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Decision details

Agency Staffing Provision

Decision Maker: Leader of the Council

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Purpose:

The current Agency contract arrangement for Reed Talent Solutions to supply Temporary staff to the Council comes to an end on 31 March 2022.

 

The impact of the Covid pandemic and current financial challenges have led to a period of uncertainty when assessing our temporary staffing resource requirements. During the last 18 months our type and level of spend on Agency staffing is atypical. At the same time, there are a number of other organisational interventions underway including an organisation wide VER/VS scheme to support workforce planning. In addition, resource controls have been introduced, requiring all new or extensions to resourcing requests, including agency to be approved at Portfolio leadership team. The impact of these controls is being monitored and supporting the assessment of our future temporary staffing needs.

 

A 24-month extension to the Agency contract will give us the necessary time to complete the VER/VS scheme thus enabling us to understand our future workforce requirements before the tender specification is developed. (The lead time for this tender would be 12 months which includes options appraisal and market engagement, followed by implementation of 6 months).

 

Decision:

That the Leader of the Council:

 

  1. Approves the extension of the Reed Talent Solutions contract, to enable continuity of service during an unprecedented challenging time, which will accommodate a more detailed assessment of the options;

 

  1. Approves HR and Commercial Services engagement with Elected Members, Senior Officers, Hiring Managers and Trade Unions to gain views on the future of temporary staffing during the agreed extension period;

 

  1. Approves HR and Commercial Services to work with Reed Talent Solutions to continue to exploit further Agency savings opportunities whilst increasing social value interventions during the two-year extension period; and

 

  1. Delegates authority to the Executive Director of Resources, in consultation with the Director of Finance and Commercial Services and the Director of Legal and Governance to:

 

  • agree the terms of the extension.

 

  • take all other decisions necessary to meet the aims, objectives and outcomes of this report which are not already covered by existing delegations in the Leaders Scheme of Delegation. 

 

Reasons for the decision:

It is recommended that the Co-operative Executive approves the request to extend the current contract arrangement with Reed Talent Solutions to ensure continuity of Temporary staffing provision, to realise potential savings opportunities and ensure social value initiatives remain in place.

 

A 24-month extension to the Agency contract will give us the necessary time to complete the VER/VS scheme and judge the impact of our resource controls on our workforce planning thus enabling us to understand our future workforce requirements before the tender specification is developed.

 

The lead time for this tender would be 12 months which includes options appraisal and market engagement, followed by an implementation of 6 months.

 

The extension will give the Council time to thoroughly consider future Temporary Agency Staffing supply, with a view to exploit further savings and review the service specification in line with our strategic objectives.

Alternative options considered:

Other options considered were:

 

  • Proceed to a re-tender, to determine the most appropriate Agency staffing provider. Timescale 12 months.
  • Access an existing framework and set up a mini competition to determine the most appropriate Agency staffing provider. Timescale 6 months including mobilisation

 

The impact of the Covid pandemic and current financial challenges have led to a period of uncertainty when assessing our temporary staffing resource requirements. During the last 18 months our type and level of spend on Agency staffing is atypical.

 

We have several interventions underway including an organisation wide VER/VS scheme to support workforce planning and the introduction of new resource control measures to help control the Councils recruitment activity.

 

This makes it difficult for the Council to clearly articulate its Temporary Staffing Resource requirements at this time and is why these alternatives have been discounted in favour of a 2-year extension which would giving us the opportunity to carry out a comprehensive assessment of our needs.

Publication date: 16/12/2021

Date of decision: 15/12/2021

Effective from: 23/12/2021

Accompanying Documents: