Agenda Item No. 7

The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) - 18 February 2014


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

4.         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.

5.         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'. A full copy of the Plan is available on Staffnet.

6.         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.

7.         A year-end report will be submitted to this Committee in June 2014.

Relevant Issues: Progress on the specific actions

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

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

-        Action 1:  A preliminary 'desktop' review of management/staffing structures across all service areas has been completed. This has been undertaken with the support of the Local Government Association. A more detailed review within two out of six of the Directorates will have been completed by the end of February 2014.

-        Action 3:  Preliminary discussions on terms and conditions have taken place with colleagues at the Council's Change Forum in order to agree areas of potential change/review to support employee flexibility and to help with the management of change. More detailed discussions will now be progressed with the trade unions.

-        Action 4: A Council successfully secured the services of a new agency contract provider on the 13th January 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 was on this is on this JCF agenda.

-        Action 5: All Chief Officers have now attended refresher training in relation to managing change and in accordance with agreed protocols. 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. Such training will be repeated over the next few months.

-        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. Pilot work is currently being undertaken with neighbouring public sector colleagues as part of a welsh government co-ordinated Workforce Intelligence and Career Transition Group.

-        Action 8:  A review of Flexible Working Policies has now been concluded under the terms of reference of the joint management/union working group. A report will be presented to Cabinet prior to the end of the financial year.

-        Action 14: The new Training and Development Strategy was approved by Cabinet on 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 17: Labour turnover figures across service area is regularly reported to Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee. More detailed work on this will now be undertaken within Human Resources as part of the terms of reference of the new Performance, Planning and Information Unit.

-        Action 18: Work has continued in liaison with both managers and trade unions to respond effectively to recruitment and retention issues arising from the completed 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

10.      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. To help with this 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.

-        A key part of the above will be the establishment of a Performance, Planning and Information Unit with Human Resources with effect from 1st April 2014.

-        Members will recall that the first Annual Workforce Planning Conference took place on the 12th July 2013 as sponsored by the Local Government Association and Skills for Justice. This event will be repeated in 2014.

-        Supported workforce planning sessions have now been completed in all directorate management teams over the last 2 months in order to assess the workforce implications of the 2014/15 service planning process and refine individual service based workforce plans.

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

11.      A copy of the agreed workforce planning map is set out in Appendix B.  The map provides a reminder of the 'fit' of the above actions in the context of the Council's overall workforce planning approach.

12.      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)

13.      The resource implications are set out in Appendix C of Corporate Workforce Plan.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

Crime and Disorder Implications

16.      None identified

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

17.      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

18.      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

19.      This report is a matter for the Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20.      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

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