Agency staff cost coun­cil mil­lions

Slough: Tem­po­rary staff cost £3.5m over three months

Windsor & Eton Express - - News - By David Lee davidl@baylis­me­ @DavidLee_BM

Slough Bor­ough Coun­cil has been urged to have less re­liance on agency work­ers af­ter fig­ures re­vealed it spent more than £3mil­lion on tem­po­rary staff in three months.

Agency work­ers cost the lo­cal au­thor­ity £1.28mil­lion in March, £1.01mil­lion in April and £1.23mil­lion in May this year.

Mem­bers of SBC’S Em­ploy­ment and Ap­peals Com­mit­tee met on Thurs­day, July 2 to dis­cuss the coun­cil’s part­ner­ship with Ma­trix SCM who has been granted a new two-year con­tract to help fill tem­po­rary roles at the lo­cal au­thor­ity.

Lola Makinde, HR busi­ness part­ner at Slough Bor­ough Coun­cil, told the meet­ing the coun­cil has tended to use agency staff to fill spe­cial­ist jobs.

She said: “In the last 18 months we’ve been look­ing at the num­ber of agency

staff we’ve en­gaged through the Ma­trix plat­form.

“It ap­pears what man­agers were look­ing for was tem­po­rary so­lu­tions for six to nine months.

“What we don’t want to do is re­cruit a new mem­ber of staff and then if we have to re­struc­ture we have to make them re­dun­dant.”

Cllr Shafiq Chaudry (Lab, Cen­tral) ques­tioned why the coun­cil had not per­ma­nently re­cruited agency staff who had been work­ing for the coun­cil for more than two years.

The meet­ing was told Ma­trix SCM is aim­ing to turn more tem­po­rary po­si­tions into per­ma­nent jobs at the coun­cil.

Cllr Saf­dar Ali (Lab, Cen­tral) told the meet­ing: “The whole pol­icy should be based on the fun­da­men­tal point that the coun­cil needs to have less re­liance on tem­po­rary staff.

“Where staff have been there (at the coun­cil) for more than two years as far as I am con­cerned they are be­com­ing per­ma­nent tem­po­rary.

“If that mem­ber of staff is re­quired to work for the coun­cil the coun­cil should em­ploy them per­ma­nently rather than keep hir­ing for the agency and save some money.”

The new con­tract, which will use Ma­trix SCM’s ‘hy­brid model’, is ex­pected to save the coun­cil about £110,000 a year by re­duc­ing the amount of money spent on statu­tory labour fees.

Coun­cil­lors also heard how the coun­cil is plan­ning to carry out a ‘whole­sale re­view’ of all its agency work­ers.

Slough Bor­ough Coun­cil faced calls to have less re­liance on agency work­ers. Ref:131895-9

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