Agenda and minutes
Venue: Town Hall, Watford
Contact: Ian Smith/Alan Garside Email: email@example.com
Apologies for absence
There were two changes of membership for the meeting; Councillor S Johnson replaced Councillor M Watkin and Councillor S Williams replaced Councillor M Mills.
Disclosure of interests (if any)
There were no disclosures of interest.
The minutes of the meeting held on 26 February 2015 to be submitted and signed.
Copies of the minutes of this meeting are usually available seven working days following the meeting.
(All minutes are available on the Council’s website.)
The minutes of the meeting held on 26th February 2015 were submitted and signed.
Report of the Head of Human Resources detailing the profile of Watford Borough Council workforce from 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015.
The Committee received a report of the Head of Human Resources which detailed the profile of Watford Borough Council’s
workforce from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015.
Watford Borough Council was committed to equality and diversity across the full spectrum of its services and in its role as
an employer. The 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.
The Head of Human Resources introduced the report to the Committee. She explained that it was a requirement to produce
the report each year. She said that overall, performance was good; particularly in relation to recruiting a younger workforce
where various initiatives, including apprenticeship schemes, had proved fruitful. However, the Council was not hitting all
targets - for example, in relation to staff and job applicants not completing data on protected characteristics. She
wondered whether staff might consider this information to be confidential and she explained that new guidance was being
issued that could increase the provision of the data. She commented that the matter formed part of a wider national
picture; with some people considering the data their own business or if disclosed they potentially being treated less
favourably. She explained that a number of Councils in Hertfordshire performed better then Watford in this regard and that
some authorities required the data to be provided compulsorily. However, Watford Borough Council did not consider this
to be a sound approach at this stage. She said that in the future there may be opportunities to improve take up by utilising
the new website design where it might be easier to require that the information be provided; it would also be helpful to get
community views on the issue. Another option would be to conduct a survey on the website.
Councillor Haley agreed that this was a difficult area. He made reference to the sexual orientation data where no
employees had apparently indicated that they were gay. He considered this to be unusual as this group had historically
been committed to equality issues. He felt that it would be a good idea to conduct a survey later in the year but people
should not be forced to complete this. He asked the following:
· With reference to paragraph 3.2 in the report; whether there was a further breakdown of any additional take up.
· With reference to Table 1 in the report; whether the breakdown of the Watford Borough Council workforce, as compared to the percentage of the local population, was statistically relevant as the small numbers involved may skew the data. If this was not the case, it may indicate there was a problem with recruitment in certain groups.
· With reference to paragraph 7.1.3 in the report; whether the target of a ... view the full minutes text for item 4.