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Can clerk object to a councillor applying for the HR appraisal role ? Should this be recorded in the minutes ?

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The question as posed needs a little bit of unpacking.

First impression and the likely conclusion based on the following logic is NO, the clerk cannot object to someone applying for a post.

But we have a road to travel before we get to NO.

Can 'someone' object to 'something?'

Yes of course they can - we are all free to form and voice our own opinions within normal qualified entitlements.  The key unasked part of the question however is what relevance, importance or credibility do personal opinions have. 

The clerk might express an opinion that they don't want a certain individual doing a certain task - for that opinion to have any relevance, importance or credibility it would need to be quantified and compliant with legislative requirements.  EG a clerk 'could' say, I don't like that person because...[insert valid reason]. They could [should] not say I don't like that person because they are ...[insert protected category]. That would be unlawful.  But it is simply a personal opinion and it should have no sway upon a process.

We've probably all had bosses that we don't like or don't get on with.  It doesn't infer any right, entitlement or authority to have the boss removed though - unless there are justifiable reasons.  We get on with it.

In this instance, if we assume there is a process of requiring someone to fill a post and then someone applies for that post it is for the selection process to determine who gets the post - NOT the clerk based on a personal opinion.

It seems to be another example of people not really grasping the master / servant relationship of employer / employee.

It is for the council - or a suitably delegated part thereof - to make and implement decisions.

Can the clerk object to someone applying for a position - well, they can express a personal opinion if they like, but unless they are the delegated decision maker it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever - it probably highlights deeper issues if they do though.

What is this obsession with clerks 'raising a grievance?'  What would they have to be aggrieved about?  They don't like the new boss? Unless there are GROUNDS for a grievance there is no grievance - just a clerk behaving inappropriately and unprofessionally. 

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Thank you , your reply gives me confidence to carry on . The word " object " was spoken and the whole matter since  omitted from the draft minutes. I understand that the clerk is an employee but not sure the clerk or the rest of the council do.
You might consider audio/video recording your meetings.  Easy enough to do.  If the detail you describe is not included in the minutes and the minutes become the official record of the meeting you are left with no 'evidence' of a potential wrongdoing.  Individual written notes have some bearing as a contemporaneous record but a video/audio is better.  It never ceases to amaze me how 'different' the minutes are in relation to what actually happened - but of course the person producing the minutes is very well aware of this.
Thank you once again . I'm in a catch 22 situation and  sure any suggestion or request will be seen (again) as questioning the clerks competence .   A fellow councillor thankfully has flagged the omissions in the draft minutes which have already been published on the Parish website  and I shall be asking that is amended  .
The standard answer you may receive if you seek an amendment to the minutes based on the omission of detail is that the minutes do not have to be a verbatim record of all that was said and done at the meeting but rather the minimum requirement of recording attendees, motions, decisions is all that needs to be recorded.  It's not an uncommon situation that clerls/PCs 'forget' that the 'customer' for these minutes is the ELECTORATE not the clerk/PC.  It is, sadly, an uphill struggle and doubtless part of the reason the best people give up.
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You should have a Standing Order or policy that stipulates who is entitled to take on your Clerk's appraisal.   I suspect the Clerk thinks that one or more Councillors might "have it in" for him or her.  My guess is that the Clerk cannot formally object to a policy or SO defined appointment.  However, they could raise a grievance.
answered by (22.3k points)
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Appraisals are undertaken by your line manager but in the case of a Clerk, there is no line manager as such.  However, the natural choice of person undertaking the Clerk's appraisal would be the Chair of the Personnel Committee or Chair of the council.  Unless this person has specific experience of undertaking appraisals, then I am not sure why they would be 'applying' for the role.
answered by (14.5k points)

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