Agenda and minutes
Venue: Town Hall, Watford
Contact: Jodie Kloss Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for absence/ committee membership
There was a change of membership this meeting; Councillor L. Scudder replaced Councillor Ayre and Councillor Connal replaced Councillor Turmaine.
Disclosure of interests (if any)
There were no disclosures of interest.
To submit for signature the minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2013.
The minutes of the meeting held on 23rd July 2013 were submitted and
Report of the Head of Human Resources
The Committee received a report of the Head of Human Resources (Head of HR) which detailed the profile of Watford Borough Council’s workforce from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013.
Watford Borough Council was committed to equality and diversity across the full spectrum of its services and in its role as an employer. This commitment was articulated in its equality objective and associated action plan which identified key actions the Council would take to ensure equalities for its workforce and that it reflected the community it served. Watford’s commitment went beyond its statutory obligations and reinforced its corporate priority to ensure equality and diversity was at the heart of everything it did.
Appendix 1 attached to the report detailed the profile of Watford Borough Council’s workforce from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013.
The Head of Human Resources introduced the report. She drew Members’ attention to Section 7 - Analysis by Ethnicity – which demonstrated that the total number of employees from a black or ethnic (BME) background for 2012/13 was 12.2% against a community population of 27.1%. This was the worst performing of the areas covered.
She went on to advise that the issue of succession planning had been discussed at Leadership Team as the age profile of the Council could result in a significant number of staff electing to retire almost simultaneously. Officers were looking at how to attract younger people. The Council had a good record of maternity leave return and this indicated that the Council was a good employer for people with childcare responsibilities.
Officers were also looking at training as results showed that of the training days delivered only 34% were attended by female employees. This could have something to do with timings which may not be suitable for part time workers and those with child care responsibilities.
A poor response had been received in respect of gender re-assignment and sexual orientation; there tended to be a reluctance to provide this information. Comparisons had been made with other authorities and Watford’s return rate was fairly standard. The Head of HR advised that the Stonewall guidance had been published on the Intranet and circulars sent round to staff.
In terms of corporate targets, the Council was not hitting its target of 5% in respect of the percentage of top 10% of earners who declared a disability. This was mainly due to the small number of staff involved.
The Head of HR summarised the way forward outlined in the report including how to match the change in local demographics in respect of the BME working population. The current recruitment freeze and cut back of staff did, however, make this quite difficult. She advised that an Employee Disability Forum was being set up facilitated by Human Resources and that further reports would also be put to Leadership Team on issues such as succession planning, apprenticeships and graduate schemes.
The Chair referred to the female training statistics and asked whether training could be arranged around ... view the full minutes text for item 9.