Human Resources Department Key Contributions and Outcomes
1. Employment Law
The Human Resources Department is working through all existing policies and guidance to make sure that they reflect the new legislation. For the majority this means taking out reference to revoked legislation such as the Disability Discrimination Act and replacing that with reference to the Equality Act. HR will also continue to monitor case law and make sure that as the new Act is interpreted that we make appropriate amendments to our policies and practices.
Abolition of compulsory retirement age for police staff
From 6 April 2011, employers can no longer have compulsory retirement ages unless these can be objectively justified. This means the practice of providing at least six months’ notification to individuals of their retirement date is no longer necessary.
There are some transitional arrangements from April 11 to October 11 and an audit of all staff likely to attain the retirement age during 2011 has been carried out and HR processes and documentation amended to comply with legal requirements.
*Police Officers are exempt from some of the provisions within the Age Regulations introduced in 2006. The Compulsory Retirement Age (CRA) continues to be retained and objectively justified for police officers and the Home Office has confirmed there are no plans to change this:
60 for Federated ranks (Constable to Chief Inspector);
65 for Superintendent and ACPO ranks.
Right to request flexible working extended to parents of children aged under 18
From 6 April 2011, the right to request flexible working was extended to parents of children aged under 18 (it currently applies to parents of children aged under 17 or 18 if the child is disabled).
Positive Action Provisions
Positive action provisions to redress the balance in relation to under-represented groups have been available to employers since the original Discrimination Acts of the early 1970s. Within the Equality Act is a new provision that allows employers in defined circumstances to recruit or promote a person with a ‘protected characteristic’ in preference to another.
Our current recruitment and selection procedures for officers and staff are sufficiently well developed & there is unlikely to be a situation where a decision cannot be made between two candidates and where this positive action ‘tiebreak principle’ would be an option.
Additional Paternity Leave
Currently, fathers are entitled to two weeks’ paternity leave which can be paid or unpaid. Additional Paternity Leave now allows fathers to benefit from up to 26 weeks' additional paternity leave if the mother chooses to forfeit some of her maternity leave and returns to work before using her full entitlement.
Our Maternity, Paternity and Adoption guidance documents have been reviewed and updated to include this and are available on our Employee Information site. Take up of this additional paternity leave will be monitored.
New rules on equal treatment for agency workers
The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 will entitle agency workers to equal treatment on basic employment conditions after 12 calendar weeks in a given job, including pay and holidays, from 1 October 2011.
A review and analysis of what this means for the Force is currently being undertaken and guidance will be available nearer the date. However, having a single supplier agency contract now in place (with Adecco) will make this an easier area to both monitor and reduce our risks in.
Fairness at Work
Out of 14 Fairness at work complaints received during 201/11 one was from an ethnic minority employee. However this was not related to their ethnicity but to the administration of a force policy. No other complaints related to discrimination or equality issues.
HR has supported the Force in the defence of Employment Tribunal (ET) claims. Senior HR managers have also attended as key witnesses in ETs during the quarter. Any lessons learned from ETs are built into Force HR policies and guidance.
2. Equality Impact Assessments
Workforce impact assessments were conducted in accordance with equality legislation to make sure that no single workforce profile group was adversely affected by the Budget Challenge (BC) project and the Support Services Review (SSR). The assessments made sure that any decisions included a consideration of the actions that would help to avoid or mitigate any unfair impact on particular groups. From the assessments completed, the Force was satisfied that, as the ratio differences within each profile area was minimal, there was no cause for concern.
3. Employment Targets
Lincolnshire Police Authority set local employment targets as part of the Policing Plan for:
- ethnic minority police officers and staff (including Specials);
- female police officers;
- and disabled staff.
The tables below show performance against the targets for the year 2010-11:
|Force People Data||Target||Q1 Actual||Q2 Cumulative||Q3 Cumulative||Q4 Cumulative|
|% of Ethnic Minority (EM) police officers||≥2.4%||1.5%||1.5%||1.4%||1.5%|
|% of EM police staff||≥2.2%||2.0%||2.0%||0.95%||0.72%|
|% of EM Special Constables||≥2.7%||0.7%||1%||1.1%||1.5%|
|% of Female police officers||≥26%||24.7%||25.1%||25.4%||26%|
|% of Disabled staff||≥2.7%||2.6%||2.3%||3.2%||3%|
Performance against Force People Data targets showing Red
- % of Ethnic Minority Police Officers
- % of Ethnic Minority Police Staff
- % of Ethnic Minority Special Constables
These performance figures need to be seen against the backdrop of the current funding situation across the Force. There have been no recruitment campaigns for intakes of police officers or PCSOs during this financial year so the chances of increasing representation rates are small. The main areas of external recruitment have been for Call Takers and Controllers for the Force Control Room and for Special Constables.
However, there has been a low percentage of total applications from ethnic minorities, a cumulative figure of 1.5% for 2010/11, which is below the target set of 2.4%. However his level is the same as the outcome for 2009/10.
The target of 26% for female officers has been met. For 2010/11 this can mainly be attributed to the retirements of a high number of male officers changing the balance of the workforce. However it does suggest that recruitment initiatives and positive action initiatives like coaching and mentoring over recent years have gradually started to address gender imbalances within the organisation. This will continue to be monitored and we hope these initiatives will have a positive impact in the future.
