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Decision details

Approval for second phase of furlough of Wiltshire Council staff under the Coronavirus job retention scheme

Decision Maker: Alistair Cunningham (Chief Executive Officer - Place), Terence Herbert (Chief Executive)

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Decision:

To approve:
- additional services and posts in which staff will be furloughed and that evidence shows this meets the criteria for the scheme
- approach to the furlough of staff in multiple contracts
- confirmation that the working group identify potential posts to furlough in partially income funded services

Reasons for the decision:

This is an unprecedented decision, arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Usually decision of this nature would in other circumstances be taken to Cabinet for informal consultation. However, to expedite its functions in a timely manner during the COVID-19 pandemic, this decision is being taken in accordance with the power referred to in paragraph 1 above. This decision will be reported to Cabinet as part of the “response to COVID-19” updates presented at each Cabinet meeting.

The decision has been made to ensure that the Council uses the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme appropriately and in line with guidance to mitigate the financial impact on Wiltshire Council of closing or reducing services funded through income, fee, grants or charges (i.e. not through public monies) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I confirm that in making this decision I have considered the following in line with Wiltshire Council’s Constitution:

Key decision requirements: Yes

Views of relevant cabinet member(s), committee chairman, area board(s): NA


Consideration of the area boards and delegated decision checklist for officers on the issue of when and how to involve local councillors and area boards in decisions about local services: NA

Implication of any council policy, initiative, strategy or procedure: Yes

Consultation in accordance with requirements and expectations of consultation with the public: NA

Range of options available: Yes

Staffing, financial and legal implications: Yes

Risk assessment: Yes

Involvement of statutory officers and/or directors: Yes

Regional or national guidance from other bodies: Yes

The council’s constitution: Yes

This contract is suitable for execution under the e-signature process: NA

Alternative options considered:

The Council considered not furloughing staff in multiple contract roles. In making the decision about whether these staff could be furloughed the council requested specific guidance on this from both HMRC and MHCLG. As no guidance was forthcoming the available scheme guidance together with previous guidance from MHCLG was reviewed in coming to the decision to furlough staff in relevant contracts.

The Council considered not using the scheme to furlough staff in services which were partially public funded, however following review by Finance the impact on income reduction in these teams was significant enough for furlough to be warranted across some posts and this was in line with the criteria provided by MHCLG.

Conflict of Interest: Not applicable

Background: Pursuant to paragraph 4 of Part 3 Section D, the Directors of Wiltshire Council are empowered to take all necessary decisions in cases of emergency. This decision is being taken by Terence Herbert and Alistair Cunningham (Chief Executive Officers) using these powers in circumstances where the Director(s) concerned believe that there is a risk of damage to property, a threat to the health or wellbeing of an individual and/or that the interests of the Council may be compromised if this decision is not otherwise taken. The decision paper (attached) outlines that the Council considered fully the evidence and scheme guidance when confirming additional posts to be furloughed, the furlough of staff who undertake multiple contracts for the Council and when agreeing that posts in partially funded services should also be identified for potential furloughing. Following this decision, the approach will be communicated to the recognised unions at a meeting and union will be invited to any

Contact: Terence Herbert, Chief Executive Email: terence.herbert@wiltshire.gov.uk, Alistair Cunningham OBE, Chief Executive Officer - Place Email: alistair.cunningham@wiltshire.gov.uk Tel: 01225 713203.

Publication date: 28/07/2020

Date of decision: 30/05/2020

Accompanying Documents:

 

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