Manchester City Council

Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Personnel Committee
Tuesday, 29th January, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Antechamber. View directions

Contact: Donna Barnes 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 199 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2018.

Additional documents:




To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2018.


Senior Management Capacity Review pdf icon PDF 142 KB

The report of Chief Executive is enclosed

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of the Chief Executive which set out proposals to realign senior leadership capacity in the context of impending vacancies in the Senior Management Team (SMT) and below and the need to develop wider leadership capacity and resilience.  


Vacancies had arisen due to the impending departure of the current Deputy Chief Executive who would soon take up the post of Chief Executive at Trafford Council.  The current Director of Human Resources / Organisational Development (HR/OD) would also shortly take up a post of Executive Director at Bury Council


The Committee noted that proposed changes would lead to a budget saving of £104,000 and were designed to invest in delivery capacity in support of the Council’s strategic objectives despite no net increase in SMT numbers.


The report asserted that the departure of the current Deputy Chief Executive provided an opportunity to consider the detailed portfolio and accountabilities of this post in the context of the new Corporate Plan and emerging Corporate Core Transformation Plan. In line with m people principles the City Treasurer would be Level 1 matched to a new post, of Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer, with a significantly enhanced portfolio:


The Strategic Director grade within the Council’s pay and grading structure does not enable the scale and scope of the responsibilities of the new Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer portfolio, which were previously incorporated across three SMT posts, to be reflected. The Council’s grading structure will therefore require review to accommodate a grade between the top of the current SS5 and Chief Executive grade (SS6) with a salary of £150,000.


The other areas of the current Deputy Chief Executive’s portfolio would be redistributed with the Chief Executive providing personal capacity and leadership to drive the delivery of Our Manchester within the Council and City and leadership to strategic communications function, which would sit operationally within the City Solicitor’s portfolio.  The City Solicitor would also take management responsibility for the Communications Service and Civic and Ceremonial team within the existing grade for the post.


Additionally, it was proposed that leadership of the Neighbourhoods Directorate would be provided by a new Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) post (at Grade SS5) who would become a member of the Council’s Strategic Management Team and report directly to the Chief Executive following established approval mechanisms.

The post would also take the lead on City Culture strategy.  In light of this the Committee was asked to disestablish the current Chief Operating Officer (Neighbourhoods) post (SS4) and, in line with m people principles, and ringfence that post holder for assessment to the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) role. A further report will be presented in the coming months setting out proposals in relation to additional leadership changes within the Neighbourhoods Directorate.            


It was also proposed that in order to manage the capacity of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer post that a number of further structural changes   be endorsed, namely:



Senior Pay and Grading Update pdf icon PDF 241 KB

The report of the Chief Executive is enclosed


The Committee considered a report of the Chief Executive which proposed a change to the senior pay and grading structure, to account for the newly-created post of Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer, relative to the Chief Executive and the Council’s Senior Management Team tier.


In essence the report proposed an amendment to the existing structure to the effect that it was proposed that Bands SS1 – SS5 be retained, with Band SS6 deleted and replaced with two new, separate grades, namely that the Deputy Chief Executive be graded at a salary spot point of   £150,000 and the Chief Executive, £198,900.  Salary progression would be subject to pay awards determined by the appropriate JNC negotiating body only.  


The Committee noted the Trade union comments that had been submitted for consideration at the meeting and agreed the proposals.




1.    To approve the proposed amendments to the senior pay and grading structure set out below:

a)        Retain Grade Bands SS1 – SS5

b)        Delete Grade Band SS6 and replace with two new grades:

·         - Deputy Chief Executive         £150,000

·         -  Chief Executive                      £198,900


2.    To recommend to Council that the changes are implemented with immediate effect.


3.    To recommend to Council that the Council’s Pay Policy Statement in March 2019 is amended to reflect the changes in the senior pay and grading structure.




