Agenda

Employment Appeals (was Staff Appeals) Committee - Monday, 20th June, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - County Hall. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

2.

MEMBERSHIP AND TERMS OF REFERENCE

To note the terms of reference and election of Chair, as agreed by Council on 4 May 2022:-

 

Standing Chair: D. Towns

 

Membership and Terms of Reference

 

5 members to be drawn from a pool of 20 trained members (to include 4 Cabinet Members in the pool and one on each committee) (2:1:1:1)

 

Conservative

Labour

Independent Group

Liberal Democrats

Green Party

Ind Non-Grouped

D. Bawn

C. Ball

C. Taylor

J. Reid

N. Morphet 

J. Beynon

L. Dunn 

S. Lee

T. Cessford

A. Watson

D. Ferguson

R. Wilczek

G. Renner Thompson

2 TBC

J. Riddle

 

 

 

 

 

C. Seymour

 

 

 

 

 

D. Towns

 

 

 

 

 

2 TBC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terms of Reference

 

(a) To discharge the Council’s disciplinary functions as an employer, in relation to the??Head of Paid Service and Chief and Deputy Chief Officers. 

NB It should be noted that the arrangements at paragraphs (b) to (e) below apply to disciplinary action in relation to a Statutory Officer (defined as the Head of Paid Service, Monitoring Officer and Chief Finance Officer).

 

(b) To consider and determine whether a Statutory Officer (defined as the Head of Paid Services, Monitoring Officer and Chief Finance Officer) should be suspended (or continue to be suspended) either immediately, or following a preliminary investigation into their conduct, and to formally review any suspension after it has been in place for two months in consultation with the Independent Investigator and after taking into account any representations by the Officer. Suspension will not be appropriate in every case as this will depend on the nature of the allegations or seriousness of the issue and before suspending a Statutory Officer careful consideration should be given to whether it is necessary or if there are any suitable alternative ways of managing the situation.

(c) The Monitoring Officer or, in the case of a conflict of interests, a Deputy Monitoring Officer in consultation with the Director of Human Resources and the Chair of the Committee may determine that a decision on the suspension of a Statutory Officer is required at very short notice and before the Committee can meet, if his or her continued presence at work poses a serious risk to the health and safety of others or to the resources, information or reputation of the Council. Any decision to suspend must be reviewed by the Committee as soon as it is practicable to do so.

 

(d) To consider and determine disciplinary action short of dismissal in relation to a Statutory Officer in accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) Regulations 2001 (as amended) and JNC Model Disciplinary Procedure.

 

(e) To make recommendations to Council regarding the dismissal of a Statutory Officer   for capability, conduct or for some other substantial reason.

 

(f) To determine grievance appeals relating to the Chief Executive and Chief Officers (as defined in the terms of reference for the Grievance Committee).

 

(g) To hear and determine disciplinary action in relation to other Chief and Deputy Chief officers (defined in S.2 (1) (b) (c) and (d) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989).  ...  view the full agenda text for item 2.

3.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Open minutes of the meeting of the Employment Appeals Committee held on 2 December 2020, as circulated, to be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair.

4.

DISCLOSURES OF MEMBERS INTERESTS

Unless already entered in the Council’s Register of Members’ interests, members are required?where a matter arises at a meeting;

 

a. Which directly relates to Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (‘DPI’) as set out in Appendix B, Table 1 of the Code of Conduct, to disclose the interest, not participate in any discussion or vote and not to remain in room. Where members have a DPI or if the matter concerns an executive function and is being considered by a Cabinet Member with a DPI they must notify the Monitoring Officer and arrange for somebody else to deal with the matter.

 

b. Which directly relates to the financial interest or well being of a Other Registrable Interest as set out in Appendix B, Table 2 of the Code of Conduct to disclose the interest and only speak on the matter if members of the public are also allowed to speak at the meeting but otherwise must not take part in any discussion or vote on the matter and must not remain the room.

 

c. Which directly relates to their financial interest or well-being (and is not DPI) or the financial well being of a relative or close associate, to declare the interest and members may only speak on the matter if members of the public are also allowed to speak. Otherwise, the member must not take part in discussion or vote on the matter and must leave the room.

 

d. Which affects the financial well-being of the member, a relative or close associate or a body included under the Other Registrable Interests column in Table 2, to disclose the interest and apply the test set out at paragraph 9 of Appendix B before deciding whether they may remain in the meeting.

 

e. Where Members have or a Cabinet Member has an Other Registerable Interest or Non Registerable Interest in a matter being considered in exercise of their executive function, they must notify the Monitoring Officer and arrange for somebody else to deal with it.

 

NB Any member needing clarification must contact monitoringofficer@northumberland.gov.uk. Members are referred to the Code of Conduct which contains the matters above in full. Please refer to the guidance on disclosures at the rear of this agenda letter.

5.

TRAINING FOR MEMBERS

Members sitting in a quasi-judicial capacity in relation to any disciplinary process should receive appropriate training, whilst there is no present need for such a hearing, it would be prudent to provide training to a pool of members who could then sit in such a capacity, if required.

 

Recommendation: That the Committee requests the Interim Service Director for HR &OD to commission external training for members in the pool identified above.

6.

MOTIONS REFERRED FROM CABINET AND FULL COUNCIL

To receive the references from the meeting of the Cabinet on 7 June 2022 and the meeting of the Council on 8 June 2022: 

 

“To commence consideration of who knew what, when and whether any grounds exist to take disciplinary, capability, or other action in relation to any officer or former officer of the Council, or whether there are any circumstances relating to Elected Members arising from the circumstances set out in the Statutory Report”

 

 

7.

URGENT BUSINESS (IF ANY)

To consider such other business, as in the opinion of the Chair,  should, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.

8.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

The Committee is invited to consider passing the following resolution:

 

(a)        That under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items on the Agenda as they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A of the 1972 Act, and 

 

That the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure for the following reasons:-

 

Agenda Item – 9, 10 and 11

 

Paragraph of Part I of Schedule 12A – 1 and 5

 

Information relating to any individual and Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.

 

AND

 

The public interest in maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure because of the need for confidentiality when considering matters concerning individual officers and obtaining confidential legal advice.

 

 

 

9.

MINUTES

Confidential minutes of the meeting of the Employment Appeals Committee held on 2 December 2020, as circulated, to be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair.

10.

CONSIDERATION OF DISCIPLINARY AND CAPABILITY ISSUES ARISING FROM THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE REPORT OF THE INTERIM DIRECTOR OF GOVERNANCE

To receive the report of the Independent Review of Corporate Governance as presented to County Council on 8 June 2022 for consideration of any disciplinary or capability issues relating to Chief and Deputy Chief Officers arising from the findings, including former officers. Report to follow.

11.

RECEIVE EXTERNAL LEGAL ADVICE ON THE WORK OF THE COMMITTEE

REPORT TO FOLLOW

12.

ANY OTHER URGENT BUSINESS