Agenda and minutes

Staffing Policy Committee - Wednesday 8 November 2023 10.30 am

Venue: Kennet Room, County Hall, Trowbridge BA14 8JN

Contact: Ellen Ghey - Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from:


·       Councillor Tamara Reay

·       Councillor Ricky Rogers

·       Councillor Richard Clewer, who was substituted by Councillor Simon Jacobs.



Minutes of Previous Meeting

To approve and sign as a true and correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 12 July 2023.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 12 July 2023 were considered. Following which, it was:




The Committee approved and signed the minutes of the previous meeting held on 12 July 2023 as a true and correct record.



Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.



There were no declarations of interest.



Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair.


There were no Chairman’s announcements.



Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.




If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item. Please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda for any further clarification.




To receive any questions from members of the public or members of the Council received in accordance with the constitution.


Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on Wednesday 1 November 2023 in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response, questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on Friday 3 November 2023. Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.


Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.



There were no statements or questions submitted.



Employee Volunteering Scheme Policy

To receive an update on the new Employee Volunteering Scheme policy.

Supporting documents:


Jane Tagg, Strategic Business Partner, updated the Committee on the new Employee Volunteering Scheme policy.


The background and reasons for the policy were detailed as per Paragraphs 2, 4, and 6 of the report. It was explained that the scheme would entitle employees to take one day a year (pro-rata for part-time employees), or equivalent paid time off, to volunteer for activities that supported Wiltshire communities; including environment and conservation projects for local community projects or charities, and community care activities.


It was noted that the scheme would be monitored with regard to process and employee take-up. It was highlighted that it would align the Council with other private and public sectors. Officers explained that all proposed volunteering activities would be submitted to the Extended Leadership Team (ELT) for approval, and once a selection of appropriate activities were confirmed, officers would focus on the development of a strong communications strategy.


Finally, Members were informed that the scheme would incur no additional funding or cost associations upon its introduction, save the release time of volunteers which as aforementioned, would be the equivalent of an additional day’s annual leave for a full-time member of staff.


During the discussion, points included:


·       Members commended the policy and expressed enthusiasm at the proposed opportunities available for Council staff.

·       The possibility of expanding the scheme to allow staff further days off per year to engage with additional volunteering opportunities was queried. In response, officers noted that once the launch of the scheme had been reviewed and assessed, further discussions could be had on next steps. It was further highlighted that at present, if members of staff wished to partake in additional volunteering activities, these would be treated as part of their separate annual leave entitlement.

·       Members highlighted the importance of monitoring the scheme and producing metrics to assess the level of impact in terms of which directorates and priority areas had the largest uptakes and which opportunities were accepted or declined.

·       It was explained that once the new Oracle programme had launched, the Council would seek to record volunteering days and could therefore hopefully provide data on volunteering days for future analysis.

·       Officers highlighted that certain departments may not be able to avail of volunteering leave as the business needs of the Council and service continuity was a priority and as such, there could be instances in which officers could not approve a requested day off.

·       It was clarified that the list of key priority areas as per Paragraph 9 of the report aligned with those of the business plan and would be used as a basis for considering various volunteering opportunities.

·       Members queried if volunteering activities would be limited to those only in Wiltshire or if any outside of the County would be considered due to many Wiltshire residents using cross-border services and the opportunity to support and benefit a larger populace. It was emphasised that the policy focused on benefitting Wiltshire residents specifically and therefore, although there was scope to consider activities outside of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.


Long Service Awards Policy

To consider a report outlining the policy updates for the Long Service Awards policy.

Supporting documents:


Francesca Hyde, Senior Case Adviser, updated the Committee on the policy amendments for the Long Service Awards Policy.


It was explained that the policy arrangement had been in place since before the move to unitary status in 2009, with the previous Wiltshire County Council policy continuing to apply. The proposed amendments to the policy were detailed as per Paragraph 2 of the report alongside Paragraphs 6 and 7 regarding associated tax liabilities, and Paragraph 23 regarding the financial implications of the proposal.


During the discussion, points included:


·       Incorporating further milestones such as 30 and 35 years of service. Officers noted that it had been explored with the Corporate Leadership Team, and they had been asked to investigate to determine if there was scope for any such recognition.

·       It was clarified that when calculating long service awards, if a member of staff had transferred to Wiltshire Council from another Local Authority, any years accrued through that previous authority would not be considered within the calculation as it would only recognise Wiltshire Council service. However, this was not applicable to those members of staff who had transferred from Wiltshire County Council during the unitary merger in 2009 where it was agreed to recognise their previous service. Furthermore, if a member of staff had previously worked for Wiltshire Council, resigned, and were then re-employed at a later date, those previous years of service would not be considered within the calculation due to the break in employment.  

·       Paragraph 20 of the report was highlighted, and it was confirmed that the reference to the comments from the panel were more procedural queries as opposed to any specific concerns on any equalities impacts.

·       It was noted that Councillors would not be eligible for any long service awards as per the policy, as it was primarily aimed towards Council staff.

·       Members requested an update on the number of employees anticipated to reach 30 to 35 years of service which officers agreed could be provided at the next meeting of the Committee.


