Local terms and conditions of employment

The following conditions of service are agreed locally:

  • National spinal column pay points
  • Hours of work
  • Leave entitlement
  • Sickness entitlement scheme

The main terms and conditions of employment which apply to you are detailed in your statement of terms and Conditions of Employment (also known as your Contract of Employment). These take precedence and are supplemented by those detailed in this document.

Section 1: Salary and expenses

1.1 Salary progression: probation and regradings

All new employees to Wycombe District Council will be subject to a six month probation before the formal confirmation of the appointment, during which time a review of performance will be undertaken prior to the three and six month stages. The Council reserves the right to withdraw a qualified offer of appointment at any time during this period, or to extend this period by a maximum of six months where appropriate.

Your salary and grade will be detailed in your Statement of Main Terms and Conditions of Employment. Incremental progression requires standard or upper quartile performance. Every grade within the Council's grade structure has seven increments. Incremental progression from 1 and up to and including 4 requires standard performance assessment. Progression from increment 4 to 5 will require an upper quartile or excellent performance assessment. Similarly progression 5 to 6 and 6 to 7 will require an upperquartile or excellent performance assessment. If you are appointed or re-graded between 1 October and 31 March, this increment will be paid six months after your start/regrading date, and on 1 April thereafter.

All posts are graded using the Hay job evaluation scheme. Where it is agreed by the Head of Service that there has been a significant increase in responsibilities and accountabilities a post may be submitted for re-evaluation. Applicants may also wish to seek the support of a staff representative. Appeals against regrading decisions should be submitted in writing to the Head of HR and Corporate Administration within three months of the original evaluation for consideration by an evaluation panel made up of appropriately trained members who were not involved in the original decision.

1.2 Salary protection

The Council operates a salary protection policy for officers affected by organisational change where an officer is redeployed into a suitable alternative post at a lower grade. With effect from 1 April 2008 the salary protection period is three years. Salaries are protected on the existing increment point of grade and attract annual cost of living awards. At the end of the salary protection period the officer is placed on the top increment point of the job evaluated grade of their new post.

1.3 Honoraria payments

If you are required to temporarily undertake the full duties and responsibilities of a higher graded job due to vacancy or long-term absence for longer than one month, an honorarium payment may become payable subject to the recommendation of your Head of Service and the availability of funds within existing budgets. Such a payment will reflect the salary difference between your current salary and the lowest point of the higher graded job from the date the higher level duties were first undertaken.

1.4 Stand-by allowance

A stand-by allowance is payable to staff who are required to be available on a rota basis outside of normal office hours. The requirement to undertake standby duties will be set out in your Statement of Terms and Conditions of Service.

1.5 Overtime payment

Unless stated otherwise in your Statement of Terms and Conditions of Service, overtime is not contractual. Any overtime claims must be agreed in advance by your Head of Service or his/her representative, and should be submitted on an overtime form by the second working day after the end of each calendar month. Alternatively, you may take time off in lieu. In normal circumstances, overtime is limited to authorised work undertaken outside of bandwidth hours (see section 3.1). Management graded officers will only receive overtime payments in exceptional circumstances.

  • Mon to Sat payment at time and a half
  • Sunday payment at double time               

1.6 Committee attendance

Staff attending evening committee meetings may claim time off in lieu or alternatively an attendance allowance which is inclusive of all travel and subsistence expenses. Committee attendance allowance is not available to officers with JNC terms and conditions and staff who have a contractual requirement to attend evening meetings.

wilber-in-council-chamber

1.7 Subsistence

Subsistence can only be claimed when you are more than three miles away from the normal work place and are absent from the workplace for more than four hours. Payment will be where receipts are submitted and which are certified by an authorised officer.

Subsistence expenses incurred while undergoing training must be claimed on a expenses claim form. The amount shown on the receipt will be paid, subject to maximum rates which are set and published annually.

