Members have agreed to trial a new flexitime system for Council employees.
At last Thursday's (April 11th) Full Council meeting, they voted to introduce the scheme following a manager training programme, with a report on its impact to be brought back to Members after six months.
Tina Blackwell, Senior officer for Human Resources, outlined some of the benefits of Flexitime in her report for the meeting, including improving staff motivation; improving staff health and wellbeing leading to increased productivity; meeting business needs through a more flexible approach to working hours; and making the Council a more attractive employer.
She also said it would hopefully improve staff retention since the Council turnover rate as of January 2019 stood at 22%, exceeding the national average of 15.7% for public sector organisations.
The flexitime scheme is intended to apply to all Council staff with the exception of uniformed employees of the Fire & Rescue Services, Customer Hub staff and those with a requirement for continuous service delivery such as Park House, Airport Duty Crew, Operational Services and the water team). However, existing arrangements such as Time Off in Lieu will continue to apply to these employees and discussions are in place for alternative possibilities.
Members supported the plan, with Cllr Dan Marcus saying that it is "about time this organisation took into account its workers in terms of just taking children to school. It's been a bit ridiculous really so far." He added that he hoped flexitime will result in a reduction in absenteeism and sick leave.
Cllr Andy Guy said: "I'll put my hands up, I was one of the first Members to have grave concerns about this item. I then reflected on my thoughts. I attended the [Member] workshop, which was very informative. Initially it was a three-year period, which I was totally against, but the new recommendation is for a trail period of six months. I'm happy to recommend [that]."
Senior Manager for Strategic Development Nicola Stinson, who presented the report to Members, said that training for managers will begin in the next month with the intention of starting the flexitime scheme as soon as possible.