Agenda item

HR Policy Handbook Updates

Report of Deputy Leader and Executive Member of Strategy, Governance and Transformation, Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen.

Minutes:

The Executive Manager People and Public Protection introduced the newly appointed HR Manager to Members.

 

He outlined that in January 2017 Full Council approved the Employee Handbook that contained a number of employee policies. Three additional policies have been developed and the report sought the approval of those additional policies.

 

Career Break Policy­

A career break had been requested by a longstanding member of staff. There was no scheme currently available hence the preparation of this new policy.

An employee would be required to have had 26 weeks employment before they may request a career break. This was in line with statutory leave such as maternity, adoption and parental leave requests. Career breaks would be unpaid and may be any employee so long as they met the length of service required.

 

Stuck not Sick Policy

This policy would allow officers the ability to access 2 Emergency days in one leave year. Approval must be obtained from the line manager and could be used for an emergency day not previously authorised. For example in adverse weather, an Officer could access one of the two emergency days and take it as annual leave, flex leave, unpaid leave or agree a period of time to work back the time taken.  

 

Councillor Wilkinson asked if the Union were in agreement with this policy.

The Executive Manager People and Public Protection advised it was proposed with support from the Union. It would benefit Officers for example on occasion a child was absent from school due to sickness or adverse weather and the employee had no remaining annual leave entitlement so could access the Stuck not Sick day as an emergency for them to take the day off at short notice.

 

 

Drug and Alcohol Policy.

The policy addresses the principals by which the Council would like employees to operate by when addressing alcohol, drugs and substances. The recommendation would be to test for Alcohol, Drugs and Substance misuse on a “just cause” basis rather than adopt random sampling.

 

Councillor Turner queried the Career Break Policy and raised concern that there could be a period of time where a level of service would not be maintained if there were a number of Officers on a Career Break. The Executive Manager People and Public Protection confirmed that any career break request would require the authorisation of the Chief Officer.

 

Councillor Kybird questioned if there would be a lead time to any break.

The Executive Manager People and Public Protection confirmed that this would be a discussion between the Chief Officer and the employee.

 

Councillor Turner queried the 26 week continuous employment before requesting a Career Break and felt that it was a very short amount of time as an employee may be in their probationary period.

The Executive Manager People and Public Protection advised it would be 26 weeks following the probation period. He added that the policy had been aligned to other Special Leave requests that were at the discretion of the Chief Officer.

 

 

Councillor Clarke asked if Breckland Council had a contract with an Occupation Health Specialist to carry out substance testing.

It was confirmed that there was no contract currently in place however discussions were taking place with providers.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Commission did not agree with the recommendations for the Career Break Policy and requested that the “26 week” reference be reviewed and returns to a future meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission.

 

It was RECOMMENDED that the:  Stuck not Sick Policy and Drug and Alcohol Policy be approved by Full Council.

 

 

Supporting documents: