Agenda and minutes

People and Organisational Development Committee - Tuesday, 5th March 2024 6.10 p.m.

Venue: Lancaster Town Hall

Contact: Stephen Metcalfe, Democratic Support - email 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Councillors of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.


Councillors are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting).  


Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9 and in the interests of clarity and transparency, Councillors should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, at this point in the meeting.  


In accordance with Part B Section 2 of the Code Of Conduct, Councillors are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct. 


Councillor Jason Wood declared his interest as an employee and member of UNISON and as a member of Unite the union, these interests being publicly declared. He also declared that his wife is a member of UNISON, Unite the union and GMB.  




Minutes of meeting held on 15th February 2024. 


The minutes of the meeting held on 15th February 2024 were approved and signed by the Chair as a correct record. 



Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chair pdf icon PDF 474 KB


In accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chair had agreed for one item of urgent business to be considered at this meeting regarding the NJC Pay Claim 2024-25.  The item was considered as urgent business as there was a requirement to consider and respond to this item of business by the consultation deadline of 14th March 2024, which is prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Committee. 


After considering the consultation document, which had been circulated to Members of the Committee prior to the meeting, it was moved by Councillor Jason Wood and seconded by Councillor Paul Hart and unanimously resolved as follows. 


Resolved: -


(1)            In the context of the employer consultation that the Committee expresses its support in principle for the pay claim noting the financial constraints and that the additional amount, above the 6% budgeted for by the City Council, be funded by the Government, the Committee strongly expressing its support to:


·       Reviews of the gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps in local government. 


·       An additional day of annual leave for personal or well-being purposes (with term time only staff also receiving a full day rather than a pro rata amount, that they can use at any time, including term time). 




Health and Safety Policy Development and Review pdf icon PDF 219 KB

Report of the Chief Officer - People and Policy.  Report and appendices published on 29.02.24. 


Additional documents:


The Health and Safety Consultant addressed the Committee to introduce the draft Health and Safety policies which had been renewed following the Health and Safety Corporate Review.  The comments made at JCC with regard to the lack of inclusion in the local health and safety representative in terms of their roles and responsibilities for the strategy had now been addressed within the document for consideration by the Committee. 


It was noted that there was a minor typographical error contained within the Health and Safety Strategy 2024 – 2026, 4.0 Key Roles and Responsibilities, Health and Safety Representatives/Trade Union Representatives, with the word “representative” to be inserted after the words “Trade Union”. 


The Chair thanked the Health and Safety Consultant for their substantial work in producing the revised policies and for providing a detailed overview of them for the Committee. 


It was proposed by Councillor Paul Newton, seconded by Councillor Jason Wood, and unanimously resolved as follows:


Resolved: -


That, subject to the amendment to the minor typographical error contained within the Health and Safety Strategy 2024 – 2026, 4.0 Key Roles and Responsibilities, Health and Safety Representatives/Trade Union Representatives, the Health and Safety policies be approved. 


HR Policy Development and Review pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Report of HR Policy and Strategy Lead. 

Additional documents:


The HR Policy and Strategy Lead submitted a report that enabled the Committee to consider and approve the introduction of revised Flexible Working Request, Disciplinary and Sickness Absence Management policies.  


Comments and amendments following the meeting of JCC on 21st February 2024 were set out in the report. 


The policy tracker, appended to the report, advised of further information on the changes to be reviewed. For these policies these were:


Policy Section Number (new number)

Existing/New Section

Section Heading

Amendment/addition Notes


Flexible Working Request Policy


Revised Existing

Conditions and Arrangements

The provision set out the statutory time limit of 2 months to respond to a request (including appeal). It is still LCC’s commitment to dealing with flexible working requests within 1 month, but the statutory requirement is 2 months to respond to a request, not to have also dealt with an appeal (as there is no statutory right of appeal). Amended to re-state the statutory requirement of 2 months to respond.


Revised Existing


Revised to include reference to the recently approved LCC appeal policy. This will give employee’s a further 5 days to appeal a decision and brings the appeals process in line with all other decisions which carry a right of appeal for consistency.

Flexible Working Request Application Form



Removed the section which previously requested employee’s to set out the impact the request may have on the service in line with new legislative requirements.

Disciplinary Policy




Policy re branded to new format.



Generic Layout

Layout follows new format. Scope, Purpose, Roles & Responsibilities followed by the procedure to be followed.



Employee’s Responsibilities

Introduced 2 new employee responsibilities:

1.      To make the Commissioning Officer and/or Disciplinary Hearing Manager aware of any reasonable adjustments that may be required to co-operate with the process (this has been updated in the invite letters to remind employees); and

2.      To provide any evidence, including naming any relevant witnesses to either the Investigating Officer or the Disciplinary Hearing Manager to consider as soon as possible (see “witnesses” below)



Council’s Responsibilities

The previous policy had objectives and principles but no Council responsibilities. We have introduced Council Responsibilities which reflect the previous objectives and principles to showcase the fact that it is not just line managers and employees who are responsible for good conduct; it is also the Council’s responsibility to promote fairness and consistency.


Revised Existing

Misconduct or gross misconduct: what is the difference?

The existing policy included a section around the difference between misconduct and gross misconduct. It acknowledged it would be impossible to provide a conclusive list but some of the examples given were misleading as to their severity i.e. equality and diversity breaches were listed under misconduct (when they could very possibly be gross misconduct). We have moved away from using lots of specific examples to highlight what is considered misconduct or gross misconduct as this will be dictated by the specific circumstances. The new policy focuses on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


Pay Policy Statement 2024/2025 pdf icon PDF 215 KB

Report of the Chief Officer – People and Policy. 

Additional documents:


The Chief Officer, People and Policy presented the proposed Pay Policy Statement for noting before its referral to People and Organisational Development Committee and then Full Council. The Committee was informed that it is a requirement under section 38 of the Localism Act 2011 that local authorities publish a Pay Policy Statement by the 31st of March each year and that there were no notable changes to the policy aside from reflecting the most recent staff pay award. 


The Committee discussed the Willis Towers Watson Global Grading Scheme referred to in paragraph 14.2 of the Policy Statement, and it was noted that a report on the People Plan, including a date to look at the Job Evaluation process and the resources to do so, be submitted for consideration at the next meeting of the Committee. 


It was proposed by Councillor Professor Chris Harris, seconded by Councillor Jason Wood, and unanimously resolved as follows:


Resolved: -


That the Pay Policy Statement 2024-2025 be referred and recommended for approval at Full Council on 13th March 2024. 



Gender Pay Gap Reporting pdf icon PDF 231 KB

Report of the Chief Officer – People and Policy. 

Additional documents:


The Chief Officer, People and Policy presented the Council’s annual gender pay gap report and provided an overview of the report’s findings. It was reported that there had been a small increase in the gender pay gap but that it remained in-line with, and slightly below, the national average.


The Chief Officer, People and Policy also explained to the Committee the Council’s commitment to reducing the gender pay gap and the activities to address the issue as detailed in the report, in particular the suggestions provided by the Women’s Network and those included in the existing three-year People Plan.


The Gender Pay Gap report was noted by the Committee and the Chair extended his thanks to all in attendance and for the hard work of the officers involved in the creation of the reports presented during the meeting.


Resolved: -


That the Gender Pay Gap report be noted.