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Should all councillors be notified in advance of a Staffing Committee meeting?

0 votes

We were recently sent ‘notes’, (undated and no list of attendees on them), informing us that the Staffing Committee had met.  No Clerk/Proper Officer was involved in arranging or minuting the meeting.  

One of the members of the Committee replaced a Councillor who has left the PC.  Should their appointment to the Committee have been voted on at an open council meeting before the Staffing Committee met?

asked by (320 points)

2 Answers

+3 votes
By Staffing committee I assume you mean the council's employment group. As with all committee meetings they must be notified as per standing orders as they are open to the public. Minutes must be taken and published but can be taken by an appointed member of the committee and need to be accepted(or amended) at the next meeting ( all as per the PC meetings) by the chair of the committee. Appointments to committees is expected to be agreed at the annual meeting and amended by council during the year as needed. Committees should also have their set down terms of reference regarding the business they are formed to carry out setting  out what decisions they can/cannot make. It might be that their terms of reference (agreed by council) might allow them to appoint replacement councillors as needed.
Check out the committees terms of reference
answered by (4.7k points)
Yes, I think some people call it a 'Personnel Committee'.  Many thanks for your reply.
For the sake of transparency all staffing matters are noted and reported on in full council. The sub committee of 3 hold a meeting with the employee and notes are taken. As the only employee i donot take the minutes but a written report is shared with the committee members and the employee and then a verbal report is given to full Council.
0 votes
If the staffing committee was talking about the employee which is normally the case or maybe a job change or disciplinary issue concerning the clerk, I would not expect the employee to be involved. Councillors need to remember that they are employers and covered in this committee by employment law in the first instance.

You state in one of your other posts that the clerk is on long term sick, this maybe the reason why the meeting was called to discuss welfare and sick pay
answered by (3.1k points)
edited by
The questions asked were about whether or not other councillors, who are not on the committee, should be informed of a committee meeting before it takes place (not after it has happened), and whether appointments to a committee should be approved by council.
Mentorman has answered these questions and has confirmed that all committee meetings must be notified as per standing orders as they are open to the public.  My understanding is, that the requirement for notification of the meeting doesn't change, even if the public are excluded from the meeting itself.
Thank you for your response, CG, but it seems to focus more on possible reasons for calling a committee meeting, rather than about notification and minuting of the meeting, and approval of committee members.
I believe you are missing my point. Employment law is quite strict in the discussion of personal issues. If the meeting involves an employee it should not be a public meeting- employees have protection and just because they are employed by a council does not give the go ahead for their personal employment issues to be discussed in public.
It is a breach of Standing Orders if you don't notify the public, giving 3 clear days' notice, of a meeting (ordinary/extraordinary/committee), regardless of whether the public/press are going to be excluded.   The exclusion would be stated on the agenda, with a reason for it.  If this is wrong, then I stand to be corrected.
So SiennaO you are saying every time a clerk phones in sick, a notice to the public of a meeting has to displayed giving three days notice before the employer can discuss the welfare management of the employee - please direct me where in employment law it states that this is the case. Like I said employment law first council second maybe you need to research the understanding of GDPR and HR responsibility of your council.
That is not what I am saying.
Your reply relates to day-to-day management of sickness absence.  This would be done in line with the procedures in a sickness absence policy (assuming there is one in place) based on employment law.
With regard to GDPR, 'confidentiality and matters of a sensitive nature' are reasons to exclude the public/press.
The original question was about notification of staffing committee meetings which, for example,  might be called to discuss changes to an employee’s terms and conditions of employment, or to deal with staff recruitment.  It has already been clarified by Mentorman that the requirement for notification is the same as for other committees, i.e. 3 days’ notice, as per Standing Orders.

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