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0 votes
We are in tier 3 and our chair is wanting to meet at her barn for a face to face meeting with the clerk and 2 other cllrs  to do her appraisal. The chair is good friends with the clerk and is wanting to do the pay and hours at the same time. Some of the cllrs are concerned about this.
by (500 points)

3 Answers

+2 votes

There is an exemption under Tier 3 which says

  • for work or providing voluntary or charitable services, including in other people‚Äôs homes

So legally you can probably do so, providing all the other rules and guidelines are followed.

I would suggest that if a cllr is concerned they should send apologies and not attend.

Is there a reason for not using Zoom or equivalent?

Is the meeting deemed to be so urgent it can't be put off?

We had one face to face meeting a couple of months ago but the clerk and chairman decided to cancel our last one due to the newer restrictions. 

by (5.2k points)
+1 vote
Please explain "do the pay and hours".  I'm curious.
by (52.7k points)
The chair is wanting to do the clerks pay and hours review at the same time as the appraisal. I thought the pay review was at the end of the financial year in April otherwise she will want an increase again in April.
The whole council need to resolve what salary & working hours are applicable, preferably after due consideration & recommendation by a staffing committee.  It seems this chair is acting unlawfully based on what you have posted as he/she are not empowered to make decisions unilaterally..
Do you have a personnel or staffing committee that deals with employment matters, or are these handled by the whole Council? If you have a committee, they should review the conditions of employment, including hours and salary levels, then make a recommendation to the full council. If you don't have a committee, the whole council should undertake the review.
We don't have any committees. At the last meeting which was on zoom and most of the cllrs had internet connection problems so did not hear fully what was happening, the chair and another cllr (who are both friends of the clerk) nominated themselves and another cllr to do the appraisal. We have since been informed that the council ?  had agreed to them discussing the salary level and clerk hours at the same meeting which we were not aware of. She is saying that because it was agreed it cannot be changed for 6 months and is refering to the 3 cllrs as a sub committee. She is saying that the recommendation of the 3 cllrs should be agreed at the January meeting. Can she make this go  to a vote or can we as cllrs delay as we would like to be able to  set up a staffing committee deal with it.  At the meeting the chair said that any views of the cllrs should be sent to her regarding the appraisal and the other cllrs are wanting to arrange to meet without the clerk to discuss this but the clerk is saying that we are bullying her. The appraisal meeting has been tried to be set up twice without the full council being informed at short notice each time. It is only because the 3rd cllr is notifying the other cllrs that we are finding out. The clerk is insisting that the appraisal and her salary/hours has to be done before the January meeting. How do you think we ought to deal with the situation
Wow! What do the draft minutes of the meeting say about this? If the minutes record that the decision included the discussion of salary and hours, but members do not believe this to be correct, they should challenge that fact before the minutes are adopted and signed at the next meeeting. If it is not recorded in the minutes, then it wasn't decided. Did you vote on a resolution to appoint the chair plus one to conduct the appraisal of the clerk? Decisions can be changed within six months where necessary, particularly if the decision was invalid for any reason.

Committees and sub-committees may only be established by resolution of the full council and the resolution must include the definition of their powers, membership, public access etc, as laid out in your standing orders. A sub-committee is a committee of a committee, so you can't have a sub-committee without first establishing a committee. With no committees, your whole council must determine the salary and hours of your clerk, so any recommendation you receive from a self-appointed group of councillors has no legal standing whatsoever. Your clerk's contract of employment will define how her salary will be reviewed. In many cases, the clerk will be on a fixed point on the NJC scale, so the annual increment is negotiated by the trade unions and the council simply adopts the agreed figure. In other cases, a clerk may be entitled to progression through an agreed salary band on the NJC scale. It is normal for the clerk's salary review to be conducted on the anniversary of her appointment, rather than a fixed date in the calendar.

You have mentioned several times that the chair and the clerk are good friends. With this in mind, you might wish to discuss whether or not the chair is the best person to conduct the appraisal. An objective viewpoint will best serve the council. Training is available for councillors to equip them with the necessary skills to carry out a proper appraisal. In simple terms, you should have some sort of written work plan (from job description, contract of employment and other sources etc) that sets out the council's expectations, then a formally-defined group should meet with the clerk to discuss the degree to which each aspect has been addressed. Items can be added/deleted by agreement. This gives a clear indication of the clerk's performance. The shortcomings go into next year's plan and the process rolls on. You can't conduct an appraisal without the clerk, but the clerk should not be included in any discussions of her salary. For this reason, the two processes are normally conducted independently and in accordance with your standing orders and financial regulations.

Finally, with all due respect, I think your chair should undertake training in the role of chair, which should be available from your local association. With an annual meeting due to take place in May, you and your fellow councillors might also wish to consider whether the current chair is the best person for the role.
Thank you, you have certainly opened up my eyes to how we should be dealing with things. Unfortunately we have a case of the tail wagging the dog. Even when evidence is given in writing the clerk over rules and gets verbally aggressive towards Cllrs. LALC will only speak to the Clerk and Chair so we are stuffed for advice. So thank you again it is very much appreciated
+1 vote
I would be worries too. I don't think it is appropriate for any face to face meetings at this time and certainly not ones that are not time critical.  I am also interested to know if the Chair is also the Chair of the personnel committee.  How would they feel if the attendees came down with Covid for the sake of this meeting?
by (23.5k points)

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