Qualifying periods:

  • Breakfast: up to 9.30am
  • Lunch: up to 5.30pm
  • Tea: 5.30pm to 8.30pm
  • Evening meal: after 8.30pm

1.8 Long service awards/retirements

A special award of £250 is made to staff who have worked for a period of 25 years with the Council.

An award of £100 is made to staff over 60 who are retiring from the Council's employment (leaving the Council).

1.9 Subscription fees

Where it is an essential requirement of your job that you maintain membership of a professional institution, the Council will reimburse the relevant subscription fee. Payment will only be made to one professional institution in any one year.

1.10 Travel allowances on transfer of workplace

If your normal place of work or administrative centre is relocated and this entails an increase in travelling distance from your home, an allowance commensurate with the additional cost of travel may be granted for a period of four years. This allowance is equal to a second class train or bus fare or mileage where you are a designated car user or no public transport is available. (The allowance is subject to actual distance from home and as such will be terminated if you move further from your place of work and will be adjusted should you move closer within the four year period).

1.11 Continuous service

For the purpose of (a) annual leave entitlement (b) maternity provision (c) superannuation (d) redundancy payments and (e) sickness entitlement, service with other local authorities (or related employment) will be taken into account.

Continuous employment with the organisations recognised under the Local Government Continuity of Service (Modification Order) 1999 will be counted as related employment these include:

  • Existing local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales
  • Bodies advising local authorities (eg Provincial Councils, LGMB)
  • The Commission for New Towns
  • The Housing Corporation
  • Development corporations
  • Industrial estates corporations, development agencies
  • Local authority passenger transport executives
  • Probation committees
  • Magistrate courts committees
  • Police authorities in respect of most civilian staff (ie not where the Home Secretary is the police authority - eg Metropolitan Police)
  • Combined fire authorities
  • Schools with defined statutory relationships to local authorities, assisted or grant aided further education establishments
  • Local rating valuation panels
  • Parish councils

Section 2: Travel

2.1 Car provision - car loans

The car loan scheme operates as follows:

  1. Applications will only be considered from staff in designated business/essential or casual user posts. In the case of a fixed term appointment the loan period must not extend beyond the contract end date
  2. The maximum loan period is four years, or the estimated life of the car (whichever is the shorter). However, this period may be extended to five years where the vehicle is not less than three years old
  3. The maximum permissible loan will be (£7,300) or half your annual salary (whichever is the lower). Any trade-in value of your existing car or outstanding balance on an existing car loan will be set against the total amount available for a loan
  4. Interest will generally be charged by the addition of the interest on the loan per annum (on the amount of the loan outstanding) at a rate of which can be confirmed by accountancy at half yearly intervals (on the amount of the loan outstanding) at the start of the second quarter of each period. The latter will apply in all cases where the loan is paid prematurely
  5. Applications for the purchase of a second-hand car must be accompanied by a certificate of roadworthiness. These should be issued by the AA or RAC or by an independent garage or mechanic (not the car dealer). Such a certificate should detail the reasonableness of the asking price, roadworthiness and estimated future life of the vehicle
  6. You will also be required to submit:
  • an invoice showing the proposed price
  • evidence of the trade-in price for an existing vehicle
  • a receipt showing the payment of a deposit amounting to not less than 10% of the purchase price
  • a fully endorsed insurance policy
  • a copy of your current driving licence

Further details and forms are available from HR.

2.2 Council transport

Staff should not, under any circumstances, use Council vehicles for personal purposes. This will be treated as a serious breach of discipline under the disciplinary procedure.

Accidents involving the unauthorised use of Council vehicles will invalidate the Council's insurance and the employee involved will be liable for full costs.

Staff must not, under any circumstances, drive a Council vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication which produces drowsiness. Any breach of this will lead to disciplinary action.

Smoking is not permitted in Council owned vehicles or private vehicles during their use for Council business.

Section 3: Flexible working hours

3.1 Eligibility

Eligibility for the scheme is detailed in your contract of employment. The flexitime system allows you to vary your starting and finishing times to suit your own personal circumstances, providing certain criteria are met. In certain circumstances, exceptions to the scheme may arise where you may not be permitted to make full use of the scheme - eg where office cover is required or where the nature of the job precludes participation. It is the discretion of your line manager to determine appropriate start and finish times in accordance with the exigencies of the service.

Definition

Time

Bandwidth

Maximum daily period within which employees may work

7.30am to 7.00pm

Core-time

Daily period when you must be at work

9.30am to 12.00 noon

2.30pm to 4.00pm

Flexible working hours

Periods within which you can choose your working hours

7.30am to 9.30am

12.00 noon to 2.30pm

4.00pm to 7.00pm

Lunch break

A minimum of ½ hour and a maximum of 2 hours may be taken as a lunch break between

12.00 noon to 2.30pm

Accounting period

The 4 week period within which you must work your contracted hours (ie 37 x 4 = 148 hrs: full time)

See your departmental register

Credit time

Excess hours worked over contracted requirement

Time off in lieu of 1 full day (7 hrs 24 mins), or 2 x half days (3 hours 42 mins) per accounting period. Please note that 2 half-days may not include a Friday afternoon or Monday morning on consecutive working weeks.

Debit time

The number of hours worked less than contractual requirements

You may only carry over 4 hours in debit during any accounting period. Debit hours should be made up as soon as possible but within the next accounting period at the latest.

No more than 12 hours may be carried over from one accounting period to the next. Hours in excess of this will be forfeited unless you have been given prior permission from your Head of Service or his/her representative.

Time taken in-lieu for attendance at committee or evening meetings will be credited in addition to normal flexitime credit hours.

3.2 Absences during core time

Paid time off during core working hours may be granted for the following reasons:

  • service as a member of a statutory body or other public authority (in this case, any payments or allowances should be brought to the attention of payroll). This does not include time for attendance resulting from responsibilities as a school governor or member of a PTA
  • service as a juror or magistrate (in this case, all documentation should be submitted to payroll)
  • emergency visits to hospital out-patients or other medical establishments (including emergency dental treatment); not GP, non-emergency dental or planned hospital appointments
  • attendance at clinics for breast screening, cervical smears or well-man/well-woman checks
  • attendance at pre-natal clinics
  • attendance at donor sessions or screenings
  • attendance at counselling sessions arranged through the EAP scheme or occupational health.
  • Attendance at any of the above should be notified in advance to your manager.

Please note: Out-patient, dental and doctor appointments must be taken in your own time.

3.3 Administration of the scheme

Registering hours: You should record your times of arrival and departure on your department register to the nearest five minutes.

Registers must be completed by the named member of staff and no other person. All registers will be monitored by service managers or their representatives.

Recording hours: You are required to calculate and record daily and weekly totals and any credit or excess hours worked.

Absence due to sickness should be recorded as 7 hrs 24 mins or 3 hrs 42 mins for full time staff or depending on normal hours worked, and coded 'S/L'

Attendance on training courses should be recorded as 7 hrs 24 mins or 3 hrs 42 mins depending on hours taken, and coded 'T'

Planned overtime should be recorded as a separate entry on the register and coded 'O/T', and should not be included in the calculations for the weekly total.

3.4 Out of office working

Where you are required to travel directly to an off site location, you should sign your department's register when you are next in the office. Any travelling time, over and above normal travel time to and from the office, may be claimed. Otherwise the actual time of departure and arrival should be recorded.

3.5 Leaving

You are expected to complete all contractual hours before leaving the Council, any debit time outstanding will be deducted from your final salary.

3.6 Inclement weather

In exceptional and extenuating circumstances an allowance may be allowed to take into account adverse weather conditions. Notification of such an event will be made at the time, until such notification you should record your actual starting and finishing time.

3.7 Control of the scheme

Since the flexitime scheme hinges on trust, any abuse of its conditions will be treated as a serious breach of discipline and your eligibility to use the scheme may be withdrawn.

