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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Trowbridge BA14 8JN

Contact: Kevin Fielding 

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Cllr Stuart Wheeler – (Cllr Ashley O’Neill subbing),  Cllr Richard Clewer, & Cllr Jacqui Lay


Note: Cllr Simon Jacobs chaired the meeting in Cllr Wheeler’s absence



Minutes of Previous Meeting

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 17 June 2021    

Supporting documents:




·         That the minutes of the Staffing Policy Committee meeting held on Thursday 17 June 2021 were confirmed as the 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 made at the meeting.



Chairman's Announcements


There were none.


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 Thursday 9 September 2021 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 Monday 13 September 2021. 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 was no public participation.


Mandatory COVID Vaccination Policy

Supporting documents:


Jan Juillerat – Strategy & Insight Manager advised that the report was brought to the Staffing Policy Committee to seek approval to take the newly drafted “Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination” policy to JCC in October for consultation and then for this policy to be applied straight after JCC and before the next SPC in November to be able to meet the legislation implementation date of the 11 November 2021. 


That with effect from 11 November 2021 the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 (the “Regulations”), made it mandatory for those who work or were required to enter the indoor premises of a Care Quality Commission (CQC) home to have the COVID-19 vaccination.


That the council had 3 CQC homes (Bradbury house, Bradbury Manor and Meadow Lodge) where it employed approximately 100 staff. In addition, it had approximately another 300 staff in adult social care who as part of their duties visit CQC homes which were owned by other organisations, eg Order of St John Care Trust.  


Points made by the committee included:


·         That a record of any exemptions would need to be kept.


·         That it would be desirable for a member of staff who did not want the covid vaccine to be able to return to their original roles within the care sector with Wiltshire Council if they decided have the vaccine.  The Director of HR and OD noted that this would be dependent upon the role or a suitable alternative being available for the member of staff.





·         That the Staffing Policy Committee confirmed their agreement of this new draft policy to go to JCC for consultation, and to implement following consultation


·         That if during consultation any amendments to the current draft policy were required the Staffing Policy Committee gave authority to the Director HR&OD to consider these amendments and update the policy as necessary in consultation with the Chairman of the Staffing Policy Committee



The Chairman thanked Jan Juillerat for her report.


Fixed-Term Contract Policy

Supporting documents:


Jan Juillerat – Strategy & Insight Manager outlined a report which sought approval from the Staffing Policy Committee on the new Fixed Term Contract (FTC) policy which would replace the current FTC dismissal policy, with the intention to implement this with effect from 1 November 2021.


The current FTC dismissal policy was last reviewed in 2012 and detailed the process for ending a FTC. Where a FTC ended on the date stated in the contract no notice was applicable, but where the FTC needed to end on a different date, contractual notice must be given.

All employees on a FTC had the same employment rights as permanent council employees. 

The revised policy set out that there would be specific end dates for FTCs and statutory notice periods, if notice were needed.



That Staffing Policy Committee confirmed their agreement of this new Fixed Term Contract policy


The Chairman thanked Jan Juillerat for her report.



Purchase of Annual Leave

An update on savings following policy changes approved by the Staffing Policy Committee


Jan Juillerat – Strategy & Insight Manager gave a short update on the scheme which gave employees of Wiltshire Council the opportunity to purchase four weeks additional leave each year (pro-rata for part-time employees).   It was aimed at providing greater work/life balance for employees and allow for events such as a special occasion or trips or taking extra leave for personal or family reasons.


The changes to the scheme had been approved by the Staffing Policy Committee at the 11 March 2021 meeting.


Points made included:


·         That Wiltshire Council had already saved an additional 40k based on the extension of the scheme during the last 6 months of the scheme.


·         That this was a popular and well used Wiltshire Council scheme.


·         The importance of providing greater work/life balance for Wiltshire Council employees.


The Chairman thanked Jan Juillerat for her update.



Inclusion Strategy

Supporting documents:


Wali Rahman - OD Consultant Inclusion & Diversity Strategic HR & OD gave an update on the Wiltshire Council Inclusion Strategy.


