Agenda Item No 11

The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) - 10th September  2013


Report of the Managing Director


Update on Corporate Workforce Plan 2013-17


Purpose of the Report

1.             To provide an update report on the implementation of the Council's Workforce Plan.


1.             That Members note the ongoing work to implement the actions set out in the Council's Workforce Plan 2013/17 as set out at "Appendix A".

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             To help the Council meet its workforce needs over the next four years.


2.             Members will be aware that the Workforce Plan (the Plan) was endorsed by this Committee on 12 December 2012 and approved by Cabinet on 17 December 2012.

3.             The Plan aims to ensure that the Council has the right employees, in the right place to meet future service needs.

4.             The Plan reflects the vision and service aims as set out in the new Council Plan and the budget review projections for 2013/17.

5.             The need for such a plan remains important given the prospect of increasingly challenging financial targets that will need to be faced over the next four years and the related need for changes to the way services are delivered.

6.             It will be recalled that the Plan was based on a comparison of the Council's current workforce and future staffing needs over the next four years. A list of thirty actions was agreed on the basis of the resultant 'gap analysis' and is set out in Appendix A.

7.             It was agreed that the progress of the Plan should be reviewed on a monthly basis by the Council's management/trade union Change Forum and that a six monthly update be provided to this Committee.

8.             This report provides a six monthly assessment of progress on each of the thirty actions. An assessment of the emerging outcomes of such actions will be provided at the end of the first year of the workforce plan.

Relevant Issues: Progress on the specific actions

9.             Members will be aware that work has been ongoing over the last six months to set in progress the actions within the Plan.

10.        A detailed update in relation to each of the actions is set out in Appendix A. It will be appreciated that the thirty actions were spread over a four year period and, as such progress cannot, as yet be demonstrated in relation to all actions.

11.        A overview of the developments to date are, however set out below:-

-        Action 1:  A preliminary review of management structures across all service areas has been completed. This has been undertaken with the support of the Local Government Association. A specific aim of the exercise has been to develop a set of organisational design principles for future restructuring exercises. A report will be developed over the coming months to frame the conclusions in relation to this.

-        Action 4: Significant progress has been made in securing a new agency contract provider for the Council following a recent tendering exercise. The new contract will help manage the use and costs of agency staff in line with the aspirations of the Workforce Plan. A report will be presented to Cabinet in September 2013.

-        Action 5: All Chief Officers have now attended refresher training in relation to managing change and in accordance with protocols agreed with the trade unions This will help to support the strategic approach to staffing reductions over the next four years and in line with section 6.4 of the Plan.

-        Action 6: A review of redeployment practices for those at risk of redundancy has been undertaken based on "lessons learnt" from the successful programme of support given to those adversely affected by job evaluation. This will be refined over the next two months and help to reduce the consequences of staffing reductions.

-        Action 14: The new Training and Development Strategy was approved by Cabinet in 8th April 2013. This will specifically help to provide a clear road-map in meeting the training and development needs as set out in the Plan.

-        Action 18: Work has continued in liaison with both managers and trade unions to respond effectively to recruitment and retention issues arising from the 2012 job evaluation exercise. A number of potential 'risk' areas have now been reduced as a result of the work undertaken and the introduction of a 'market forces' policy.

-        Action 23: A programme of change management training was launched in March 2013. This will now be cascaded to all managers as part of the annual training plan in order to help equip managers to manage change and service transformation

-        Action 24: A set of tools and protocols have been developed with the support of the Business Process Re-engineering team to help support managers in exploring partnership and collaborative working. This has undoubtedly helped to support progress in relation to the many current collaborative projects.

-        Action 27 and 28: An Equalities Data Set (EDS) has now been approved as part of the requirements of the Specific Duties for Public Authorities in Wales. The EDS was published on 1 April 2013 and will help provide a clear and analytical basis for the refinement of employment policies and the pursuit of a workforce which reflects the wider community.  

A sustained approach to workforce planning

12.        Members will appreciate the need to maintain a focus on workforce planning over the coming years and ensure its congruence with wider financial and service planning.

13.        To help support the above, the following measures are currently being pursued in accordance with the section 8 of the Workforce Plan:

-        A new Human Resources Strategy was approved by Cabinet on 17th March 2013. The strategy was approved on the basis of the outcomes of the Workforce Plan and will now help in the focusing of resources to support the delivery of the Plan.

-        The first Annual Workforce Planning Conference has been scheduled for service managers on the 12th July 2013. The conference is being sponsored by the Local Government Association and Skills for Justice and will help to improve our workforce planning practices through exposure to "best practice" from other organisations.

-        Supported workforce planning sessions will recommence with all directorate management teams in October this year to help assess the workforce implications of the 2014/15 service planning process and to refine service based workforce plans.

-        The above sessions will be supported by the availability of an agreed and common Core Data Set to help inform workforce planning analysis.

-        The above actions will, in turn help to refine the corporate workforce plan and customise the supporting Human Resources and training strategies.

14.        A copy of the agreed workforce planning map is set out in Appendix B. The map illustrates the importance and 'fit' of the above actions in the context of the Council's overall workforce planning approach.

15.        The Council's management/trade union Change Forum will continue to monitor the progress of the Plan as part of their regular monthly business activity. This group is chaired by the Managing Director.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

16.        The resource implications are set out in Appendix C of the Plan.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

17.        None directly arising from the content of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

18.        There are no legal implications directly arising from the content of this report

Crime and Disorder Implications

19.        None identified

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

20.        The Plan reflects actions set out in the Strategic Equalities Plan and the equalities requirements of the Specific Duties for Public Authorities in Wales. The Plan will be reviewed as part of an ongoing equality impact assessment process.

Corporate/Service Objectives

21.        The Plan seeks to support the delivery of service objectives set out in the redrafted Corporate Plan and individual service plans.

Policy Framework and Budget

22.        This report is a matter for the executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

23.        The Trade Unions have been consulted on the development of the Plan and will continue to help in the monitoring of progress.  

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

24.             Corporate Resources.

Contact Officer

Reuben Bergman, Head of Human Resources


Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Operational Manager - Human Resources

Operational Manager - Finance and Systems


Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies, Managing Director