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The People Committee (the Committee) is a non-statutory Committee and has been formally constituted by the Board of Directors in accordance with its Standing Orders.
The Committee will oversee the development and ongoing implementation of a fair, safe and just culture so that all staff enjoy a positive working experience and improved health and wellbeing. It will do this by monitoring the strategic direction of the Trust and reviewing and reporting to the Board on the people practices, culture, workforce planning and organisational development of the Trust. The Committee will oversee People related risk and gain assurance on behalf of the Trust Board in relation to those risks via the Board Assurance Framework (BAF 2A).
The Committee is authorised by the Board of Directors to act within its terms of reference. All members of staff are directed to co-operate with any request made by the Committee.
The Committee is authorised by the Board of Directors to instruct external legal or other independent professional advisors and request the attendance of individuals and authorities from outside the Trust with relevant experience and expertise if it considers this necessary for or expedient to the exercise of its functions.
The Committee is authorised to obtain such internal information as is necessary to the fulfilment of its functions.
The Committee shall have the power to establish subcommittees/Groups and/or task and finish groups for the purpose of addressing specific tasks or areas of responsibility.
The Committee is responsible for overseeing, monitoring and reviewing the development of the people, workforce and organisational development strategies for the Trust to provide assurance to the Board of Directors on all aspects of people practice, strategic workforce planning and organisational development. This will include workforce capacity and capability and the Trust’s response to specific workforce issues.
In carrying out its role the Committee is to gain assurance, on behalf of the Board of Directors that the Trust is making sufficient progress towards delivery of the strategic priorities and Trust ambitions ensuring a fair, safe and just culture, with a focus on health and wellbeing and a more consistent and positive experience for all staff. In addition, the role of the Committee is to gain assurance on People Directorate related risks; in relation to them being tracked, monitored and appropriate actions are being taken to mitigate those risks.
The Committee will gain assurance, on behalf of the Board of Directors:
- on the identification of strategic people and workforce priorities for the Trust as a significant employer and as a partner in training, education, and development of health and care capacity in the locality.
- on the appropriateness of the People Strategy and its implementation in support of the aims of the NHS People Plan, across the Trust and in collaboration with local stakeholders.
- in relation to the organisation’s understanding of strategic workforce needs (including wellbeing, recruitment, retention, development of people, workforce planning and organisational capacity) and the quality and effectiveness of plans to deliver them.
- that the commitments of the NHS Constitution and the stated values of the Trust and standards of behaviour are being practiced at all levels of the organisation, based on evidence.
- by inviting members of staff to provide ‘lived experience’ of being employed by the Trust on a range of subject matters as covered by the work of the committee
- on the Trusts commitment and approach to equality, diversity and inclusion to ensure that equality is promoted, embedded and inequality is tackled appropriately.
- that the effectiveness of mitigation of strategic risks relating to the above, as set out in the Corporate Risk Register and Board Assurance Framework, are adequately assessed.
- on the Trust’s legislative and regulatory compliance as an employer, including anticipation of, and planning for, future requirements.
- on the development of staff governance in the organisation, including staff engagement processes, with the Committee acting as the oversight Committee.
- on strategic issues relating to ethics and duty of care in the conduct of Trust affairs (including whistleblowing) and to the Trust’s equality duty.
- that the staff survey actions and improvement plans are developed and actively implemented across the Trust
- on the Trusts commitment to meaningful collaborative working across the ICB
- The Committee will agree progress reporting and information requirements relating to its remit on behalf of the Board of Directors, and will oversee the resulting performance intelligence.
People Strategy and Policies
- Assess the strategic priorities and ambitions needed to support the Trust’s workforce and advise the Board accordingly.
- Align strategies to the NHS People Plan, ensuring operationalisation and pervasion into practice.
- Review the Trust’s People Strategies, and related delivery plans and programmes, and provide informed advice to the Board of Directors on their robustness, comprehensiveness and relevance to the Trust’s vision, values, strategic objectives and impact.
- Provide advice and support on the development of significant people-related policies prior to their adoption, ensuring they are comprehensive, up-to-date, and reflect best practice.
