Matter which the Chairman has decided is urgent in order for the Council to meet the timescales of its Improvement Objectives


Agenda Item No.









“           CORPORATE WORKFORCE PLAN 2013 – 17 (MD) –


The Corporate Workforce Plan, as appended to the report, had been drafted in accordance with Objective 8 of the Council’s Improvement Objectives for 2012/13, that is, to develop effective and sustainable workforce planning arrangements for the Council.  The Plan reflected the vision and service aims set out in the draft Corporate Plan as considered by Cabinet on 19th November 2012 with the Budget Review projections as considered at the same meeting.  The structure of the Plan aimed to facilitate a process for seeking to identify and address gaps between the workforce of today and the human resource needs of the future by following the sequential steps as set out below:


·                     looking at the vision of the Council over the next four years

·                     looking at the contextual issues and hurdles in achieving the vision

·                     analysing the current workforce

·                     considering the needs of the future workforce

·                     undertaking a “gap analysis” between the “current” and “future” workforce

·                     action planning on the basis of the above.


Appendix C to the report contained the Corporate Workforce Planning Action Plan and also reflected the common themes highlighted in each of the individual service workforce plans as set out in Appendix D which had been compiled following facilitated workforce planning workshops in each of the Directorates.  Since workforce planning was a dynamic and ongoing exercise, Members noted that the Plan would be reviewed and updated on an annual basis.  The outcomes for the Plan would help to inform and refresh the Council’s Human Resources and Training and Development Strategies.  It was also suggested that the Council’s Joint Management / Union Change Forum be asked to monitor the progress of the Corporate Action Plan as part of the regular monthly business activity. 


Committee were advised that, following consideration of the report, a Joint Trade Union response had been received, a copy of which was circulated at the meeting, together with a response from the Head of Human Resources, namely:


“I am pleased that the trade unions are in broad agreement with the draft workforce plan and I am grateful for their support and comments during the consultation meetings held in November 2012. In relation to the points raised in the note of the 6th December 2012 I would offer the following comments and suggested changes:-



Issue as raised by Trade Unions

Relevant Section


Responding comment and suggested amendment


Joint Trade Union Relationships


Concerns about the reference in paragraph 6.6 to:-






“our good relationships with the trade unions have helped us to manage change in a transparent, fair and sensitive way”













Page 17

Paragraph 6.6

Second sentence




I am content to suggest an amendment to the paragraph to reflect the concerns as raised.


Suggested change to:-


“We have strived to develop good relationships with the trade unions to help us to manage change in a transparent, fair and sensitive way”


Clarity about the challenges we face


Concerns about the need to be clear and honest about the financial challenges we face in the section “setting the future in context”




Page 8-12











The reference to the financial challenges is set out very clearly in the section “Financial pressures across the public sector” (4.2 to 4.4) and in Theme i (a change in the numbers of directly employed staff” at pages 16 and 17).








Dedicated Joint Management/Trade Union working group


A suggestion that there is a need for a joint group to oversee and monitor the workforce plan










This is a useful suggestion which has been built into the covering report to this Committee (at paragraph 10).


In accordance with the above it is proposed that the Joint Management / Union Change Forum undertakes this role as part of their monthly agenda.






Protection of Jobs and good working relationships


A suggestion that there is a need for a focus to be placed on the protection of jobs and good working relationships with the trade unions within the workforce plan.


The workforce plan aims to be transparent and clear about the financial challenges ahead and the implications for workforce numbers. It is important that this is done in an honest way without setting unrealistic expectations.


All of the actions in Theme i (1 to 6) aim to mitigate (albeit not avoid) the adverse workforce implications as does action 7 in (Theme ii).


The need for a focus on good working relationships with the trade unions is covered in Theme iii at pages 20 and 21 (and particularly in relation to the intended development of a partnership framework with the trade unions at paragraph 6.24





Commitment to working with management


As above



As above






Health and Wellbeing of our members


A suggestion that the health and well-being of the workforce needs to be reflected within the plan





The focus on engagement and well-being is implicit in the Theme iii (at pages 20 to 21).


It is suggested that this is made more explicit by way of the following amendment at paragraph 6.17:-


“The contractual flexibility outlined in paragraphs 6.8 to 6.15 will need to be matched by contractual flexibilities  that help our staff maintain a work-life balance and HR policies that help to recognise and support their contribution, value, engagement and well-being at work”





(1)       T H A T the comments of the Committee be referred to Cabinet on 17th December, 2012 for consideration, including the suggested minor changes as set out at 1 and 6 of the Head of Human Resources’ note.


(2)       T H A T, on the basis of the above, the adoption of the Workforce Plan as set out at Appendix A to the report be supported and referred for approval by Cabinet on 17th December 2012.


(3)       T H A T the Workforce Plan be reviewed annually and that it be monitored on a six monthly basis by this Committee.


Reasons for recommendations


(1&2)  To help the Council meet its workforce needs over the next four years in accordance with the vision and objectives set out in the draft Corporate Plan. 


(3)       To ensure that the contents of the Plan are updated regularly and implemented.”




Attached as Appendices –

(i)         Report to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources): 11th December, 2012

(ii)        Supplementary information circulated at the meeting.