Statement on Staff Management
- Silloth-on-Solway Town Council is committed to supporting its staff in order for the Council to deliver its services as efficiently and effectively as possible. To achieve this, it is important that there are clear lines of management which are understood by Staff and Members alike. This statement sets out the guiding principles of the Council.
Description of relationships
- Councillors are elected by and are responsible to the electorate as a whole, whilst employees are responsible to the Council.
- Employees are employed by the Council as a whole and are directed by the Full Council and its committees, not by individual Councillors.
- The role of Council staff is to give advice to the Members and carry out the decisions and work of the Council. Staff manage and provide the services for which the Council has responsibility.
- Volunteers play an important and valuable role in the town and can bring a range of expertise to particular tasks or projects. Their expertise can complement and add value to the skills of staff.
- Volunteers are not paid staff and do not have a legally binding contractual relationship with the Council.
Management of the Town Clerk
- It is essential that there is a formal and regular link between the Town Clerk as the Council’s senior employee and representative(s)of the Council as employer, so that the needs and aspirations of both groups can be understood and discussed and objectives set and progress monitored.
- The management of the Clerk differs from the management of other employees because the Clerk is the council’s most senior employee. As such, line management of the Clerk cannot be delegated to another employee.
- The responsibility for line management of the Town Clerk on behalf of the Council will be shared by the Chairman and Deputy of the Staffing Committee. They will jointly discuss any other staffing issues that either the Town Clerk or the Chairman and Deputy wish to raise.
- It is anticipated that there will be a range of staffing related issues that the Town Clerk may wish to discuss with Members both to seek a view on and to seek support on. The Chairman and Deputy of the Staffing Committee will act as the employer representative and support to the Town Clerk in these circumstances.
- Management of the Clerk is delegated to the staffing committee. The staffing committee are responsible for authorising clerks’ sick leave, annual leave and the discussion of sensitive matters such as informal grievances and disciplinary matters. They are also be responsible for any decisions relating to recruitment or termination of clerks’ employment contracts.
- Any appeals arising from disciplinary or grievance matters would be made to full council if dealt with by staffing committee at first instance or the staffing committee if first dealt with by a sub-committee.
Management of other staff
- The overall responsibility for the general management of staff employed by the Town Council rests with the Town Clerk, as the Council’s principal officer and not individual councillors.
- It is the Town Clerk who should be approached if a Councillor or member of the public has any concerns over staffing or individual staff members.
- The Parks Manager is responsible for supervising and instructing the grounds maintenance staff.
- Specific day to day management of individual Members of staff will be in accordance with arrangements described in their contracts of employment and the Council’s staffing policies.
- Individual Members of the Council should not seek to interfere in these arrangements and any concerns on this account should be raised initially by the Town Clerk with the Chairman of the Staffing Committee.
- In discharging his/her role, the Town Clerk can, when considered necessary, seek support and guidance from Members in accordance with arrangements set out in paragraphs 3 and 5 above.
- Professional advice can also be accessed by the Town Clerk, on behalf of the employer, in accordance with any contracts that may exist with an external organisation to provide such advice.
- Decisions about employment matters cannot be delegated to individual councillors, including the chairman.
- The objective of the Council’s Staffing Committee is to provide effective and professional staff management of all matters related to the employees of the council.
- Employees should always remember their responsibilities to the community they serve and ensure courteous, efficient and impartial service delivery to all groups and individuals within that community as defined by the policies of the Council.
- All staff are expected to maintain a co-operative relationship with members of the public, as well as colleagues and Councillors.
- However, no Employee shall take action upon the instruction of an individual Councillor or member of the public. The matter should be referred to the Town Clerk or their line manager.
Volunteers and members of the public
- Volunteering is an activity where someone freely gives their time to help an organisation or an individual who they are not related to. While volunteers do not have the same employment rights as staff, it is important that volunteers are treated fairly and consistently.
- Whilst the Council will want to keep appropriate boundaries between their paid staff and volunteers, the Council should endeavour to ensure both are valued equally.
- Employees should be encouraged to understand and appreciate the role that volunteers play and how it differs from their own, so that they don’t see volunteers as a threat to their own role.
- Friends of Silloth Green, Event committees, Sports clubs, schools and other voluntary organisations are all groups with whom we work. They are not the Town Council’s volunteers because we do not recruit, induct or supervise them. Members of the Town Council are often appointed on to various groups to represent the Town Council which aids communication.
- Permission will need to be obtained from the Town Council for any activities, projects or events which are to take place on Town Council land. In the first instance, contact should be made with the Town Clerk and the necessary permission can be obtained.
- Any requests for assistance or reports of any issues from voluntary groups or members of the public should be made via the Town Clerk and then staff can be instructed accordingly, if it falls within the remit of the Council.
- Councillors and Employees should work together in an open and respectful environment for engendering mutual trust, openness, honesty, fairness, transparency, respect or courtesy.
- The best Councils are those who work as a team to provide a service to the community.