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Agenda Item No 5

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Joint Regulatory Services Joint Committee: 20 April 2015

 

Report of the Vale of Glamorgan's Director of Development Services

 

Update on the Human Resource Implications of the Regulatory Services Collaboration Project

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To provide an update on the human resource implications of the Shared Regulatory Services collaboration.

Recommendation

1.         That Members of the Joint Committee note the report.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.         To ensure that Members are updated on the Human Resource and employment  issues associated with the project and the key milestones over coming months.

Background

2.         Members will be aware that there are important human resource and employee relations implications associated with the implementation of the Shared Regulatory Services collaboration.

3.         Such implications were set out in the reports to Bridgend Council on the 15th October 2014, the Vale of Glamorgan Council on the 23rd October 2014 and Cardiff Council on the 12th November 2014.

4.         As indicated in the above reports the plan for the change process was based on:-

  • the initial transfer of some 170 staff from Bridgend and Cardiff Council's to the Vale of Glamorgan Council (as host employer) on the 1st April 2015 and then;
  • the commencement of a management of change exercise to realise the benefits of the new service model as set out in the reports to Council.

5.         The proposed new service model will provide the platform for a more resilient service whilst being better able to accommodate the reduction in staffing levels that are needed by individual authorities as part of the ongoing financial challenges.

6.         It was emphasised in the reports to Council that an essential requirement of the change programme was the need to ensure the continuing engagement of staff and the trade unions and the meeting of all statutory consultation requirements.

7.         This report provides an update on progress in managing the consultation and engagement process.

Relevant issues and options

8.         The consultation process in relation to the transfer of staff commenced across each Authority in January 2015 in accordance with the provisions set out under Regulation 13 of the TUPE Regulations.

9.         The process has been co-ordinated by the HR Workstream comprising officers from each Authority and in consultation with the recognised trade unions. Consultation has been undertaken by Cardiff and Bridgend Councils (as the transferor Authorities) and by the Vale of Glamorgan as the transferee "host" Authority.

10.      The process has relied on a variety of consultation mechanisms including:-

  • Meetings with trade union meetings in each Authority
  • Letters to the Regional and Local Trade Union Representatives
  • Letters to all "in-scope" staff
  • Meetings with all staff affected by the transfer proposals in each Council
  • Individual "one-to-one" meetings with staff as requested
  • Individual staff briefing notes.

11.      Members will be aware of the recently agreed change in the date of the transfer (from the 1st April 2015 to the 1st May 2015).  This was necessary in order to ensure completion of the Joint Working Agreement but has ultimately been helpful in allowing more time for the collective and individual consultation process.  

12.      The overall management and design of the process has been shared and refined with the trade unions as part of the terms of reference for the cross Authority Joint Trade Consultative Forum.  This forum has served as a useful means of dealing with general issues and concerns, refining communications and improving the consultation process.

13.      Whilst it is appreciated that this is an unsettling time for staff it is felt that the process has served to alleviate some of the more practical concerns about the transfer process and has helped to improve the links for transferring staff with the Vale of Glamorgan as the prospective "host" employer.

14.      A particular element of the consultation process has been the sharing of the employment related implications for staff (i.e. the "measures") and as prescribed by the TUPE Regulations.  This has largely included assurances about the initial protection of terms and conditions at the point of transfer and clarification about a range of issues such as management arrangements, procedures for booking leave, recording time, claiming expenses etc.

15.      Alongside the consultation process a significant amount of work has been progressed in preparation for the transfer of staff and particularly in relation to the setting up of staff onto the Vale of Glamorgan's establishment and ensuring a seamless transfer of pay related information.  This will now be finalised over the next two weeks and ahead of the transfer on the 1st May 2015.

16.      A key "measure" that has been consistently communicated to the trade unions and staff has been the intention to commence a "post transfer" consultation exercise in relation to the journey towards the proposed new service model (and related organisational structure).  The detail of this was set out in the reports to Council in October/November 2014.

