Agenda and draft minutes

Human Resources Committee
Wednesday, 20th March, 2019 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Samantha Stonebanks, Democratic Services Officer  01423 500600, Email: democraticservices@harrogate.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes:

Minutes:

Notification had been received that Councillor Richard Cooper was to act for Councillor Sue Lumby.

(5.30 pm)

2.

Declarations of Interest:

Members to advise of any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made at the meeting.

(5.30 pm)

3.

Minutes: pdf icon PDF 196 KB

of the meeting of the Committee held on 30 January 2019.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 30 January 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

(Four Members voted for the motion and there was one abstention)

(5.30 pm)

4.

Exempt Information:

To determine whether to exclude the press and public during the consideration of any exempt information items.

Minutes:

There was no exempt information.

(5.30 pm)

5.

Public Arrangements - Questions:

To consider any questions under Standing Order 27.

Minutes:

There were no public questions to consider under Standing Order 27.

(5.31 pm)

Matter to be dealt with under delegated powers

6.

Occupational Health and Health Surveillance Policy: pdf icon PDF 141 KB

The Health and Safety Manager to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Health and Safety Manager (HSM) submitted a written report to seek approval of the revised version of the Occupational Health and Health Surveillance Policy. Since the policy was written in 2007 the nature of the work undertaken by employees at Harrogate Borough Council had changed and as such the potential health risks employees were exposed to had also changed. It is good practice to keep health and safety policies up to date in order to protect the safety of employees and protect the financial position of HBC.

 

In response to a question regarding the provision of occupation health services, the HSM confirmed that Harrogate Borough Council currently had a contract with the NHS and Insight. The NHS provided specialist health care professionals and Insight provided a confidential counselling service. It was confirmed that the Council’s procurement process was followed when awarding the contract to the NHS and Insight. The contracts were due to end in 2019 and as such the Human Resources Manager and the HSM would be going back out to tender for a new contract.

 

The HSM informed the Committee that Insight was a confidential service that offered a range of services such as mental health support, bereavement counselling and financial advice. The Council received regular reports on the number of Council staff using the service, the type of issues being dealt with and the reason for these issues. This helped the Council spot trends and compare performance with other local authorities. In relation to stress, the Human Resources Manager confirmed that a significant portion of the stress related cases at HBC were caused by external matters, not work related matters.

 

Unison had been consulted on the policy and its comments were built into the report. The HSM confirmed that the updated policy was not taking away any cover for employees but was instead going to cover more roles and employees.

 

It was agreed that the Health and Safety Manager would provide more information on whether the policy, and specifically the access to Insight, covered Councillors as well as employees. It was also agreed that the sickness figures for the Council would be circulated to the Committee.  

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That the Occupational Health and Health Surveillance Policy be approved.

 

(5.31 pm – 5.47 pm)

 

(D)