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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting 1st February 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Human Resources & Equalities

 

Smarter Working Policy

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             For Cabinet to endorse the Council’s Smarter Working Policy.

Recommendations

1.             That Cabinet note the contents of the Smarter Working Policy.

2.             That Cabinet endorse the Policy as a framework for managers to implement Smarter Working initiatives.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To allow the Council to make use of the Smarter Working Policy.

2.             To support the work of the Council’s “Space Project” in rationalising office accommodation and implementing different styles of working

Background

2.             In June 2010 the OneVale Programme Board approved a project proposal to examine the Council’s current use of office accommodation at the Alps Depot, Civic Offices, Contact OneVale, Dock Office, Haydock House and Provincial House. This project is called the Space Project. 

3.             The Space Project is tasked with delivering benefits in the following ways:

·               Cost Reduction – through the disposal of buildings

·               Fit for  Purpose Offices – to better meet the needs of services

·               Reduced Carbon Emissions – through occupying fewer buildings and making better use of technology

·               Highly Visible Efficiency – demonstrating efficiencies to staff and the public.

·               Service Efficiencies – efficiencies through co-locating services.

4.             In order for the Council to realise the benefits associated with the Space Project, working practices need to change to reflect the amount of office accommodation available and the ways in which services are delivered most efficiently and effectively to the customer.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             The Smarter Working Policy has been prepared by a working group, including staff from HR, ICT, Property Services and the Business Process Re-engineering Team. The Policy replaces the existing Home Working Policy and outlines four category of worker:

·               Mobile Worker

·               Fixed Desk Worker

·               Hot Desk Worker

·               Home Worker

6.             The Policy is required to provide a clear and consistent framework for staff and managers to work within. The Policy can be found in Appendix A.

7.             The Policy outlines the responsibilities of the Council, managers and staff when dealing with issues such as working hours, staff support and development, costs and expenses, ICT equipment, health and safety and the Data Protection Act.

8.             A flow chart has been developed to assist managers in categorising staff (into one of the four categories above). A checklist has also been developed to assess the suitability of individual staff members for home working.

9.             The recognised Trade Unions have had an opportunity to review and feedback on the Policy and this feedback has been welcomed and incorporated.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

10.        There are no direct financial implications of the Smarter Working Policy. However, the Policy will contribute to the Space Project aims (as outlined above) and savings are anticipated resulting from the disposal of buildings and the improved performance resulting from smarter ways of working.

11.        Costs associated with Smarter Working (for example, ICT equipment) will be required to be met from within existing resources. 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.        There are no direct legal implications arising from the Smarter Working Policy. The Policy does however provide references to the Health & Safety At Work Act (1974) and Data Protection Act (1998) to outline the requirements of the Council, managers and staff in complying with this legislation

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.        There are no specific Crime and Disorder implications associated with this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.        The Smarter Working Policy directly affects the Council’s staff, with positive impacts for several groups. An Equality Impact Assessment has been compiled to examine the impacts on specific groups. Consultation with a range of charitable and special interest organisations was attempted but no feedback received. The Equality Impact Assessment can be found in Appendix B.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.        The Policy complements one of the Council’s Core Values as outlined in the Corporate Plan of “Improving the delivery of services, seeking innovative and effective ways to enhance quality while increasing their cost effectiveness.”

16.        The Policy will allow the Council to adopt smarter ways of working to meet the needs of the customer and council and as such, aligns with the vision of the OneVale Programme.

17.        The Policy will allow the Council to realise the benefits of the Space Project which will involve disposal of buildings with subsequent capital receipts.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.        The Policy is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.        There are no implications for Ward Members as a result of this Policy

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.        Corporate Resources

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Adrian Unsworth

 

Officers Consulted

CMT

Head of Performance & Development

Head of Strategic ICT

Operational Manager (Human Resources)

Operational Manager (Property Services)

 

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies Director of Finance ICT and Property