17.      Based on the "natural turnover" of staff since the turn of the year the gap in staffing levels between the current and proposed establishment has fallen.

18.      At the point of writing this report it is anticipated that there will be an overall reduction in staffing levels (across the three Councils) of approximately 15 posts (from 190 FTE to 175 FTE).  The figures do not include current vacancies or posts filled on a short term and temporary basis).

19.      Members will recall, however that in addition to the overall reduction in staffing levels the new operating model and indicative staffing structure anticipates significant changes to job functions and responsibilities which will, in turn have implications for grading levels, terms and conditions and the overall number of potential redundancies.

20.      The post-transfer consultation process will provide a continuing opportunity to engage/consult staff and the trade unions in relation to the indicative staffing structure, the method and process of populating the new structure and ways of minimising the risks of redundancy.

21.      The process will be based on 'best practice" management of change principles from across each Council and will incorporate (and in many ways exceed) the statutory requirements for consulting on and managing potential redundancies.

22.      The proposed (and updated) timelines for this process have now been shared with the trade unions and are summarised in the table below:- 

Key Activities

Description

Time-scale

 

Pre-Consultation Preparation

 

 

 

 

 

Appointment of Head of Service

Finalise new job descriptions

Job Evaluation of new posts

Draft managing change principles

Induction for managers

Induction for staff

 

 

April-May 2015

 

Transfer Date

 

Formal transfer of staff to host employer

 

 

1st May 2015

 

Management of post transfer restructuring consultation process

 

 

 

Commence consultation process

-    indicative structure

-    selection and assimilation process

-    approach to mitigating redundancies

Meetings with trade unions

Meetings with staff groups

Continuation of 1-1 sessions

Consider outcomes from consultation

Refine proposals as appropriate

Respond to staff/unions as appropriate

Finalise prior to next stage

 

 

June to August 2015

 

Populating the new organisational structure

 

 

To be managed on a "tier by tier" basis

Dealing with matching issues

Invitation for selection process

Selection to new posts

Processing voluntary redundancies

 

Sept/October 2015

 

Implementation of new staffing structure

 

 

 

Implementation of new structure

Processing redeployment as appropriate

Processing termination as appropriate

 

 

November 2015

 

23.      An important aspect of the above will be the appointment of the new Head of Regulatory Services on the 20th April.  Such an appointment will help provide focus and additional leadership for the collaboration project. The selection arrangements for this post are subject to a separate report on this Joint Committee agenda.

24.      Members of the Joint Committee will be kept informed of developments in relation to the above consultation/change project plan over the coming months.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

25.      As set out in the report to each Council on 15th October, 23rd October 2014 and 12th November 2014.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

26.      There are no sustainability and climate change implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

27.      As set out in the report to each Council on 15th October, 23rd October 2014 and 12th November 2014.

Crime and Disorder Implications

28.      There are no crime and disorder implications directly arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

29.      The selection processes agreed in populating the new structure will be congruent with the equality principles set out in each of the Council's recruitment and selection policies and practices and related management of change policies.

Corporate/Service Objectives

30.      The proposals within this report have been designed to ensure the effective implementation and development of the shared Regulatory Services function.

Policy Framework and Budget

31.      The information contained in this report is submitted for information only.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

32.      Set out in the report to each Council on 15th October, 23rd October and 12th November 2014. The trade unions have been consulted on the consultation and managing change plan set out in this report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

33.      Housing and Public Protection and Corporate Resources (Vale of Glamorgan)

34.      Community Safety and Governance (Bridgend)

35.      Environmental and Community and Adult (Cardiff)

Background Papers

36.      Reports to each Council as referred to in paragraph 32 above.

Contact Officer

 R Bergman, Head of Human Resources - Tel:  01446 709357.

 

Officers Consulted

Managing Director /Chief Executives in each Council

Lead Director Representatives in each Council

 

Responsible Officer

R.Thomas, Director of Development Services

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