The Civility and Respect Project team have worked in partnership with Chris Moses, Managing Director of Personnel Advice and Solutions Ltd, to deliver a series of podcasts explaining councils responsibilities as employers. Podcast number 3 and 4 (from a series of 7) have now been released, with 4 in total produced so far.
One of the key areas which challenges relationships between councillors and clerks is the council’s responsibility as employer for the clerk. Councils which support and value their staff are better able to deliver their objectives and adapt to changing needs or priorities.
In the third podcast Chris Moses, covers the key considerations for councils in relation to handling grievances:
- Who do Employees complain to, and who has the authority to deal with these situations?
- Investigating complaints informally.
- Deciding whether the Council can resolve the complaint.
- Code of Conduct complaints against Councillors.
- Conducting a Formal Grievance and Appeal Hearing.
In the fourth podcast, Chris Moses covers some of the key considerations for councils in relation to handling disciplinary situations:
- Who has the right within the Council to discipline staff?
- Conducting informal investigatory meetings.
- Deciding how to support and encourage an Employee to improve and overcome their conduct / performance issues in a fair and reasonable manner.
- What if they don’t improve – Formal Disciplinary action?
- Getting the formal process and the paperwork right, including dismissals.
Both podcasts are an introduction to the subjects and should be viewed alongside current grievance and disciplinary policies. In any grievance and disciplinary process, it is important that the review panel is made up of impartial and independent councillors, and sometimes it is necessary to seek additional advice or to outsource the case to a HR service provider with specialist local council knowledge.