1 DECISION BOOK Issue: 451 Date: 2 May 2014 Decisions set out in the book have been made under delegated powers by the Managing Director, Corporate Directors or the Chief Finance Officer and Monitoring Officer, in consultation either with the relevant committee or Lead Councillor. This issue of the decision book will be in public circulation up until Monday 12 May During that period three Councillors may request in writing to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services that a decision should be referred either to a committee, or to the Council (as appropriate) for formal resolution. The decision book is open to public inspection at the Civic Offices between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm, Mondays to Fridays. The officer reports accompanying the decisions are attached. Contact: Richard Woodford Committee Services Tel: Fax:
2 DECISION BOOK ISSUE MAY BUS SALARY SACRIFICE AGREEMENT ( BUS TO WORK SCHEME) DECISION LEAD COUNCILLOR(S) WARDS AFFECTED PAGE NO. 1. BUS SALARY SACRIFICE AGREEMENT ( BUS TO WORK SCHEME) COUNCILLOR LOVELOCK BOROUGHWIDE 1 This report sets out the decision to enter into an agreement with Reading Buses and Baker Tilley for the provision of a salary sacrifice scheme for the provision of bus tickets and the administration of same. It is the decision of the Managing Director, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, that an agreement be entered into with Reading Buses and Baker Tilley for the provision of a salary sacrifice scheme for the provision of bus tickets for Council staff.
3 2. RENEWAL OF THE EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME (EAP) CONTRACT DECISION LEAD COUNCILLOR(S) WARDS AFFECTED PAGE NO. 1. RENEWAL OF THE EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME (EAP) CONTRACT COUNCILLOR LOVELOCK BOROUGHWIDE 4 This report sets out the decision to extend the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) contract with the current provider, Personal Performance Consultants (PPC). It is the decision of the Managing Director, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, that the contract for the Employee Assistance Programme with PPC be renewed for two years from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2016.
4 3. APPOINTMENT OF SCHOOL GOVERNORS DECISION LEAD COUNCILLOR(S) WARDS AFFECTED PAGE NO. 1. APPOINTMENT OF SCHOOL GOVERNORS COUNCILLOR ENNIS BATTLE & SOUTHCOTE 7 This report sets out the decision to appointment Local Authority governors to Reading schools. It is the decision of the Director of Education, Adult and Children s Services, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Education, that the proposals as set out in paragraph 4 be approved.
5 READING BOROUGH COUNCIL REPORT BY MANAGING DIRECTOR LEAD COUNCILLOR: DATE: CLLR LOVELOCK 2 MAY 2014 TITLE: BUS SALARY SACRIFICE AGREEMENT ( BUS TO WORK SCHEME) SERVICE: ALL WARDS: BOROUGHWIDE AUTHOR: JIM HOGGART TEL: JOB TITLE: HR & PAYROLL SERVICES MANAGER 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1.1 This report sets out the decision to enter into an agreement with Reading Buses and Baker Tilley for the provision of a salary sacrifice scheme for the provision of bus tickets and the administration of same. 2. DECISION 2.1 It is the decision of the Managing Director, in consultation with the Leader of the Council that an agreement be entered into with Reading Buses and Baker Tilley for the provision of a salary sacrifice scheme for the provision of bus tickets for Council staff. 3. POLICY CONTEXT 3.1 Tax legislation allows for an exemption from income tax and National Insurance contributions for the benefit of a Bus to Work scheme. Reading Borough Council can take advantage of the legislation and provide this benefit by means of a salary sacrifice arrangement. 4. THE PROPOSAL (a) Background 4.1 Under a salary sacrifice scheme, an employee gives up ( sacrifices ) the right to receive part of their contractual pay in return for the employer s agreement to provide the employee with a defined non-cash benefit. 4.2 The advantage is that the participating employees will not pay tax or National Insurance Contributions on the amount that they have sacrificed and the Council 1