Such abuse may include falsification of hours, signing on a colleague's behalf, claiming for hours not actually worked, eg registering at 8.30am and reading a newspaper until 9.00am.

Section 4: Leave

4.1 Annual leave

Your annual leave entitlement is detailed in your contract of employment. Your leave year will commence in the month following your first day of employment with the Council.

Leave entitlements:

  • Grade 1 to 3: 22 days per annum
  • Grade 4 to 9: 25 days per annum
  • Officers on JNC terms (G 10 and above): 32 days per annum

With the exception of JNC officers if you have five years or more continuous local government service leave entitlement will be increased by five days.

If you work part time your annual leave entitlement will be pro rata. If your working week does not cover a five day period or you do not work an equal number of hours on each working day, leave is calculated according to the following example.

Leave entitlement 22 days, standard day = 7.4 hours, 22 x 7.4 = 162.8 hours

Part time hours/37 hours x 162.8

So when annual leave is taken the number of hours normally worked on that day will be deducted from the annual leave balance.

(Note: term time/annualised hours workers will receive a pro rata holiday allowance as detailed in their contract of employment)

Requests for annual leave must be authorised in advance by your line manager. Failure to obtain authorisation in advance will be treated as unauthorised absence and may result in disciplinary action.

4.2 Bank holidays

  1. Irrespective of the days worked, part-time staff will receive a pro-rata allowance for bank holidays, ie: 1/5th of your normal working week
  2. If you are required to work on a bank holiday, you may claim the actual hours worked. These hours will be paid in addition to normal pay for the day. You will also receive time off in lieu at a later date as follows:

0 to 4 hrs worked: half day off
4 hrs and over worked: full day off

Any authorised work undertaken outside of normal working hours will be paid as overtime

  1. If you normally work shifts and work on a bank or extra statutory holiday the conditions of (2 above) will apply. In exceptional circumstances, and with prior permission from your Head of Service or his/her representative, you may claim double time for actual hours worked and this will be paid in addition to normal pay for the day.

4.3 Christmas leave

You will receive one day's leave with pay in addition to the two statutory days' holiday (pro rata for part time staff).

Pattern of hours

Pattern of hours and holidays over Christmas
 Christmas dayHoliday 
 Sunday  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
 Monday  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
 Tuesday  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
 Wednesday  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
 Thursday  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
 Friday  Friday, Monday, Tuesday
Saturday Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

4.4 Compassionate leave

Compassionate leave may be agreed by Heads of Service, with or without pay, where appropriate in special circumstances. However, account should be taken of annual leave and flexitime credit outstanding at the time of the request. In such circumstances, a maximum of four days may be granted, with pay.

Should you wish to attend the funeral of a close family member, you may be allowed one day's compassionate leave with pay. A close family member is normally defined as a wife/husband, civil partner, daughter/son, mother/father, brother/sister or mother-in-law/father-in-law. In special circumstances, and with the permission of your Head of Service or his/her representative, you may be allowed up to four days' compassionate leave with pay.

4.5 Interview leave

If you require leave of absence to attend a selection interview at another local authority, you should apply for special leave to your Head of Service or his/her representative. Such leave will only be granted after one year's service with the Council, and permission may be withheld where considered appropriate.

4.6 Special leave

1. Service with non-regular forces

Additional leave will be granted if you are required to undertake training with non-regular forces on normal working days. You will also be allowed leave to attend summer camp on an annual basis. The Council will require advance notification from your Commanding Officer before such leave is granted.

2. Lectureships

Paid leave may be granted to a maximum of ten working days per year, should you be invited to lecture in your professional capacity. In such cases, 50% of related fees are payable to the Council.

3. Elections

Paid leave will be granted if you are appointed to assist at parliamentary or local elections.

4. Negotiating bodies

Paid leave will be granted if you are required to serve on joint negotiating bodies, eg provincial councils, appeal boards, etc.

5. Magistrates service

Paid leave will be granted if you are appointed as a magistrate, in compliance with minimum attendance required by such an appointment.

