This page will be used to consult with you on changes to HR and Health & Safety policies. We review policies on a scheduled basis and following the consultation these will be referred to the Council's Partnership Forum and then to the Executive for approval.
Feedback on the consultation will also be displayed on this page.
There are no open consultations at the moment.
Retirement Policy (Non Teaching)
We had a reasonable response to this consultation with 23 responses received. The respondents were 60% managers and 40% employees.
79% of respondents did not foresee any difficulties with removing the 5 year limit on flexible retirement.
The comments received were varied. Many respondents thought that removing the limit was positive as it allows employees more flexibility to work for longer, especially given rising state pension ages. Some respondents felt managers might be more unlikely to approve applications where there is no time limit. It was also noted that this may impact on those job hunting as current employees may still be in post for longer.
Some of the comments relate changes made in 2020. Policy consultations have been published on this page since October 2018 and news articles are published to highlight when these are live. Policies are discussed with trade unions at Corporate Partnership Forum before referral to Executive for approval.
Some of the comments relate to questions about how applications are processed – these can be answered using the guidance/how to documents which are available.
Family Leave Policy
We had a very limited response to this consultation with only 5 responses received. The respondents were split equally between managers and employees. Overall the response to the consultation on Family Leave Policy was positive although there was a recognition that it is a complex subject matter.
Most respondents felt the policy was clear and easy to understand and that the payment arrangements for KIT days and Temporary employees were clear.
We had a very limited response to this consultation with only 4 responses received. Majority of responses (3) were from employees. Overall the response to the consultation on Redeployment Policy was positive.
Most respondents felt the policy was clear and easy to understand but did seek clarity on a couple of points within the policy relating to registration for vacancy alerts via MyJobScotland and redeployees noting their interest by closing dates of posts, both of which were updated within the relevant How to Documents. There was an additional suggestion from 1 respondent to separate out guidance notes for employees and managers but the majority of respondents felt the guidance notes were clear. Keeping them as one guidance note for both managers and employees would also be consistent with guidance notes for other policies.
Casual Employment Policy
We had a very limited response to this consultation with only 3 responses received. The respondents were split equally between managers, employees and trade union representatives. Overall the response to the consultation on Casual Employment Policy was positive.
Respondents felt the policy was clearer and easy to understand.
There was a comment received indicating that there was no reference to casual employment being considered ahead of overtime in the current Policy. The revised Policy is intended to provide clarity in this regard.
A comment was also received in relation to what would happen if an individual failed a PVG or criminal record office check. This is covered separately by the Criminal Convictions Checking Policy.
We had a limited response to this consultation with 5 responses received. The respondents were split between managers, employees and trade union representatives. Overall the response to the consultation on the proposed How to Guides to support the Grievance Policy were positive.
Respondents felt the guidance was clear in outlining how to raise a grievance, the process to be followed and roles and responsibilities.
There was a comment suggesting that an example completed grievance form may be useful however it was considered that this may be more confusing given the variety of different issues that can be raised under the Grievance Policy. The Guidance has been amended to suggest that the relevant trade union may be able to assist with the completion of a grievance form.
We had a limited response to this consultation with 4 responses received. The respondents were 50% managers and 50% employees. Overall the response to the consultation on proposed changes to the retirement policy was positive.
All respondents felt the policy was easy to read and understand and that options for retirement and associated terms and conditions are clear.
There was a comment questioning what will happen if the state retirement age rises, which may mean employees need to work longer, and yet our policy only allows flexible retirement for 5 years. This policy will be reviewed in line with any changes to legislation.
Family Leave Policy
We had a limited response to this consultation with 8 responses received. The respondents were 50% managers and 50% employees. Overall the response to the consultation on proposed changes to the family leave policy was positive.
All respondents felt the policy was easy to read and understand and that how to apply for the different types of leave, the different entitlements and the guidance documents are clear.
There was a comment about the additional info section being a bit long and unstructured, this has been considered however these have been ordered to flow from information that applies before going on leave to being on leave and then returning from leave where possible.
We had 42 responses to this consultation. 22 were employees and 20 line managers. An average of 75% of people responded saying that the overall process was clear and that each stage was clear.
