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Meetings

Review of staffing support for Members

This page gives details of any meetings held which will, or did, discuss the matter, and includes links to the relevant Papers, Agendas and Minutes.

Note: Meeting Agenda can change at short notice. Particularly where future meeting dates are indicated more than a week in advance. Please check before planning to attend a Committee Meeting that the item you are interested in has not been moved.

Meeting: 23/05/2019 - Remuneration Board (Item 3)

Item for discussion: Six-month review of the flexibility of the allowances

Supporting documents:

  • Restricted enclosure 2

Minutes:

3.1        The Board considered a six month review of the flexibility of staffing allowances following the implementation of changes that included removing the 111 hour cap on the employment of permanently employed staff, budgeting salary costs at actual costs and changes to the viring options available to Members.

3.2        The Board agreed to conduct a further review in November and January to allow the changes to have more time take effect. If any change is required as a result of these future considerations, then the Board agreed to undertake further consultation. 

 


Meeting: 23/05/2019 - Remuneration Board (Item 6)

Item for decision: Draft report on review of staffing support for Members

Supporting documents:

  • Restricted enclosure 5
  • Restricted enclosure 6

Minutes:

6.1 The Board considered and agreed its draft report on the review of staffing support for Members, subject to minor changes.

6.2 The Board agreed to publish the report shortly.


Meeting: 17/01/2019 - Remuneration Board (Item 2)

Item for decision: Review of staffing support for Members and the review of the Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures: Consideration of consultation responses

Supporting documents:

  • Restricted enclosure 9
  • Restricted enclosure 10

Minutes:

Review of staffing support for Members

2.1.     The Board considered the responses received regarding its proposals to amend the funding arrangements for family members (proposals one and two of the consultation).

2.2.     Following careful and open-minded consideration of the responses alongside the Board’s statutory objectives, the Board agreed to amend its original proposals for the funding arrangements regarding the employment of family members.

2.3.     The Board agreed to seek further advice before implementing any changes with regards to the funding arrangements for family member.

2.4.     The Board considered the responses to its proposals to amend the terms and conditions of support staff (proposals three, four and five) agreed to implement the following changes from 1 April 2019:

-     adjusting support staff salaries in April of each year by the change in the ASHE survey;

-     introducing privilege days for support staff;

-     introducing a new compassionate leave policy for support staff.

2.5.     The Board agreed the secretariat should work with the support staff representatives on its behalf to ensure the compassionate leave policy is fit for purpose.

Action points

The secretariat to:

-     seek further advice on the Board’s decision regarding the proposed changes to proposals one and two;

-     work with support staff to develop the compassionate leave policy;

-     inform Members and support staff of the upcoming changes once the Board’s decision was final;

-     prepare a revised Determination for publication in April 2019.

Review of the Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures

2.6.     The Board considered the responses received to proposals six and seven and agreed to amend both procedures to ensure they are up to date and align with the Assembly’s Dignity and Respect policy.

2.7.     The Board agreed the secretariat should work with the support staff representatives on its behalf to ensure the procedures are fit for purpose.

Action points

The secretariat to:

-     work with support staff to develop the Procedures;

-     inform Members and support staff of the upcoming changes once the Board.


Meeting: 11/10/2018 - Remuneration Board (Item 3)

Item for decision: Determination for the Sixth Assembly: Scope of the review

Supporting documents:

  • Restricted enclosure 13

Minutes:

3.1.     The Board considered and agreed its forward work programme for reviewing its Determination for the Sixth Assembly which would meet its objective to publish the Determination in May 2020, one year before the next election.

3.2.     The Board noted that the Assembly’s electoral reform agenda may impact its work programme, and agreed to monitor the development of this work.

3.3.     The Board agreed to share further information with Members and support staff regarding the work programme, including details on how they can share their views with the Board, in due course.

Action points:

The secretariat to:

-        monitor the development of the Assembly’s electoral reform agenda;

-        share further information with Members and support staff when appropriate.


Meeting: 11/10/2018 - Remuneration Board (Item 2)

Item for decision: Staffing Support for Assembly Members

Supporting documents:

  • Restricted enclosure 16
  • Restricted enclosure 17
  • Restricted enclosure 18

Minutes:

2.1.     The Board considered the evidence it had received as part of the review and agreed:

-        which issues it would defer to its upcoming review of the Determination for the Sixth Assembly;

-        which issues it would consult upon as part of this review;

-        the next steps following its consultation on flexibility of the allowances surrounding the Support for Political Parties Allowance.

