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Agenda Item No. 7

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Council - 4 March 2015

 

Report of the Leader

 

Temporary Extension of Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Discretions

Purpose of the Report

 

1.         To ask members to approve a temporary extension to the Local Government Pensions Scheme (LGPS) Discretions Policy.

Recommendations

1.         That the Council's LGPS Discretions Policy is extended in line with the proposals as set out in paragraph 12, 15 and 16 of this report and for a period of one year, subject to the transfer of Regulatory Services staff from Bridgend and Cardiff Councils.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.      To ensure the continuation of severance arrangements for staff transferring from Bridgend and Cardiff Councils as part of the Shared Regionalised Regulatory Services collaboration project.

Background

2.         Members will be aware of the plans to transfer approximately 175 staff from Bridgend and Cardiff Councils on the 1 April 2015 (or shortly thereafter) as part of the Shared Regionalised Regulatory Services project.

3.         The project was approved by Council on the 12th November 2014 and by the other two Councils on the 22 and 28 October 2014 respectively. It was agreed by all three Councils that the Vale of Glamorgan would be the host authority and therefore the contractual employer for existing and transferring staff.

4.         Final arrangements are now being progressed for the transfer of staff on the 1st April 2015 (or shortly thereafter) subject to the signing of the relevant Joint Working Agreement by the Council's Managing Director and the two Chief Executives from Bridgend and Cardiff.

5.         The transfer is being managed in accordance with the spirit of the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (as amended). This will mean that the contractual terms and conditions of all transferring staff will be protected at the point of transfer.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         Members will be aware that following the transfer of staff, there will commence a consultation exercise with staff and the trade unions in relation to the restructuring of the service and the proposed implementation of a new operating model.

7.         Such a process will be important to ensure the future resilience of the service and in particular its ability to absorb savings requirements through the sharing of resources, streamlining of processes and the exploitation of new business opportunities.

8.         Indicative figures suggest that as part of the restructuring process there will be a reduction of approximately 19 FTE posts across the three Councils (equating to a 10% staffing reduction overall).

9.         It is anticipated that such reductions will be managed during the first 12 months following the transfer of staff. Each Council has agreed to fund any severance costs associated with the redundancy or retirement of employees who were formally employed by that Council.

10.      Each Council do, however have different discretionary arrangements in relation to severance compensation which are set out in each Council's LGPS Discretions Policy. The Council's own Discretionary Policy was reviewed by Cabinet on the 30th June 2014 and is attached at Appendix A.

11.      The different discretionary severance arrangements across the Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff and Bridgend Councils are summarised in Appendix B and detailed in the various schemes at Appendices C, D and E.

12.      It is proposed that for the first 12 months following the transfer of staff, the Council's Discretions Policy is extended to accommodate the specific redundancy and "interest of the efficiency" retirement discretions from Cardiff and Bridgend Council as summarised in Appendix B and detailed in Appendices D and Appendix E.

13.      Whilst the severance discretions are not considered to be a contractual term requiring protection under TUPE Regulations, it is felt that the honouring of such terms for a limited period of 12 months would be a fair and reasonable measure given the imminence of the post transfer restructuring arrangements and the potential implications for staff.

14.      The proposals would mean that the severance provisions relating to staff who transfer would be no different to those that are in place for employees who are not transferring but who may be subject to a restructuring process in their own Council.

15.      In accordance the above, it is proposed that the Council's Early Retirement / Redundancy Committee acquire the necessary authority to approve severance payments for staff formerly employed by Cardiff and Bridgend Councils and in accordance with such severance arrangements inherited from those Councils.

16.      At the end of the 12 month period it is proposed that the above arrangements would end and the Council's existing Discretions Policy would apply to all remaining staff.

17.      All other provisions of the Council's Discretions Policy would be unaffected by the recommendations in this report.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

18.      There are no resource implications in relation to the proposals set out in this report. The terms of the Joint Working Agreement will indicate that the costs of severance in the first 12 months following transfer will be bourne by the Council with whom the relevant employee was employed immediately before the transfer date. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

20.      This report and the subsequent recommendations comply with the requirements of the LGPS.

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

22.      The recommendations within this report will mean that different severance arrangements will be in place for employees who are made redundant in the first year following transfer. It is suggested however that there are strong organisational and business reasons for this approach

Corporate/Service Objectives

23.      The proposals are consistent with the corporate plan objective to explore opportunities for working collaboratively within the Vale and regionally which will lead to improved services for customers, support innovation and deliver savings.

Policy Framework and Budget

24.      This report is a matter for consideration by Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

25.      Consultation has taken place with the recognised Trade Unions in relation to the issues set out in this report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

26.      Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

Council Report 12 November 2014

LGPS Regulations

 

Contact Officer:

Reuben Bergman - Head of Human Resources

 

Officers Consulted

Head of Finance

Head of Legal Services

Operational Manager - Human Resources

 

Responsible Officer:   

Sian Davies - Managing Director