Agenda and minutes

Union / Employee Consultation Committee - Thursday, 26th September, 2019 11.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, The Arc, Clowne

Contact: Alison Bluff  Governance Officer

No. Item


Apologies For Absence


An apology for absence was received on behalf of Dan Swaine (Chief Executive Officer).


Urgent Items of Business

To note any urgent items of business which the Chairman has consented to being considered under the provisions of Section 100(B) 4(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.


There was no urgent business to be considered at the meeting.


Declarations of Interest

Members should declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and Non Statutory Interest as defined by the Members’ Code of Conduct in respect of:


a)  any business on the agenda

b)  any urgent additional items to be considered

c)  any matters arising out of those items

and if appropriate, withdraw from the meeting at the relevant time.


There were no declarations made at the meeting.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To consider the minutes of the last meeting held on 27th June 2019



Moved by Councillor Mary Dooley and seconded by Councillor Derek Adams

RESOLVED that the Minutes of a Union / Employee Consultation Committee held on 27th June 2019 be approved as a correct record.



Sickness Absence Quarter 1 - April 2019 - June 2019 pdf icon PDF 309 KB


Committee considered a report which provided sickness absence figures for the Quarter 4 period (January 2019 to March 2019), with comparative data from previous years 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18.


Absence for Senior Managers was shown as 50% of the total absence for Senior Managers as this was split between Bolsover and North East Derbyshire District councils.


The average number of days lost per employee for Quarter 4 was 2.09 days but this was lower than Quarter 4 in the previous year (2017/18) at 2.80 days.  The annual outturn figure for the average number of days lost per employee for 2018/19 was 8.7 days against an annual target of 8.5 days.


Benchmark data had been sought which showed that the average days’ sickness absence per full time equivalent for councils in the East Midlands Region was 9.1 days, this meant that Bolsover had one of the lowest sickness absence outturns in the East Midlands Region.


A summary of key corporate trends in table formats were included in the report and covered;


·         Organisational Outturn Average Number of Days Absence

·         Organisational Long Term/Short Term Split Days Percentage

·         Number of Long Term/Short Term Cases

·         Top Three Services Proportionately Experiencing Highest Levels of Absence

·         Top Three Services Proportionately Experiencing Lowest Level of Absence

·         Top Three Reasons for Absence


Sickness levels had reduced for the second consecutive year.  Long term sickness accounted for a high proportion of days lost (63.75%) over the year. 


Stress/Depression featured in the top three reasons in all four quarters and muscular skeletal was featured in 3 out of the 4 quarters.


Managers had support from dedicated service area HR Link officers and were issued monthly sickness absence information.  Managers were also able to access sickness information for their teams’ on a daily basis via the HR21 Self Service portal. 


Operational concerns around management of sickness absence cases were raised with respective managers and dealt with as per standard practice and policy.


In response to a Member’s query, the Human Resources and OD Manager advised Committee that the current number of full time equivalent Streetscene operatives was 183.16


The Chair noted that positive trends were now showing with regard to sickness absence.


Moved by Kevin Shillitto and seconded by Councillor Mary Dooley

RESOLVED that the report be noted.



Draft Organisational Policies - Mileage and Related Travel Expenses. pdf icon PDF 327 KB

Additional documents:


Committee considered a reportwhich provided information on the recently revised Mileage and Related Travel Expenses Policy.


The policy had been previously considered and approved by Strategic Alliance Management Team (SAMT) and from 14th August 2019 had been subject to consultation with the trade unions and service managers.  The revised policy document superseded any previous mileage and related travel expenses policies or procedures in place at BDC.


The Human Resources and OD Manager advised Committee that upgrades to HR21 were being arranged to ensure the system was fit for purpose in relation to the details as set out in the revised policy document.  Briefing sessions with practical demonstrations would be set up to enable staff to use the system after the upgrade and there would also be access to the system via an ‘app’ on work mobile phones.


A Unison representative advised the meeting of various concerns raised by Unison members regarding the revised policy and also by some managers with regard to the increased administrative burden when in their view there was no legal requirement for the documents to be produced and no reason to doubt that staff would adhere to the relevant laws.  The Human Resources and OD Manager replied that professional advice had been taken from relevant Council teams that a requirement for staff to evidence insurance/MOT documents would protect both management and employees.  With regard to business mileage claims and where it was not possible to take the shortest route due to road diversions or adverse weather conditions, paragraph 2 of Part 10 of the revised policy outlined that these instances were required to be appropriately identified on a claim form and authorised by an employees’ line manager prior to submitting the claim.  The Human Resources and OD Manager added that a review could be carried out in 6 to twelve months’ time to see if the administration of the policy was having a significant effect on Managers’ time.  The Unison representative requested that for clarity and consistency, paragraph 2 of Part 10 should clearly apply to the first bullet point in Part 3 of the policy.


The Chair suggested further clarity to the wording in the 5th bullet point of Part 1 of the policy as highlighted in bold below;


·         Employees must provide the following details sufficient and reasonable detail on a mileage claim form


o   Date of journey

o   Start location

o   Locations visited

o   End location

o   Reason for the journey

o   Total business mileage incurred


The Unison representative noted that the revised policy did not meet current HMRC guidance on what qualified as an employee’s usual workplace for the day and provided the meeting with an example of a scenario which would result in some members of staff receiving less mileage expenses than with the previous policy.  The Human Resources and OD Manager replied that the revised policy related to all staff contracts of employment where a normal place of work would be considered as any location within the District or  ...  view the full minutes text for item 337.