Points made included:


·         That training was now gaining momentum.


·         Very much a focus on education and awareness.


·         Equality and diversion steering group now set up and meeting.


·         Starting to look at trends and statistics across all directorates.


·         Currently working towards a new communications plan.





Reverse Mentoring Pilot


·        Six directors and six networks members.



Staff Networks


·         LGBT+


·        220+ members.


·        Meetings and workshops held by BME, Women’s and Carers and Disability network.


·        Upcoming events for Black History Month and World Menopause Day.



Inclusion and Diversity Training


·        20% of managers had now attended the Creative an inclusive workplace training event.


·        16% of managers had now attended the Equality and Diversity training event.



EDI Steering Group Update


·        Upcoming plans.


·        Service insights, stepping up programme, communications and action plan for next year.




Key dates


·         Next EDI steering group meeting: Tuesday 12 October, 2:00-3:30.


·         27 September – 3 October: National Inclusion Week.


·         October - Black History Month.


·         11 October: South West Black History Month Online Conference, 1pm-5pm.


·         19 October: Lunchtime #EPIC Talk on menopause.



The Chairman advised that excellent work was being carried out across the council, with Wiltshire Council leading across the South West on this important topic.


It was agreed that it would be useful to have future updates.


The Chairman thanked Wali Rahman for his update and for the hard work which was being carried out on this work across Wiltshire Council.


It was noted that Wali Rahman had recently received an award for his work championing inclusion at Wiltshire Council.


Quarterly Report - April-June 21

Michael Taylor – written report


Supporting documents:


Michael Taylor – Workforce Insight Analyst outlined the written report (April -June 2021) contained in the agenda pack


Points made included:


That the COVID-19 virus had had significantly less impact on sickness absence during this quarter, contributing 18 absences totalling 198 working days, a 75% reduction compared to the previous quarter (January – March), which saw 79 COVID-related sickness absences totalling 789 working days. COVID-related sickness absence represents only 2.8% of the total days lost from April - June, making COVID-19 the 11th most common absence reason for absence (previously second most common in January – March). This reduction was aligned with a reduction in cases seen nationally during the same period.


 However, since the end of the April to June quarter the council had experienced a slight increase in COVID-related sickness absence, also aligned with a similar trend nationally, mostly likely due to the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant. The council also experienced an increasing trend in those self isolating since the end of June, also likely due to the delta variant and people being notified to self isolate through the NHS COVID-19 app which hit a peak in July. However, it should also be noted that even when numbers peaked in July, this was still only affecting around 1% of our workforce and the council were continuing to mitigate transmission with restrictions remaining in place regarding workplace access and social distancing measures in council buildings. Since these numbers peaked in July, however, the number of staff self isolating had reduced significantly, a figure which was expected to further reduce with all government restrictions ceasing and no longer requiring to check in to venues. At the time of writing, the automatic requirement to self isolate when identified as a COVID-19 case contact had been removed for most of the population in England. COVID absence figures continued to be reported on a weekly basis and reviewed by the corporate leadership team.


Stress-related absence had largely contributed to the increase in sickness absence this quarter. Stress-related absence had increased by almost a third (31%), compared to the previous quarter, and has contributed almost half of the total absence days lost in the quarter (43%). Contributing to this were significant increases in social care (both children’s and adults), Joint Commissioning and IT. Results of the July 2021 Wellbeing and Engagement Survey and intelligence from the relevant HR Business Partners suggested that social care were experiencing increased demand (adults) and latent demand (children’s) and were having to work very differently as a result of the pandemic. Many of the staff in these areas reported that they did not feel empowered to take a break from work to support their own mental wellbeing, which could be contributing to this increase in stress-related absence. The survey showed a similar trend experienced by Joint Commissioning. In addition there was a restructure underway within IT and results from the recent Wellbeing and Engagement Survey suggested that staff in this area were feeling pessimistic about the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


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 to consider.




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