and an offer of appointment has been made.

18. The position that has now been reached on training is to recommend the appointment of a Training Officer (probably less than full time and possibly on an annualised hours contract), to be a management decision based on the principle that the training budget would be used to meet the cost in full.

19. It is proposed that the position on the appointment of a Training Officer and the application of the additional Personnel Officer and Administration Officer hours be deferred until the new Principal Personnel and Training Officer has settled into the new role. One of the options that will be considered at that time will be whether to make these appointments on a temporary basis in the light of the possible outcome of the Housing Options Appraisal. The Portfolio holder for Human Resources will be consulted at the appropriate time.

Conclusion

20. It is felt that, in the light of all of the discussions that have been held since the matter was first reported to the Executive in September 2003, this compromise position represents a fair and reasonable way forward.

Recommendation

It is recommended that: -

1. the additional hours currently being worked in the Personnel Section, as set out in paragraph 11 above, be consolidated at a cost of 11,910 a year;

2. the proposal to create a new post of part-time Administration Assistant to support the Health and Safety and Emergency Planning Adviser be approved at a cost of 6,970 a year and the Council recommended accordingly;

3. the appointment of a Training Officer be deferred until after the post of Principal Personnel and Training Officer has been filled but that officers be delegated to take that decision on the basis that the cost be met in full from the training budget; and

4. the additional hours as proposed in paragraph 13 above be approved, but that the actual appointments related to those additional hours be deferred until after the post of Principal Personnel and Training Officer has been filled and when the need can be further evaluated.

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Background Papers (CEx)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Richard Wood Telephone: 01483 523387

E-mail: rwood@waverley.gov.uk

comms/executive/2003/04/420