December is a not only a month for decorations, cards, parties and the mad rush to get things finished before taking a well-earned break. It’s also when you are probably finalising the budget for next year. How many budgets make a provision for funds in case the council needs to employ a locum clerk? The Local Council Consultancy (LCC) has been contacted by some far-sighted clerks asking for guidance on what they might need to put aside for this eventuality which they have identified in their risk register. Some insurance policies might cover you for a period of time but many will not.
Creating an earmarked reserve for this potential expenditure is a sound way of mitigating the risk if your insurance does not do so. Allowing around 3 months of the clerk’s annual salary costs would be a sensible guideline, although you might not need as many hours from a locum as the clerk currently works, locums will almost invariably cost the council more per hour (they are in demand!) and may also have additional costs attached such as travel. And you can build this reserve in steps if the budget does not give you the headroom to do so in one year.
For more information contact the LCC at [email protected]