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Does a Parish Council Staffing Committee require HR training?

0 votes

At a recent Parish Council meeting, the Clerk was trying to make changes to the latest NALC standing orders by editing some changes  

  • Members of the Council should attend appropriate employment law training before making decisions and follow the advice of the Clerk to the Council and HR Officer/Deputy Clerk in relation to employment law.

In the recent past, an officer was was dismissed by HR, but re-instated on appeal by the staffing committee, because it was deemed due diligence wasn’t followed in the initial investigation.  It now looks like the Clerk is trying to incorporate into Standing Orders, that Councillors have to follow the advice of the Clerk in relation to employment law, even if further mitigating evidence comes to light. It makes the appeal process obsolete.

For info, the Clerk had an issue with the sacked member of staff and there was a suspicion of bullyIng but the bullying aspect was not further investigated.

Do other Councils staffing committees have to have employment training?  

Thoughts please?

asked by (120 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
I've tried this and will be trying again. It falls down to the Council making the decision. I tried to get it incorporated into the term of refference though transpires the sub-committe forged is redundant.
Instead I'll try and put forward the need for a training and development stratedgy for both Councillors and Employees and get it into the terms of refference for any committee linked to employees.
But i do agree with you. It should be mandated. It's too important to ignore and should be given annually, certainly regarding appeals, grievances etc
The clerk obviously is the legal officer and no doubt is far more qualified but training of Councillors is important as we're all employers including the employer of the clerk.
answered by (2.8k points)
0 votes
Following the advice of the clerk could be contentious if he/she was them self the subject of a grievance or alleged breach of conduct. Council staff committees are not obliged to receive employment law training. There could be a few instances where a member was knowledgeable about employment law, but some form of training or guidance would be highly desirable.  Paritioners would not be impressed to see thousands of pounds spent on Employment Tribunal proceedings.
answered by (13.8k points)
+1 vote
There is no set rule as to what training PC's need in relation to staffing matters. In my experience, I have found that some Clerk's have seen this as a way to exploit loopholes when they are going through performance management.

A Parish Council should have a separate sub-committee for staffing that has a clear set of objectives and Terms of Reference which is mirrored in the Standing Orders. Luckily I have considerable HR experience so I am comfortable with our council's processes but I can imagine so many smaller councils are too loose with their management of staff opening themselves up to huge potential problems. This in part is down to many PC's operating in archaic ways instead of being more professional and highlighting the fact there is a professional body as a tier of local government.

Training Councillors in basic personnel management is useful for both the council and the Clerk to ensure both sides are supported if a staffing issue arises. However, there are more than enough organisations to help should Councillors not be trained for example your local association or ACAS who have a free phone number to call and discuss any matters.
answered by (4.5k points)

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