Agenda item

People Plan Update including HR Dashboard


The Chairman introduced the report which updated Members on the HR People Plan and included the HR Metrics from the HR Dashboard for the financial year 2021/22.


The People Plan focused on the six main strands of the HR Strategy:


·       Engagement

·       Development

·       Recruitment/Workforce Planning

·       Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

·       Reward and Recognition

·       Wellbeing


and the actions being taken/planned in respect of each area.  Engagement had been spoken about during the previous agenda item.


Under the Development section:

·       497 individuals attended learning events across 112 separate events. 

·       There were 14 apprenticeships (9 new and 4 graduated from courses)

·       Apprenticeships covered building control, planning, electricians, plumbers and HGV drivers.

·       Two people had been employed through the Government’s Kickstart Scheme which was aimed at people aged between 16 – 24 years old who were on Universal Credit getting into work and had been very successful.

·       Work was in progress to employ a student from Loughborough University as part of a sandwich placement in Planning Services.

·       66%, 220 appraisals had been completed to date.

·       Work was on going to upskill managers and aspirations discussed during the appraisal process.

·       Wide array of different management courses taking place around the new on-line Management System.


Under Recruitment/Workforce Planning Section:

·       Outturn headcount for Quarter4 was 546, 282 males, 264 females, 435 FT and 111PT.

·       There had been 90 new starters and 119 leavers, this was an increase in leavers from the 84 of the previous year and mirrored what was happening in other organisations.  Benchmarking with other Local Authorities showed that South Kesteven was still below average in turnover.  Exit interviews took place with Managers and HR to discuss the reason for the leaving the organisation.


A question was asked about whether it was specific sections or demographic where staff were leaving.  It was noted that street scene had a high turnover of staff as did housing.  From a demographic perspective the leavers tended to be 50+.


·       44% of staff had been with the authority less than 6 years, but there was a good mix of other service time.

·       Work was being undertaken on attracting people to come and work for South Kesteven with videos being taken of staff as part of the campaign and in person inductions starting again.

·       Work was being done in respect of resignations and contingency planning.

·       Currently 97% of staff were on a one month notice period and when annual leave was built into it, it didn’t leave time for a decent handover or recruitment period.  Consultation was taking place with unions to increase some contractual notice periods and work was being done to improve the quality of handover planning.


Questions were asked about career fayres for local schools and universities and open days.  In respect of apprenticeships work was done with local schools but work had been impacted by Covid and it was confirmed that open days had taken place in the past.  The Leader indicated that he had attended sixth forms and colleges in the past and also there had been an increase in applications for work experience at the Council Offices this year.  The HR Manager confirmed that there were students coming for work experience during July 2022 and a programme had been compiled which included meeting the Leader and it would help to promote the Council with younger people.


The next area covered Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

·       Pie charts covered disability, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation although it was noted that this information was not held for a large number of those who worked for the Council.  One Member asked if going forward the information could be listed with numbers rather than shown in a pie chart as it was felt that zero did not add anything to the information before the Committee.




In future information in respect of disability, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation to be listed with numbers rather than shown in a pie chart.


·       Over 50% of the Council’s workforce was 50+.


A question was asked about the difference between “declined to answer” and “did not answer” to which Project Officer replied.


·       The gap between gender was narrowing with only 18 more males than females, although sections such as street scene and repairs tended to be dominated by males with revenues and customer services having more females.

·       In respect of diversity a Menopause Café had recently been set up and had received a good turnout and an expert was coming next month.  A Parents Forum had also been set up supporting working parents and more information had been asked for around children’s mental health and a development programme working with the Conversation at Stamford, who were a charity had been arranged with a question and answer session next month. 


Reward and Recognition was the next strand and work had been focused on the Recognition Strategy.  Long Service awards were being looked at and rather than the recognition of doing 30 years when someone leaves it was now being undertaken when it happens.  Also, other work in respect of monthly staff recognition draws and employee awards was being undertaken.


Sickness absence figures for 2021/22 which came under the Wellbeing strand were then discussed.  Short term sick, which was an absence under four weeks stood at 1973.99 for 2021/22 and long term sick stood at 4968.68 which was an average of 13.69 per full time equivalent working days lost.  In 2019 that had been 12 days and in 2020 that had fallen to 9 days.   The reason for short term sick tended to be colds and flu. The longer periods of sickness, by a significant margin was mental health issues and it was highlighted the need to support colleagues with such issues.


A question was asked about the average sickness absence in the Local Government Sector to which the HR Manager replied that in relation to those authorities that were benchmarked South Kesteven was in the middle. Everyone had seen an increase and it was slightly higher than the public sector benchmarks.  Work was being undertaken in respect of those with long term sickness absence with occupational health getting involved and upskilling for line manager on how they could support long term absentees. 


It was asked if comparison figures could be included with other authorities in respect of absence to give a clearer picture of where South Kesteven stood.




That comparison absence figures for other local authorities be included going forwarded.


A question was asked about occupational health support to which the HR Manager replied that currently tendering for a new occupational health contract was being undertaken but independent occupational support was available.


(11:26 Councillor Paul Wood left the meeting and did not return)


The presentation then highlighted return to work interviews which at 92% was lower than it should have been. Although interviews were being undertaken that was not progressing to the iTrent system.  The Employer Assistant Programme had received 73 calls up from 54 calls the previous year and the Mental Health First Aiders had received 83 visits opposed to 27 the previous year.  The information showed that the mental health support on offer was being increasingly utilised.

A wellbeing survey had been conducted and based on the responses received a Staff Wellbeing Plan had been put together for 2022/23 by the Wellbeing Steering Group based on what staff wanted.


The HR Manager concluded the presentation highlighting the number of disciplinaries that had been undertaken during 2021/22 which had increased during quarter 4 and had been impacted by a specific case.


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