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Can a HR Committee meet without the Clerk?

0 votes
The Council has finally created a HR (staffing) Committee. Our first meeting is in a couple of weeks. My question is can the Committee meet without the Clerk? There are quite a few matters to be discussed, some of them quite delicate. Being the Chair I have worked the closest with the Clerk, who has no qualifications, and am aware of her shortcomings in several areas. Example - despite being the RFO she has little bookkeeping skill, hence despite trying I have been unable to get her to produce a budget that that shows all the categories it should. I have offered my help but it has been rejected, several times. (I am a trained bookkeeper).

I feel it is unfair, not to mention embarrassing, to discuss in detail these matter in front of the person involved. I do understand that they will have to be addressed at the review and target setting, which I understand is done one to one by the Chair of the Committee. I just feel that a conversation needs to take place by the committee alone first.

Any staffing advice would be greatly appreciated.
asked by (1.2k points)

1 Answer

0 votes
I'd change the question to:

Can a HR meeting take place WITH the clerk in attendance...

Can't think of a reason why a meeting shouldn't go ahead without the clerk so long as someone is nominated to take and produce the minutes.  Then of course, they should be treated as 'in confidence' and restricted to only those with a need to know.  This may mean the minutes are NOT made available to the clerk.

If the matters to be discussed are 'about' the clerk then there needs to be an open and honest discussion around strengths, areas to improve, workplan etc.

Just because they are a clerk, they are just like any other employee.  No business or organisation would countenance having their staff discussions in the presence of the staff.  It's ludicrous.  The committee should meet, discuss, agree and set out out the targets and objectives for the employee.
answered by (6.3k points)
As stated the committee is HR, staffing, employment group who's remit will be defined by council on their formation. As the majority of Parish Councils will only have one employee (the Clerk) and most of their business will revolve around the employee then it is not normal for them to attend a meeting of the committee unless of course it is to directly discuss employment matters ( including reviews) with the employee or heaven forbid as part of a disciplinary matter.
Thank you both.

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