There was difference of opinions on certain aspects of the Good Conversations process. Below is a response to the comments made:
Check –ins: some thought 2 was too many and some thought it was not enough. We have therefore decided to recommend that a minimum of 2 should be carried out and if more can be achieved then that is positive.
Timing of carrying out the Good Conversations and the check-ins – we have supplied a suggested timeframe however this should be flexibly used to suit the needs of the team eg if April to June is the team's busiest period then carry them out at a different time
Not suitable process for some teams – there are some teams that it is easier to get together than others. We recognise this and would welcome team's having different approaches to suit their needs. The ethos is that all employees and teams have the opportunity to talk about their job and that the Good Conversation process should be adapted to make that happen in the most appropriate manner.
Title of Good Conversations – some liked the name, some disliked the name. A number commented that it sends a positive message that it is a conversation and that it also reduces the formality. A Hackathon was carried out that didn't provide any decision on the name and suggestions were sought from the participants with a low number of replies. Following the Hackathon we received documentation from another Council and asked permission to call our process something similar. We have decided to go out for further consultation on the name as there is such mixed feeling.
Who carries out the "Good Conversation" – we will change the documentation so it is obvious it is a conversation between the employee and the line manager, regardless of the level of manager. It is not the Service Manager who carries out all the "Good Conversations"
Filing of documentation – we are not proposing to change what should happen to the filing of the documentation. We are proposing that they are filed in the same way as APDS, which are they go on MyView. This has been the case since January 2017.
Career planning – we realise that the question of where do you see yourself in 1, 3 and 5 years is confusing. We will change this to "Where do you see your career in the future?"
On-line form – we will ensure there is a word document available on the Learning Zone once the process has been finalised. We will also pursue the option of it being closely linked to MyView.
RITA – there was comment that RITA was not known. RITA is an acronym for Responsive, Innovative, Trusted and Ambitious which are Falkirk Council values. They are relevant to Falkirk Council and not generic values. They are closely tied into the Council's transformational change process "Council of the Future". We will therefore not be changing the documentation on RITA.
Employees not participating – some commented that there should be an employee opt out option. This is not something we think is appropriate. The ethos of the Good Conversation process is that it is a supportive process that involves having a conversation about work performance, health & wellbeing, improvements etc. This is of utmost importance at a time when the pressures to change the way we work requires more conversations and not less.
Training on Good Conversations – we are going to conduct training in the next couple of months for managers who report directly to Service Managers. The "Good Conversations" will also be incorporated into ILM qualifications where appropriate. We will also advertise that any requests for training on the process can be made by contacting the Organisational Development team. There was some comment that all managers are not comfortable giving feedback. Again this training can be requested and there is also the option of attending the Tough Conversations course which has been available for a number of years.
Dignity at work policy
We had a limited response to this consultation with 5 responses received. All of the respondents were managers.
100% of the respondents thought that the policy was easy to read and clear in relation to the stages of the procedure. Some comments were provided in relation to the lay-out of the policy and the policy has been updated to reflect this.
Health & wellbeing policy
The feedback regarding this new Policy has been positive and there are no changes to the Policy.
How to Prevent, Minimise and Manage Stress at work policy
The feedback regarding this policy has been positive and there are now changes to the Policy. Further guidance relating to the role of Mental Health First Aiders within the Council is currently being developed.
Disciplinary & Capability Policies
Overall the response to the consultation on proposed changes to the Disciplinary and Capability Policies was positive. We received 9 responses, the majority of which were from managers. Managers, who responded, appear to be clear regarding their roles and responsibilities in relation to the implementation of the revised Policies.
There was some feedback from Trade union/ employee respondents regarding proposed changes to, for example, timescales. This has since been further discussed with Trade Unions who are content with the proposed changes.
Job Evaluation Policy
We had a limited response to this consultation with 7 responses received. The respondents were 71% managers and 29% employees.
100% of the respondents thought that the policy was easy to read and understand. All respondents also stated that the process for grading and appeals was clearly outlined and the timescales within the policy were reasonable.
