Corporate Scrutiny Panel – 17 October 2013

PRESENT:  Councillor Robinson in the chair.

Councillors Wilson (Voce-Chair),Bunyan, Jawaid MBE, and Wardle.

Councillor Whiteley attended the meeting in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 1.37 (b).

The panel met at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.

202  DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and personal or personal and prejudicial interests –

No whip was declared.

203  PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK There were no requests received.

204  SCRUTINY REVIEW – SICKNESS ABSENCE – The Chairman welcomed the Assistant Director – Human Resources, Debbie Searles – Strategy Performance Officer and Liesel Dickinson – Diversity Standards Officer to the meeting to provide an update on the council’s current sickness levels.  Debbie informed the panel that the latest six month sickness data from April 2013 – September 2013 was indicating a half day reduction compared to the same time last year, for both short and long term absences.  The panel had a long discussion on the current statistical information, and on the projected figure for the end of the financial year 2013.

Liesel attended the meeting to give the panel a short presentation/demonstration on the new ‘sickness absence tool kit’.  The panel was informed that the tool kit had been designed to enable managers to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace to help keep employees in work.  It was a tool kit that went wider than dealing with employees who had a disability, it was a tool for all managers and employees of the council to use, and could help any employee to enable them to do their job.

Following the update, the Chairman invited members to question the council’s Assistant Director – Human Resources, the Strategy Performance officer, and the Diversity Standards Officer.

Resolved – That the officers be thanked for their attendance, presentation and for answering members’ questions.

205  WELL WORK – The Chairman discussed the role of Well Work, the council’s Occupational Health provider, to provide support and advice on attendance management.  Helen Manderson briefly outlined the role of Well Work and highlighted areas of work that Well Work assisted the council with, including: – attendance management, health surveillance, work place assessments, and more recently working with the council to introduce pre-placement online assessments providing immediate information on fitness for work.

Resolved – That an invitation to attend the next meeting or a future meeting of the panel be sent to Well Work.

206  EMPLOYEE SURVEY – The Chairman updated the panel on the employee survey scrutiny report, and indicated that it would be brought back to a future meeting of this panel for their approval before submitting it to Cabinet in the New Year.

Resolved – That the action be noted.

207  FUTURE WORK PROGRAMME – The Chairman invited the panel to make suggestions for future work items, and initiated a new review topic based on Information technology within the council, in particular the new broadband initiatives, and the new IT portal.

Resolved – (a) That the next review topic be Information Technology for North Lincolnshire Council, and (b) that a presentation be requested for the next meeting.

208  ADDED ITEM – There was no added item for consideration at the meeting.