Issues to be considered within the Board’s other workstreams

2.2.     The Board considered the evidence it had received on a number of issues and agreed that some of these issues would be considered as a part of its review of the Determination for the Sixth Assembly.

Action point:

The Board to consider the evidence received as part of its review of the Determination for the Sixth Assembly.

Consultation on the outstanding issues

2.3.     The Board considered the evidence it had received surrounding the following provisions:

-        funding the employment of family members;

-        terms and conditions of support staff;

-        salary of support staff.

2.4.     The Board agreed it had received sufficient evidence on these issues to consult on a number of proposals to amend the provisions which are outlined below:

-        removing the funding for Assembly Members to employ family members and partners from the next dissolution;

-        removing the funding for any new family members appointed (or promoted or have changes made to their current contract) after 24 October 2018;

-        adjusting support staff salaries in April of each year by the change in the ASHE survey;

-        introducing privilege days for support staff;

-        introducing a new compassionate leave policy for support staff.

2.5.     The closing date for the consultation would be 13 December 2018.

Action points

The secretariat to:

-        issue and promote the consultation;

-        prepare a summary of the responses for the Board’s consideration.

Consultation on flexibility of the allowances surrounding the Support for Political Parties Allowance

2.6.     The Board considered the consultation responses received and agreed to implement the following changes:

-        removing the provision within the Determination for any new virement of funds from the Member’s Staffing Allowance to the Support for Political Parties Allowance from 1 October. Those Members who currently vire from their Staffing Allowance to their respective Political Parties Allowances will be permitted to continue to vire up to the same amount annually until the end of the Fifth Assembly;

-        budgeting the Support for Political Parties Allowance at actual pay points from 1 April 2019;

-        publishing the expenditure each Political Party makes on its Support for Political Parties Allowance from 1 April 2019.

Action points:

The secretariat to:

-        inform Members and support staff of the upcoming changes;

-        prepare a revised Determination for publication.


Meeting: 24/05/2018 - Remuneration Board (Item 3)

Item for discussion: Review of staffing support for Members: Consideration of evidence received

Supporting documents:

  • Restricted enclosure 21
  • Restricted enclosure 22
  • Restricted enclosure 23

Minutes:

Consultation on the flexibility of the allowances for Assembly Members

3.1.    The Board considered the consultation responses and agreed to implement the following changes with affect from 1 October 2018:

-    removal of the 111 hour cap on permanently employed staff;

-    allowing Members to vire up to 25 per cent from their Office Cost Allowance and the full funding from the Policy, Research and Communications Fund into their Staffing Allowance.

3.2.    The Board agreed that as the changes to viring procedure would be implemented mid-way through the financial year, the amount available to vire would be pro-rata for the financial year 2018-19.

3.3.    The Board agreed to calculate the remaining balance of the Staffing Allowance at actual cost rather than at total maximum cost as is the current practice. This change would be implemented from 1 April 2019 to allow appropriate systems to be put in place to assist Members to manage any budget volatility.

3.4.    The Board also agreed to publish the expenditure each individual Member makes on their Staffing Allowance at the end of each financial year. The publication of the information will follow the same procedure as is used to publish other expenditure against each individual Member. Should a Member only employ one member of support staff within the financial year that information will not be published.

3.5.    The Board agreed to provide a summary of the consultation responses in any output it may produce at the end of the review.

 

Action points

The secretariat to:

-    inform Members and support staff of the upcoming changes;

-    prepare a revised Determination for publication in October 2018;

-    prepare guidance for Members and support staff.

 

Consultation on the flexibility of the allowances for Political Parties

3.6.    The Board considered the implications of these changes on the Support for Political Parties Allowance and agreed to consult on the following proposals:

-    budgeting the Support for Political Parties Allowance at actual pay points;

-    publishing the expenditure each individual Party makes on their Support for Political Parties Allowance;

-    removing the provision within the Determination which allows for the virement of funds from the Member’s Staffing Allowance to the Support for Political Parties Allowance.

3.7.    The closing date for the consultation would be 20 July 2018.

3.8.    The Board agreed to return to the other issues raised during the review during the autumn term.

 

Action points

The secretariat to:

-    issue and promote the consultation;

-    prepare a summary of the responses for the Board’s consideration.