Following which, it was:




The Committee supported the updates to the policy as summarised:


o   The voucher amount awarded at 25 years’ service to be increased from £150 to £250, in line with a revised published policy effective from 1 January 2024.

o   The milestones of 15, 20, and 25 years’ service to be recognised with a certificate of recognition and a badge, effective from 1 January 2024.

o   Wiltshire Rewards to be used as the Council’s long service voucher provider going forward, effective from 1 January 2024, with each directorate contributing to a central pot to cover these and other awards.

o   Wiltshire Rewards to be used as the Council’s long service voucher provider going forward, effective from 1 January 2024, with each directorate contributing to a central pot to cover these and other awards.



Oracle Update

To receive written and verbal updates on:


·       Multi Factor Authentication and Acceptable Usage Policy

·       Go-live

·       Expenses Policy

Supporting documents:


Barry Jordan, OD & People Change Service Manager, and Tamsin Kielb, Director of HR & OD, provided written and verbal updates to the Committee on Multi-Factor Authentication and the Acceptable Usage Policy, the launch of Oracle, and minor changes to the Expenses Policy.


Acceptable Usage Policy: Multi-Factor Authentication Introduction


·       It was explained that the policy had been updated to reflect best practice in line with the fast-paced nature of the area, and to ensure that the Council continued to employ the most robust security tools available.

·       The main considerations for the Committee were outlined as per the report, with specific attention drawn to Paragraphs 6 and 8.

·       It was highlighted that the policy referred to anyone accessing Wiltshire Council information and therefore Councillors, among others, would be bound by the policy’s terms. Members requested that Paragraph 2a of the policy be amended to specifically note that the policy applied to Councillors and stressed the importance of informing all Councillors of the changes. Members also suggested advertising the changes on specific Councillor focussed systems and organising a detailed briefing for all Councillors through the Democratic Services, IT, and Information Governance Teams.

·       It was further noted that the first cloud application to utilise Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) would be Oracle, which was due to be launched under the Evolve programme. Officers acknowledged that it was a significant adjustment to previous working practices and had therefore worked with focus groups and other members of staff to run pilots and seek feedback to understand where the pinch points were.

·       Members queried what support was in place to help those people that may struggle with the changes. Officers explained that there was a step-by-step guide as part of the set-up process which should help in the first instance, but if there were any further issues then there would be contact information to signpost people to specific support staff.

·       Members highlighted that it was useful to have tracked changes shown on updated policies for Members to easily see any amendments.

·       In response to a request, officers agreed to substitute the word “dodgy” for “suspicious” when used throughout the policy.

·       In reference to phishing and spearfishing, it was emphasised that in the interest of doubt, any suspicious emails should be forwarded to for further investigation.

·       Officers alongside the Cabinet Member with the responsibility for IT, Broadband, and Digital, reassured Members that they were satisfied with the approach that the IT and Information Governance Teams had in place.


Launch of Oracle


·       It was confirmed that Oracle was due to launch on Monday 13 November 2023 with a staggered, phased approach.

·       Details were then given for the main support mechanisms available, namely:

o   Self-service guidance documents on sharepoint.

o   171 ‘super users’ covering all services who had been given additional training and were acting as change agents to support the transition.

o   A dedicated mailbox if people experienced particular issues.

o   Online training guides.

o   Dedicated areas in County Hall and Monkton Park where one-to-one support was available for three weeks  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


DBS Policy Update

To receive a verbal update on minor amendments to the DBS policy.


Tamsin Kielb, Director HR & OD, presented a verbal update to the Committee on the amendment to the DBS policy (Disclosure and Barring Service).


It was confirmed that the policy had been considered at a past Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meeting in which it was explained that a minor amendment to the policy had been made due to a missing process. Members were informed that if an applicant had lived overseas for more than 12 months in the past 10 years, officers were required to obtain a certificate of good conduct from the country that they resided in. As such, it was confirmed that the Recruitment Team would support managers in doing such when needed, and therefore the policy referred managers to that team.


Following which, it was:




The Committee noted the update.



Workforce Analytics

To receive a verbal update on the workforce analytics.


Tamsin Kielb, Director HR & OD, and Kirsty Butcher, Workforce Insight Analyst, updated the Committee on the current workforce analytics position.


Members were reminded that the previous Workforce Analyst had left the Council which had identified a lack of resilience within the team and had led to officers undertaking a subsequent staffing restructure. As such, Kirsty Butcher was introduced as the new Workforce Insight Analyst and it was explained that a Workforce Analytics report could not be drafted in time for the meeting, but it was confirmed that a report would be delivered at the next meeting of the Committee.


Officers confirmed that it was a key priority to continue replicating and developing the report to provide richer insights and assist with the development and analysis of the Employee Engagement and Wellbeing Survey. The importance of understanding the data was then emphasised as it would assist officers in making data driven decisions to support the delivery of the Council’s Workforce Strategy.


The move to Oracle was raised and it was noted that it had added a further layer of complexity as to how the data was extracted, however officers were confident that there was ample support across services to assist with data extraction to form the basis of the reports.


Following which, it was:




The Committee noted the update.



Urgent Items

Any other items of business which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered as a matter of urgency.


Urgent items of a confidential nature may be considered under Part II of this agenda.



There were no urgent items.