Venue: Fire and Rescue Services HQ, Bestwood Lodge, Arnold Nottingham NG5 8PD
Contact: Cath Ziane-Pryor Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Councillor John Longdon - personal
DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS
Of the meeting held on 14 July 2017 (for confirmation)
The minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2017 were confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair.
Report of the Chief Fire Officer
Tracy Crump, Head of People and Organisational Development, presented the report of the Chief Fire Officer which updates the Committee on the key Human Resources metrics for Quarter 2, the period 1 July-30 September 2017.
The report provides statistical detail on sickness absence by group (whole-time and Control, Non-uniformed, and retained), including reasons for absence, disciplinary and grievances, and staffing numbers, with more detailed information contained within the appendices.
The 32.7% increase in sickness absence is a significant increase in full time employee sickness during Quarter 2, but it should be noted that this is partly due to the comparison against Quarter 1 when sickness levels were unusually low.
Wayne Bowcock, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, assured the Committee that NFRS has gold standard welfare arrangements and a first class Occupational Health Service, added to which, the Firefighters’ Charity also offers top quality respite services.
It is noted that the total NFRS employee absence remains below the industry average.
RESOLVED to endorse the report.
Wayne Bowcock, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, presented the report which updates the Committee with details of the progress and activities undertaken since the Strategy was launched in April 2017.
Areas of work referred to include:
o The Safe and Well Programme;
o Emergency First Responder Trial;
o Sustainability Strategy and consulting on alternative crewing proposals;
o ICT Department changes to meet the demands of the Emergency Service Network;
o Leadership Strategy, including involvement with the ‘Aspiring Leaders Programme’;
o Open University Distance Learning Programme;
o ‘Skills for Justice’ accreditation;
o Alignment of operational training to the ‘National Operational Competence Framework’;
o Training for the new Drager Breathing Apparatus;
o Rolling out a yearlong programme on ‘Compartmental Fire Behaviour Training’;
o Sharing specific resources and collaborating in set areas with Derbyshire and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Services;
o Establishing an apprenticeship scheme
o Nurturing a positive workplace and culture with consultation and feedback;
o Implementing the recommendations of Bath University’s operational fitness targets;
o Considering how to support the needs of an older workforce, including menopausal women;
o Targeted promotion of the Service to under-represented communities in preparation for whole-time firefighter recruitment in 2018.
Committee members’ questions were responded to as follows:
(a) the First Responder pilot has concluded due to the withdrawal of voluntary firefighter participation pending the outcome of national pay negotiations. NFRS hasn’t had access to any ambulance performance statistics to determine if loss of life may have been influenced;
(b) when responding to support the Ambulance Service, Firefighters were covered by NFRS insurance as they were acting as agents of the Service and therefore any issues would be the responsibility of NFRS;
(c) with regard to recruitment, email addresses are collected from interested parties at individual promotion events and these can be tracked through the application and appointment processes to ascertain which type of events attracted the most applications from under-represented groups.
The Committee welcomed staff engagement on the Sustainability Strategy and requested that members are able to attend.
(1) to note the report;
(2) for the Deputy Chief Fire Officer to arrange for members of the Committee to be informed of, and invited to attend, staff consultation events regarding the Sustainability Strategy.
Wayne Bowcock, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, presented the report of the Chief Fire Officer which informs the Committee of the apprenticeship levy and establishment of the Service’s apprenticeship schemes. Full details of the levy, access to the levy and the proposed apprenticeship scheme are included within the report.
It is anticipated that the 2.3% apprenticeship levy on payroll will cost the Service approximately £114,000 per year. To access the levy funds, training can be provided to full-time apprentices so the Service is to establish apprenticeship roles as Fire Fighter, Business Support and Community Safety Officers.
Members of the Committee welcomed the establishment of apprenticeships within the Service.
RESOLVED to note the report.
EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC
To consider excluding the public from the meeting during consideration of the remaining items in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the basis that, having regard to all the circumstances, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
RESOLVED to exclude the public from the meeting during consideration of the remaining item in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the basis that, having regard to all the circumstances, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
RETAINED SUPPORT STRUCTURE
Report of the Chief Fire Officer
Wayne Bowcock, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, presented the report of the Chief Fire Officer.
RESOLVED to approve the recommendations as set out in the report.