 


Meeting: 15/03/2018 - Remuneration Board (Item 5)

Item for decision: Review of staffing support for Members: Consideration of evidence received

Supporting documents:

  • Restricted enclosure 26
  • Restricted enclosure 27

Minutes:

5.1.    The Board considered the evidence it had received to date for its review of staffing support for Members. The Board discussed what matters may warrant further consideration and what matters could be addressed sooner.

5.2.    The Board agreed to consult on the following issues immediately:

-    budgeting Staffing Allowance at actual pay points;

-    publishing the expenditure each individual Member makes on their Staffing Allowance;

-    removing the 111 hour cap on permanently employed support staff;

-    increasing the flexibility of viring between budgets.

5.3.    The closing date for the consultation would be Friday 11 May 2018.

5.4.    The Board agreed to re-consider the other issues raised during the review at its May meeting.

 

Action points

The secretariat to:

-    issue and promote the consultation;

-    prepare a summary of the responses for the Board’s consideration.


Meeting: 25/01/2018 - Remuneration Board (Item 4)

Review of staffing support for Members: Engagement event with Support Staff

Minutes:

4.1         The Board considered the issues raised during its engagement event with support staff.

 

 


Meeting: 25/01/2018 - Remuneration Board (Item 2)

Item for discussion: Review of staffing support for Members: Consideration of evidence

Minutes:

2.1         The Board considered the evidence it had heard to date in relation to the terms of reference of the review.

2.2         The Board agreed to arrange further interviews with Members and support staff, subject to availability, to ensure its sample is representative of both groups.

Action points:

The secretariat to:

-     contact the offices of Member to identify suitable interview date;

-     prepare a thematic summary of all the evidence received to date for the Board’s consideration at its next meeting.


Meeting: 23/11/2017 - Remuneration Board (Item 3)

Item for decision: Review of staffing support for Members: Proposals for data collection

Supporting documents:

  • Restricted enclosure 34
  • Restricted enclosure 35

Minutes:

3.1.    The Board noted the revised forward work programme for the review.

3.2.    The Board considered and agreed the draft questions to be used during the one-to-one interviews with Members and Support Staff to inform the review. The Board noted that those invited to interview would broadly represent the demographic of Members and Support Staff.

3.3.    The Board agreed that the questions for the interview should also form a survey which would be open to all Members and Support Staff to complete. The Board noted the survey should be made available both electronically and in hard copy.

3.4.    The Board agreed that the questions for the interview and survey should be piloted with the Representative Groups.

3.5.    The Board agreed to hold a pop-up for Support Staff to discuss the review.

Action points:

The secretariat to:

-       prepare final versions of the interview script and survey and to re-circulate electronically to the Board for review;

-       pilot the questions with the Representative Groups;

-       launch the survey in early December;

-       identify innovative ways to encourage both Members and Support Staff to complete the survey;

-       arrange for the interviews to take place in January; and

-       arrange a pop-up event for Support Staff in January to discuss the review.


Meeting: 12/10/2017 - Remuneration Board (Item 3)

Item for decision: Agreeing the scoping paper for the review of the career structure and terms and conditions of Assembly Member Support Staff

Supporting documents:

  • Restricted enclosure 38

Minutes:

2.1. The Board considered the scoping paper for the review.

2.2. To inform discussion Board members shared the key themes which arose from their discussions with Support Staff based in constituency and regional offices and the Assembly Member and Assembly Member Support Staff Representative Groups respectively.

2.3. The Board agreed:

-     the terms of reference of the review, subject to minor alterations;

-     to rename the review to the ‘Review of staffing support for Members’;

-     the structure, approach and anticipated timescale of the review; and

-     that some recommendations of the review may need to be revisited in preparation of the Determination for the Sixth Assembly to reflect any potential Assembly reform. 

Action point:

The secretariat to arrange the next phase of data collection to inform the review.


Meeting: 12/07/2017 - Remuneration Board (Item 3)

Item for discussion: Review into the career structure and terms and conditions of Assembly Member Support Staff

Supporting documents:

  • Restricted enclosure 41
  • Restricted enclosure 42

Minutes:

3.1 The Board considered the paper outlining how it could structure its review into the career structure and terms and conditions of Assembly Member Support Staff. The Board agreed to use a range of evidence to inform the review, including the results of its recent survey.

 

3.2 The Board agreed to return to the issue at its October meeting.

 

Action points:

The secretariat to prepare a revised scoping paper for the Board’s consideration at its October meeting.


 

 

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