Local Government Pension Scheme - Updated Discretions Policy Statement pdf icon PDF 273 KB

The report of the Head of Revenues and Benefits, Shared

Services and Customer Services is enclosed.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of the City Treasurer which set out changes to the Councils Discretions Policy in line with Local Government Pensions Scheme (LGPS) regulatory requirements.  The Committee noted that the Policy Statement was last revised in 2014.  A copy of the revised statement was appended to the report.  The statement set out the Council’s approach to its discretion in the following areas:


?          Active members and leavers;

?          Deferred members (people who are no longer members of the scheme); including Councillor scheme members;

?          Calculation of redundancy payments; and

?          Injury Allowance for leavers, deaths and reductions in pay after 15 January 2012.


The report asserted that nothing in the Policy Statement shall fetter the Council’s discretion to exercise its powers.  Each application within the discretionary areas would be considered in line with the published policy, taking account of the financial impact on the Council and the pension scheme, the need to avoid unlawful discrimination, and any exceptional circumstances that may exist.


The changes were summarised as:


?     clarification of the Council’s expectation that individual members take responsibility for planning and funding their retirement

?     a broadening of the scope the Council has to consider applications from members to waive reductions. Previously cases were considered on caring or financial grounds. Now members have an opportunity to explain their circumstances and why they believe that their case is exceptional

?     allowing the Council to offer shared cost Additional Voluntary Contribution schemes which reduce costs to the Council and to members

?     the addition of the remit of schools


No changes were put forward on the Council’s redundancy and industrial injury discretion position.


Unite the Union comments were submitted for consideration at the meeting.  A member noted that the comments were less than positive but did not constructively state the focus of their issue.  The Director of Customer Services and Transactions commented that the approach taken by the Authority was much more detailed than other authorities and in fact widened the scope for consideration of discretions, with each case considered on its own merit, whilst remaining cognisant of the financial cost and the sustainability of the scheme in the long term.   She added that she had consulted with GMB and Unison who having considered the report expressed no concern with the arrangements.




1.    To recommend that Council adopts the discretionary framework set out in the revised Pension Scheme Policy Statement.


2.    That periodic reviews of the policy statement and any associated documents are carried out by the City Treasurer and the Director of HR and OD in consultation with the Executive Member for Finance and Human Resources.  Any substantial changes arising out of that review will be referred to Personnel Committee for approval.




Improving Disclosure Barring Service Compliance pdf icon PDF 215 KB

The report of the Director of Human Resources / Organisational

Development is enclosed


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Human Resources / Organisational Development (HR/OD) which discussed the background to the work programme being carried out to improve governance and administration arrangements regarding criminal record checks across the Council in response to recommendations arising from an internal audit in April 2018. 


The report explained that in order to provide assurancearound criminal record checking activity the report discussed the steps taken to ensure that safer recruitment decisions were made whilst ensuring compliance with safeguarding duties to prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups.  It was asserted that the programme would strengthen organisational assurance of Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) management as a basis for safer recruitment and practice.

There was a discussion around the role of volunteers and the potential risk of the impact of the bureaucratic burden on volunteer organisations leading to a reduction in the number of volunteers.  The Director of HROD described that this was a relatively low risk due to the robust systems already in place and the presence of the ‘e-check’ system which would reduce the impact.


There was also a discussion around the voluntary arrangements in place for elected members such that they may not be compelled to have a basic check.  The Monitoring Officer explained that there was no right to require members to undergo a DBS check, neither was it part of the selection or nomination process in relation to elections.  However, any DBS check findings that were undertaken would be strictly confidentially held and not be placed in the public domain allowing the Monitoring Officer to appropriately determine risk and enable appropriate steps to be taken.


The Committee noted that the role of elected member regularly resulted in contact with vulnerable adults and children but that in the absence of the powers to require mandatory DBS checks the authority’s enhanced procedures were the most robust that could be achieved in the circumstances.




To note:


?       the updated Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) framework, leadership arrangements and compliance activity.

?       the revised approach for Elected Members,

?       proposals for scoping volunteer capacity, including DBS compliance,

?       the use of funding of circa £50,000 to expand the Neighbourhoods’ volunteer record to be used across the Council, and

?       support for the Ban the Box campaign.