Agenda and minutes

Employment Committee - Wednesday, 15th March, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - South Kesteven House, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ. View directions

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Apologies for absence

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    An apology for absence was received from Councillor Ian Stokes.



Disclosure of interests

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    Members are asked to disclose any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.

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    There were none.


Minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2023 pdf icon PDF 188 KB

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    The minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2023 were proposed, seconded, and AGREED as a correct record.


Updates from the previous meeting

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    To consider updates on the Actions agreed at the previous meeting.

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    The Employment Committee noted the action from the meeting of 18 January 2023.


    There were no further updates.


Gender Pay Gap 2021/2022 pdf icon PDF 151 KB

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    This report provides Employment Committee with the Gender Pay Gap position for 2021/22.


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    The report was introduced by the Cabinet Member for People and Safer Communities.


    The Cabinet Member informed the Committee of an amendment within the report (page 20).  The upper middle quartile male percentage for 2021 should have read 46% and not 56% as printed.


    In 2017, the Government introduced legislation requiring all organisations with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap each year annually.  The gender pay gap showed the difference in mean and median of both hourly pay and bonus payments for men and women across the organisation.  This differed from equal pay which considered the difference in pay of men and women in roles of equal value.  The information contained within this report was for the snapshot date of 31 March 2022 (as per the regulations).


    ·       The Council’s mean gender pay gap for 2021/22 was negative 3.38%, (2020/21 mean gender pay gap was 0.45%). The mean hourly rate for males was £13.91, and the mean hourly rate for females was £14.38.


    ·       The median gender pay gap for 2021/22 is negative 11%, (2020/21 median gender pay gap was 0%). The median hourly rate for males was £11.56 and females was £12.84.


    The gender pay gap showed the difference between the average (mean or median) earnings of men and women.  If used to its full potential, gender pay gap reporting was a valuable tool for assessing levels of equality in the workplace; female and male participation; and how effectively talent was being maximised.  The government’s Gender Pay Gap website provided details of all organisations who have submitted their information for benchmarking purposes.  This showed that the Council’s gender pay gap compared favourably with others, including other public sector organisations.


    The mean gender pay gap for the whole economy (according to the October 2022 Office for National Statistics (ONS) Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) figures) was 8.3%.  At negative 3.38%, our mean gender pay gap was significantly lower than the whole economy.  The median gender pay gap for the whole economy (according to the October 2022 ONS ASHE figures) was 14.9%.  At negative 11%, our median gender pay gap was significantly lower than the whole economy.  The reason for the reduction in our gender pay gap to a negative figure was predominately due to changes in the Senior Management Team, including a male Director and male Assistant Chief Executive leaving the organisation during the year.  In addition to this, three female members of the Senior Management Team took on additional responsibilities during 2021/22, some of which were temporary arrangements prior to the Corporate Restructure in April 2022.  The statistics showed that due to this change, the midpoint hourly rate for both men and women was no longer equal with women earning 11% more than men.  


    When benchmarking against neighbouring Councils who have so far submitted their figures, we were in a good situation with our figures in the negative.   All the figures had been calculated using the standard methodologies used in the Equality Act 2010 (Gender  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


Engagement Survey Key Findings 2023 pdf icon PDF 158 KB

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    A presentation and discussion of the Employee Survey 2023 key findings and next steps.


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    The Cabinet Member for People and Safer Communities presented the report.


    In January 2023, South Kesteven District Council undertook an employee survey and invited all employees to participate. The survey was open for a period of three weeks.


    Colleagues were asked to rate 41 statements on a scale from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’. 


    A lot of activity has taken place across the Council in response to the Engagement Survey feedback last year which included the establishment of the People Panel who analysed the results, got more feedback and worked with their teams to help build the action plan.


    Feedback suggested recognising colleagues more, so we built a new recognition strategy, re-designed the long service policy to recognise more colleagues in a timely way.  We also introduced #TeamSK Thank You Awards.


    Following feedback that colleagues wanted more opportunities to socialise with other teams, the Staff Celebration and charity events such as the Breast Cancer Awareness cake sale were organised.


    The new office had addressed many concerns relating to the working environment and booking desks anywhere in the office supported collaboration between teams which was a lower scoring area.  Colleagues said they wanted more communication so the monthly all-hands update calls were introduced and a number of activities and initiatives were introduced including the steps challenge, menopause café, parent’s forum and mental health workshops to improve wellbeing.  A programme of bitesize development sessions were introduced to upskill on a range of topics suggested by colleagues.


    An assessment into what the results indicated would take place with the People Panel on 27 March 2023, and following this, team sessions will take place across the Council to invite all colleagues to be involved in the discussion and action planning.


    The Cabinet Member thanked the HR Team for all their hard work in this area.


    The HR Manager summarised the key findings.  The percentage of positive responses to all six of the Engagement Index core questions improved year on year.  405 colleagues (74%) took part in the survey. This was an increase on previous recent years.  The Engagement Index increased to the highest levels we have seen in recent years - 70, compared to 63 in the last survey and 66 in 2020. 


    ·       72.% would recommend working for SKDC, compared to 54% last year.

    ·       70% were proud to work for SKDC, compared to 58% last year.

    ·       The cost of living was the biggest negative impact on staff well-being and mental health.

    ·       Questions around teamwork and staff feeling valued and respected had a higher positive outcome when compared to previous years.  Teamwork with other teams scored slightly lower and rectifying this was to be a priority over the next year.

    ·       84% of staff found their work interesting.

    ·       Negative scores around pay and the introduction of change will be focussed upon and further discussions held. 

    ·       A slightly higher number of females responded to the survey.

    ·       Those working in the offices for some of their time were more engaged than those who worked mostly at home.


    The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.


Work Programme

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    To consider the Committee’s Work Programme.

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    The Work Programme for the following year had yet to be confirmed. 


    The Democratic Services Manager clarified that the standard items would be scheduled in the weeks ahead prior to the next meeting scheduled in June.


Exclusion of Press and Public

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    It is likely that the press and public will be excluded during discussion of the following agenda item because of the likelihood that information that is exempt under paragraph 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local government Act 1972 (as amended) would be disclosed to them.


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    Under Section 100(a)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public may be excluded from the meeting during any listed items of business, on the grounds that if they were to be present, exempt information could be disclosed to them as defined in the relevant paragraphs of Schedule 12A of the Act.



Chief Executive Appraisal


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Any other business, which the Chairman, by reason of special circumstances, decides is urgent

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    There was no other business.


Close of Meeting

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    The Chairman closed the meeting at