6. Jury service/court appearance

If you are required to attend court as a witness or as a member of a jury, you will be granted paid leave. 

Request for time off should be made by email to your line manager and copied to hr@wycombe.gov.uk. The notification document from the Court must be seen by your manager and produced when making your request. Your line manager must authorise the time off.

If employees report for jury service but are not called upon to serve on any particular day, they are expected to attend work on that day if it is reasonably practicable to do so in the time available.

Employees must claim from the Court (according to their procedures) for any travel/subsistence allowances. Basic salary is not affected and is processed as normal - you do not need to claim anything from the Court for loss of earnings.

7. Conference attendance

Paid leave may be granted to a maximum of five working days in one year if you need to attend conferences, courses or meetings of a recognised national or provincial body, as an authorised delegate.

8. Trade unions

If you are required to attend trade union meetings or conferences as an authorised delegate, you may be granted five days' leave with pay in any one year. Prior notification of your intended absence should be given to your Head of Service.

Section 5: Miscellaneous provisions

5.1 Protective clothing

Full protective clothing will be issued where it is a requirement of the job. Any such clothing must be returned to the Council on leaving its service.

5.2 Employee representation

The Council supports the principles of staff consultation; aiming to achieve agreement in resolving employee relations issues.

The Council's formal consultation mechanism is through the Joint Staff Committee. This comprises five staff representatives and five members. The eight staff representatives are appointed by recognised staff organisation(s). The staff organisation is required to demonstrate that it represents 'significant' numbers of employees. At present the body is required to represent 25 people for a place on the Joint Staff Committee. Currently staff representatives are appointed from the membership of UNISON.

Note: Other trade union and staff organisations may represent officers at a formal grievance or disciplinary hearing.

You have the right to membership of a trade union or employee body of your choice without victimisation for so doing and you will be allowed time, during core-time, to undertake official duties linked to such membership on the prior authorisation of your Head of Service.

5.3 Time-off in core-time for health and welfare matters

Please see section 3.2 for provision relating to:

  • emergency visits to hospital out-patients or dental surgeries
  • attendance at breast-screening or cervical smear sessions
  • attendance at well-man or well-woman clinics
  • attendance at pre-natal clinics
  • attendance at donor sessions or screenings

and section 4.4 for provision relating to:

  • compassionate leave.

6. Sickness absence

6.1 Payment

Both statutory sick pay (SSP) and occupational sick pay is paid in the same way as your salary on the 12th of each month. The Council reserves the right to withhold sickness payment where the sickness absence procedure has not been followed or where there is reasonable doubt about the validity of the claim. Abuse of the sickness scheme may result in disciplinary action.

Subject to meeting the requirements of the sickness absence procedure in one rolling year, sickness allowance will be paid for the following periods.

  • During 1st year of service: 1 month's full pay and (after completing 4 month's service) 2 month's half pay
  • During 2nd year of service: 2 month's full pay and 2 month's half pay
  • During 3rd year of service: 4 month's full pay and 4 month's half pay
  • During 4th and 5th year of service: 5 month's full pay and 5 month's half pay
  • After 5 years service: 6 month's full pay and 6 month's half pay

Service is defined as continuous employment in local government or associated bodies and is defined in the contract of employment.

Note: absence in respect of industrial disease, accident or assault arising out of or in the course of employment will be treated separately for the purposes of calculating entitlements under the scheme.

An employee who is prevented for attending work because of contact with an infectious disease shall receive normal pay and absence will not be reckoned against entitlement under this scheme.

The Head of Service in consultation with the Head of HR and a Corporate Director has the discretion to extend the period of sick pay in exceptional circumstances (eg significant compassionate grounds).

Where there is medical evidence that an employee is not able to return to work within the foreseeable future or is no longer able to fulfil the requirements of the job the Council reserves the right to terminate employment in accordance with its procedure for dealing with ill health before the expiry of sick pay.

November 2007