6 also benefits from a reduction in the amount of National Insurance Contributions it is required to pay. 4.3 Help and advice on the scheme start up will be provided by Baker Tilly Ltd, a financial management and business advisory services firm and will ensure that the scheme complies with HMRC rules. Baker Tilly Ltd provides a similar service to other Reading based Employers. 4.4 In particular, Baker Tilly Ltd will Produce all necessary scheme documents Provide training/support to RBC representatives from Payroll/HR as required Organise and attend a launch event as required Support Communications team in scheme promotion Submit relevant documents to HMRC and request appropriate clearance for tax purposes Provide ongoing support to ensure efficient implementation. 4.5 Both the scheme itself and the administration agreement are cost neutral as the costs of the administration and charges for the scheme are met from the savings in employers national insurance contributions. 4.6 The terms of the agreement with Reading Buses and Baker Tilley Ltd have been agreed with the Council s Legal and Finance Teams. (b) Options Proposed 4.7 That the Council enters into a formal agreement with Reading Buses for the provision of a salary sacrifice scheme for an initial period of 2 years and an agreement with Baker Tilley Ltd for the administration and support of this scheme. 4.8 RBC will pay Baker Tilly a one off fee of 5% of the cost of a Commuter Card or 5000, whichever is the greater. This will be paid in the first year only. 4.9 The Council will pay Reading Buses a fee of 47% of the employer s NI savings per annum. The fee is made to Reading Buses to assist with the maintenance of the subsidised routes. The subsidy is necessary as part of the compliance for the HMRC. (c) Other Options Considered 4.10 Other suppliers of local bus services were contacted, but were either not aware of the salary sacrifice concept or not in a position to proceed with a scheme at this time. 5. CONTRIBUTION TO STRATEGIC AIMS 5.1 This scheme will underpin the Council s commitment to developing a Green City by providing practical encouragement and support for the use of public transport by its staff as well as contributing to a more healthy environment. 2
7 6. EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT 7.2 This proposal will not disproportionately or negatively impact on groups with a protected characteristic. 7. LEGAL IMPLICATIONS 8.1 None except where set out in the body of the report. 8. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS 8.1 None except where set out in the body of the report 9. BACKGROUND PAPERS 9.1 None. 3
8 READING BOROUGH COUNCIL REPORT BY MANAGING DIRECTOR LEAD COUNCILLOR: COUNCILLOR LOVELOCK DATE: 2 MAY 2014 TITLE: RENEWAL OF THE EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME (EAP) CONTRACT SERVICE: ALL WARDS: BOROUGHWIDE AUTHOR: JIM HOGGART TEL: JOB TITLE: HR & PAYROLL SERVICES MANAGER 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1.1 This report sets out the decision to extend the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) contract with the current provider, Personal Performance Consultants, PPC. 1.2 The current contract expires on 31 March The proposed new contract would run for two years from 1 April 2014 to 31 March The cost of the new contract will be 29,550 + VAT each year which is the same as the cost for the current contract. 2. DECISION 2.1 It is the decision of the Managing Director in consultation with the Leader of the Council that the contract for the Employee Assistance Programme with PPC is renewed for two years from 1 April 2014 to 31 March BACKGROUND 3.1 The Council has used the current Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provider, Personal Performance Consultants (PPC), since October The last contract was from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2011 and was then extended from 1 April 2011 until 31 March
9 3.2 The Employee Assistance Programme has always been welcomed by trades unions and staff, in particular at times of organisational change. It makes a significant contribution to the Health, Safety and Welfare of Council employees (see paragraph 8 below). 4. THE PROPOSAL (a) Current Position PPC has been the Council s EAP provider since 1 October 2003 and user feedback has been consistently good. The service has been well received by staff and trades unions. The current contract costs 29,550 + VAT each year. The services covered within the price include counselling, online help and advice, debt counselling, legal and financial services. The service is available to employees and their families. This service provider is familiar with RBC processes and procedures and at a time of reshaping, organisational restructuring and possible employee uncertainty, the likelihood is that this service will continue to be accessed by staff. (b) Options Proposed To continue to use PPC as the Council s EAP provider. The proposal is to have a new