The table below illustrates that there is a disproportionate representation of men and women at different levels within the organisation, particularly at Inspector and Chief Inspector ranks.
|% Female Representation||0%||20%||20%||0%||10%||22%||28%||26%|
Applications and Positive Action
|HR Service Standards||Target||Q1 Actual||Q2 Cumulative||Q3 Cumulative||Q4 Cumulative|
|Receive applications from minority and under-represented groups|| || || || || |
- Ethnic Minority applicants
- Disabled for staff positions
During the year the Special Constabulary Recruitment Officer and members of the Recruitment team attended Lincoln Pride and promoted the role of the Special Constable within the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community.
A Portuguese speaking member of the team attended a Community Engagement event at Boston aimed at the Portuguese community there. Alternative language versions of our ‘How to become a Special Constable’ information booklet are available via the Force website.
The percentage of Ethnic Minority Special Constables has incrementally increased each quarter which suggests that such positive action and recruitment initiatives are having some impact.
The Human Resources Department will continue to attend positive action events to encourage applications from under-represented groups
The Force has retained the “Two Ticks” symbol for being Positive about Disabled People. Central to this is our guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role.
4. Learning and Development
Force Mentoring Programme
A pilot Force Mentoring Programme was introduced in late 2008 as a positive action initiative for female police officers. A primary driver was to increase the number of female officers at the rank of Sergeant and above. A review of the Force Mentoring Programme has been undertaken. Six mentees have completed mentoring and 19 are currently in mentoring partnerships. Of the six mentees who have completed mentoring:
- 3 have since passed promotion boards;
- 1 has achieved promotion to a substantive Sergeant rank;
- 1 has passed Part 1 of the Inspectors exam and has passed four Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) exams;
- 1 is awaiting promotion, having recently returned to work from maternity leave.
This is a positive evaluation of the investment the Force has made in its Mentoring Programme for female officers. A full evaluation report is being developed with some recommendations about how the programme can be extended to other groups.
Coaching is a process that enables a person to explore areas of their professional and personal development and find their own solutions to improve theses areas.
Lincolnshire Police has a coaching scheme which focuses on performance development. The scheme is currently open to police officers and police staff in the following three categories:
- Those who are going through a period of change where we want to support them.
- Those from under-represented groups whose development and progression we wish to support as part of a positive action measure.
- Those who we have recognized as being particularly talented who we want to retain and keep well motivated.
6. Spring Forward Development Programme
Background to Programme
The programme was jointly funded from Skills for Justice, Women in Work bursaries and Lincolnshire Police.
Spring Forward is a development programme for officers and staff looking for promotion/advancement and/or wish to become a more effective member of a management team.
The programme was aimed at both men and women who were:
- Considering a move into management from a supervisory position( senior clerical or Sergeant)
- Wishing to progress to a more senior management position(Inspector to Chief Inspector and police staff equivalent)
- Already in a management position but wish to become more effective and raise their performance
The programme used traditional as well as creative methods of development. As well as helping individuals to develop personally it will also help them to increase their effectiveness in the workplace, which, in turn, helps the performance of their team.
Objectives of the Programme
The objectives for the programme are that participants will:
- Take a fresh and positive approach to their career and personal development plans and set new action points
- Understand how coaching and mentoring could support them
- Understand how gender, culture and managerial status effect communication and motivation.
Benefits to Lincolnshire Police
The benefits for the organisation of participants attending the Spring Forward Development Programme are as follows:
- Individual and team communications improve
- Stress levels are reduced so performance is improved
- Participants take more responsibility for their development
- Clear goals are set for development – both on a personal and departmental level
- Participants initiate more solutions and take more responsibility
- Participants are more likely to move into higher positions
7. Health and Safety
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEP) Guidance has been produced to take account of anyone who may need assistance in an emergency evacuation. This includes; mobility impairment, sensory impairment, those who may have difficulties reading signage and those who have long term medical conditions which may affect their ability to use stairs. Evac-Chair training with nominated persons has also been carried out.
8. Employee Benefits
HR have renewed the contract with childcare plus for a tax free childcare voucher scheme. childcare plus is an employee benefit that saves parents money by allowing them to receive part of their salary free of tax and national insurance to pay for government approved (e.g. Ofsted) childcare). Changes to tax laws from April 2011 means that all employees now receive the same level of tax exemption (previously higher earners received a greater tax saving).
9. Monitoring & Review
Monitoring of our employment duties cover the whole range of employment policies and practices, from pre-recruitment to the end of employment. In particular they include:
- Monitoring and analysing data on recruitment, appraisal, promotion, disciplinary action, fairness at work, learning and development and exit questionnaires to identify any trends or impacts on those from under-represented groups;
- Consulting (or in the case of disability, involving) staff and others on the potential impact of introducing new and revised policies and practices.
- Setting, publishing and reporting on HR service standards and Force people data targets in the area of equality and diversity.
- Training staff and officers on their general and specific duties to promote equality and diversity (for example the Diversity course and accreditation against the Police Race and Diversity Learning and Development Programme (PRDLDP).