Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading

Contact: Richard Woodford  Email: richard.woodford@reading.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

13.

Minutes of Previous Meeting - 8 November 2018 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 8 November 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

14.

Proceedings of the Local Joint Forum pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Minutes:

The Chief Executive submitted the proceedings of the Local Joint Forum meeting held on 8 November 2018.

15.

Gender Pay Gap Report 2018 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development submitted a report on the Council’s requirement in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 as an employer with 250 or more employees to publish statutory gender pay gap calculations every year on 31 March.  The calculations had to be published on the Council’s website as well as a government website.  The report set out the figures that would need to be published with an analysis of the information by 30 March 2019, which showed that the Council’s mean (2.99%) and median (4.99%) gender pay gap compared favourably with the national average of 17.9%.  The full details of the information to be published were set out in the report for consideration and a copy of the Gender Pay Gap Report 2018 was attached to the report at Appendix 1.

The Committee noted that the gender pay gap dealt with the differential between male and female pay and was distinct from equal pay, which was based on the principle of equal pay for work of equivalent value, regardless of gender.  The report emphasised that the Council’s small gender pay gap was the result of the long term effort that the Council had invested to ensure fair pay for all staff.  It was intended to continue to promote the benefits of flexible working practices to employees and managers and additionally to monitor the take-up of flexible working arrangements by gender and level within the organisation. 

Resolved –    That the gender pay gap calculations be noted.

16.

Pay Policy Statement 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development submitted a report on the development of the Pay Policy 2019/20, in preparation for its submission to full Council on 26 March 2019.  A copy of the Pay Policy Statement 2019/20 was appended to the report.  The report stated that Local Authorities were required under Section 38(1) of the Localism Act 2011 (the Act) to prepare a Pay Policy Statement that articulated the Council’s policy towards the pay of the workforce, particularly senior staff and the lowest paid employees.

The Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20 had been updated as follows:

·         To reflect changes in job titles;

·         Addition of a requirement for the Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development to approve all acting up and honoraria payments, in addition to the Assistant Director for the service area;

·         The new salary sacrifice schemes which were offered to all employees had been added;

·         New pay scales had been included which reflected the relevant national agreements.

The report explained that each local authority was an individual employer in its own right and had the autonomy to make decisions on pay that were appropriate to local circumstances and which delivered value for money for local taxpayers.  Section 40 of the Act required authorities, in developing their Pay Policy Statement, to have regard to any guidance that had been published by the Secretary of State.  This included Communities and Local Government guidance on Openness and Accountability in Local Pay and the Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency (as amended).  The Act required Councils to produce a Pay Policy Statement annually that was accessible for council tax payers to be able to take an informed view of whether local decisions on all aspects of remuneration were fair.

Resolved –    That the draft Pay Policy 2019/20 be recommended to Council on 26 March 2019 for approval.

 

17.

Kennet Day Nursery Fee Increase 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Minutes:

Ita McGullion, Under 5s Care Manager, presented a report providing the Committee with details of the Kennet Day Nursery’s budget for 2019/20 and proposed an increase in fees for the Nursery from April 2019.  The report explained that the last proposal to increase fees had been in April 2018 and also required the nursery to deliver a £30,000 profit, which would require a consistent 87+% occupancy level throughout the year to achieve this target.  In April 2018, Kennet Day Nursery had moved to the Directorate of Resources under the new Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development.  Prior to the move the budget had been reviewed and the expected income target surplus had been increased requiring the nursery to make a further surplus of £75,000 in the financial year 2018/19.  This was a 150% increase on the original target; the income target for 2019/23 would remain at £75,000 surplus.

Resolved –   

(1)      That the fee structure be increased by 2% to apply from April 2019 as follows:

£228.55 per week - £46.17 per day (RBC Users);

£250.75 per week - £50.65 per day (Non RBC Users);

(2)     That the current discount of £2 a day for siblings and the current additional charge of £2 a day for children under 2 years of age be continued unchanged.

18.

Exclusion of Press and Public

At this point, the following motion will be moved by the Chair:

“That, pursuant to Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) members of the press and public be excluded during consideration of the following item on the agenda, as it is likely that there would be disclosure of exempt information as defined in the relevant Paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of that Act”

Minutes:

Resolved-

That pursuant to Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) members of the press and public be excluded during consideration of the following item, as it was likely that there would be disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A (as amended) to that Act.

19.

Redundancy and Flexible Retirement Compensation Packages

Minutes:

The Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development, the Monitoring Officer and the Head of Finance submitted a joint report, which set out 23 requests for termination of employment on grounds of redundancy (one of which was tabled at the meeting), one request for early retirement on the grounds of redundancy and two cases of flexible retirement.  The proposals, together with the financial implications, were set out in a schedule appended to the report.

The Committee also considered a recommendation from the Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development to revise the Committee’s terms of reference with a view to removing the requirement for the Committee to determine the level of compensation to be paid in individual cases of voluntary redundancy and early retirement and other personnel matters.  The Committee could instead receive a bi-annual report on all early retirements and redundancies made in the preceding six months.  It was anticipated that this would avoid any unnecessary delay in the process caused by the scheduled dates of Personnel Committee whilst still enabling the Committee to ensure the process had been carried out in accordance with statutory requirements and the Council’s employment policies.

Resolved-

(1)     That the termination of employment on the grounds of redundancy of employees A, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V and Z, the early retirement on the grounds of redundancy of employee W and the flexible retirement of employees X and Y be approved on the terms set out in the schedules appended to the report subject to the conclusion of all outstanding matters in each case, including ongoing consultation with the employees and their representatives and efforts to secure alternative employment, where appropriate;

(2)     That the proposal set out in (1) above be approved on the basis of the financial implications set out in paragraphs 4.1.1 and 4.1.2 of the report, andthat authority to conclude the proposal be delegated to the Head of Finance, the Monitoring Officer and the Head of HR and Organisational Development (acting jointly) within that framework, and subject to the maximum ceiling identified for each individual proposal;

(3)     That the Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development, in consultation with the Chair of the Committee, be authorised to review the Committee’s terms of reference with a view to amending the requirement for the level of compensation to be paid in individual cases of voluntary redundancy and early retirement and other personnel matters where appropriate to be determined by the Committee and instead to receive a bi-annual report on all early retirements and redundancies made in the preceding six months.

(Exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2).