contract for a further two years from 1 April 2014 until 31 March The cost for the contract will be 29,550 + VAT each year, which is the same as the last contract. The time taken to go through a procurement process would be disproportionate to any cost saving that could be made by re-tendering. The Council has been able to renegotiate with the current provider and fix the current cost as well as retain the existing level of service. (c) Other Options Considered A tendering exercise could be carried out, but there is no firm way of predicting the final costs. Discussions have taken place with neighbouring local authorities and there is no standard model of service provision. It is felt, therefore, that the service provided is comprehensive and it is to the Council s advantage to renew the contract with a provider whose track record is known. 5. CONTRIBUTION TO STRATEGIC AIMS 5.1 Reading Borough Council can only effectively implement its strategic aims with a workforce that is valued and supported. These proposals will 5
10 contribute to this. This proposal will form an integral part of the Council s strategy to support staff and address issues of workplace stress. The service will complement other initiatives implemented by the Council in this regard. 6. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND INFORMATION 6.1 None relating to this report. 7. EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT 7.1 An Equality Impact Assessment is not relevant to the decision to extend the contract as the provision will be available for all employees. 8. LEGAL IMPLICATIONS 8.1 Reading Borough Council s Contracts Procedure Rule 5 (1) (l) permits contracts valued above 50,000 be exempted from the requirement to tender where demonstrable benefits in service or value for money or price are likely to be obtainable by way of direct negotiation with the potential supplier or contractors. The proposed contract sum is well below the OJEU threshold. 8.2 The Council has a legal responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) of a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all its employees. 9. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS 9.1 The financial implications are covered within the report. This will be met from within existing budgets. The cost of the new contract will be the same as the cost of the current contract. 10. BACKGROUND PAPERS 10.1 Personnel Committee Report: June 2005 Personnel Committee Report: March 2008 Personnel Committee Report: March
11 READING BOROUGH COUNCIL REPORT BY THE DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION, ADULT AND CHILDREN S SERVICES LEAD COUNCILLOR: COUNCILLOR ENNIS DATE: 2 MAY 2014 TITLE: APPOINTMENT OF SCHOOL GOVERNORS SERVICE: SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT WARDS: BATTLE, SOUTHCOTE AUTHOR: HAZEL ARCHER TEL: EXT JOB TITLE: GOVERNOR SERVICES MANAGER 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1.1 This report sets out the decision to appointment Local Authority governors to Reading schools. 2. DECISION 2.1 It is the decision of the Director of Education, Adult and Children s Services, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Education that the proposals as set out in paragraph 4 be approved. 3. POLICY CONTEXT 3.1 As the Local Authority the Council has a duty to appoint governors to school governing bodies in Reading. 3.2 For schools causing concern (where the Governing Body has been served with a Warning Notice) the Local Authority has the power to intervene and appoint additional governors under section 64 of The Education Act
12 4. THE PROPOSAL 4.1 That the following governors be reappointed: Cllr Sarah Hacker Oxford Road Primary School Battle Ward Jenny Pickett The Holy Brook Special School Southcote Ward 5. CONTRIBUTION TO STRATEGIC AIMS 5.1 Equal Opportunities To meet the needs of the diverse community in Reading governors are recruited from within the local black and minority ethnic groups during each recruitment campaign. 6. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND INFORMATION N/A 7. LEGAL IMPLICATIONS 7.1 The School Standards and Framework Act 1998, Schedule 9, paragraph 3, provides for the appointment of LA governors to school governing bodies within the Reading Borough Council boundary. 8. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS 8.1 Governing bodies may decide to pay governors expenses from the individual school budget. 9. BACKGROUND PAPERS 9.1 Endorsements supporting new applications, and information regarding the applicants. 8
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