A comment was received in relation to pay protection not being in place for any posts that are downgraded and how this may be perceived. However, this is a Council wide decision that has been in place for a number of years and was made due to the impact on the gender pay gap and potential creation of inequalities.
Overall the response to the consultation was positive. We received 7 responses, the majority of which were from managers. Managers, who responded, appear to be clear regarding their roles and responsibilities in relation to the implementation of the revised Grievance Policy.
We asked if there was anything else you expected to find in the policy that wasn't there, there were several comments as noted below:
Examples of the types of grievance that would be "heard" by Service Manager/Headteacher level to be given and the types of grievance that require to be heard by a Chief Officer –It is not the type of grievance which determines who will hear this but rather the level of management involved in the decision making process at the informal stage. This will depend on the structure within the relevant Service. In general, grievance hearings will be heard by an appropriate senior manager, which in some cases, may be a Service Manager/ Headteacher or below. Appeals can be heard by a Service manager/ Headteacher or other more Senior Officer. Where a grievance appeal relates to a national condition of Service which does not allow for discretion/ local determination on the part of the Council then this should be heard by a Chief Officer.
More detail on what the investigation process consists of – it is not possible to be specific in this regard as it depends on the grievance matter being considered. In some instances, this may involve a review of paperwork only whilst in others it may require witness statements to be gathered. HR are available to discuss the appropriateness/ form of any investigation.
Clarification of what is meant by a non-discretionary national condition – this relates to national terms and conditions which do not allow for discretion or local determination on the part of the Council. Revised wording has been incorporated.
Health & Safety Policy
Results to follow.
Results to follow.
Recruitment & Selection Policy
We had a limited response to this consultation with 7 responses received. The respondents were 71% managers and 29% employees.
100% of the respondents thought that the policy was easy to read and understand and that the how to documents were helpful.
There was feedback given on the process for creating and amending posts, some of which related to the requirement for unique post ID's. This is not something that can be dealt with in the policy and is part of a separate review. It was also noted that some areas are supported by Staffing & Recruitment for this process but it is not felt necessary to amend this in the policy.
Whilst 100% of respondents felt that the changes to the requirements for recruitment checks are clear, there was feedback on how this could be improved. We have added a matrix to the policy for the different requirements of checks to make this clearer.
57% of the respondents felt the changes to the recruitment checks met their business needs and comments were provided. Some of the issues related to operational matters which cannot be covered by the policy and some of the issues have been clarified through use of the matrix for recruitment checks.
Some of the other comments received included the use of colour in the policy. As this is intended to be primarily an online document, this should not impact on printing costs however if being printed, we would recommend printing in black and white.
Another comment was that the policy should be rolled out through OLLE to confirm it has been read. There are recruitment and selection modules on OLLE but it would not be practical to use OLLE for policy documents.
Feedback was given to say it was unclear which area of HR should be contacted; this has been updated where possible.
Mobile Flexible Working Policy
We had a positive response to this consultation with 32 responses received. The respondents were 50% managers and 50% employees.
|Service||Number of responses|
|Corporate and Housing Services||13|
|Social Work Adult Services||2|
97% of the respondents thought that the policy was easy to read and understand. There was a comment suggesting that the quantity of work styles and the similarities between some could lead to confusion. This will be monitored with the roll out in Carronbank and we will take feedback from this location.
84% of the respondents thought the policy covered all that they would expect to find.
Of the 16% who thought that the policy could have contained more information most of the comments received were suggesting that the policy could provide more information in relation to what technology is available and the use of touch down spaces. As technology is constantly changing specific details of equipment will not be included in the policy, however we will add a reference to contact your Service IT Contact for up to date information in relation to available equipment. We also hope to have additional information on the type of IT equipment available with a managers guidance pack. With regards to the use of touch down spaces, the intention is that the different sites will be published on the intranet for easy access. The access arrangements and any relevant rules will be available on the intranet also.
In terms of comments on the new policy style it was noted that the new format is good, very user friendly and easy to read and understand. There was also a comment suggesting the document could be warmer, but there was an understanding of the need for it to be factual.