- Review strategic intelligence, research evidence on people and work, and distil their relevance to the Trust’s strategic priorities (including, where necessary, commissioning research to inform its work) relating to:
- the impact of changing working practices
- the potential and impact of technology on working lives and practices
- models of employment practice drawn from multiple sectors
- organisational and work design
- incentives and rewards
- developments and best practice in delivery of education, training and development
- national, regional and local workforce and population trends
- other dynamics affecting the future development of the health and care workforce
- people practices cases and themes
- Review the development and effective use of shared intelligence and data with partners on local health and care skills to shape the growth of future capacity. To develop a partnership working approach with South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and share learning and developments where applicable.
Culture and values
- Agree and oversee a credible process for assessing, measuring and reporting on the “culture of the organisation” on a consistent basis over time.
- Ensure there are robust policies, systems and processes for the development and monitoring of an inclusive culture with the Trust.
- Oversee the coherence and comprehensiveness of the ways in which the Trust engages with staff and with staff voices, including the staff survey, and report on the intelligence gathered, and its implications, to the Board of Directors.
- Act as the oversight Committee for the coherence and alignment of different codes of personal and professional behaviour and conduct, covering all permanent and temporary staff acting in the name of, or on the business of, the Trust.
- Take a leadership role on behalf of the Board of Directors on:
- securing positive progress on equality, diversity and inclusion, including shaping and setting direction, monitoring progress and promoting understanding inside and outside the Trust
- evaluating the impact of work to promote the values of the organisation and of the NHS Constitution and the People Plan
- promoting staff engagement and partnership working
- developing a consistent working environment which promotes staff well-being, where people feel safe and are able to raise concerns, and where bullying and harassment are visibly and effectively addressed.
- Working with staff side partners to ensure engagement and consultation processes with staff, stakeholders and communities reflect the ambition and values of the Trust and also meet statutory requirements;
- Develop a climate within the Trust that reflects a positive and constructive relationship typical of that experienced in a genuine partnership model where employees report feeling valued and involved.
- Ensure the systems, processes and plans used by the Trust have integrity and are fit for purpose in the following areas:
- strategic approach to growing the capacity of the Trust’s workforce
- analysis and use of sound workforce, employment and demographic intelligence
- the planning of current and future workforce capacity
- effective recruitment and retention
- new models of care and roles
- new workforce models and alternative ways of working
- flexibility of working practices
- identification of urgent capacity problems and their resolution
- continuous development of personal and professional skills
- talent management and leadership development
- Review the plans to improve productivity of permanent and temporary staff, including the effectiveness and efficiency of their deployment, the best use of skills, and the flexibility and maturity of working practices in the Trust.
- Consider the coherence and pace of strategic plans to secure:
- transformational change, service redesign and pathways of care
- new and innovative ways of working
- use of tools and technology
- opportunities for changing practices and skills across traditional professional boundaries
- joint working with partners both in health and social care and other sectors
- the value of apprenticeships
- Ensure the Trust has a comprehensive Leadership Development programme in place to support all leaders and which is designed to reinforce the culture the Trust is seeking to achieve and will evaluate the effectiveness of the programme to inform further improvements.
Education and training
- Review the Trust’s current and future educational and training needs to ensure they support the strategic objectives of the organisation in the context of the wider health and care system.
- Review the Trust’s strategic contribution to the development of the health and care workforce.
- Secure the necessary assurances about the Trust’s compliance with the practice requirements of professional and regulatory bodies for all staff.
- Ensure plans are developed to sustain and promote a culture of developing a pipeline of trainees/apprenticeships as part of the workforce of the future.
- Assess relationships with academic institutions to ensure a supportive and aspirational plan for workforce development.
Performance and progress reporting
- Establish a succinct set of key performance and progress measures relating to the full purpose and function of the Committee, including:
- the Trust’s strategic priorities on people (including sickness absence and attendance management, turnover, mandatory training, appraisal, bank and agency usage, etc.)
- national performance targets
- organisational culture
- workforce utilisation
- staff health and well-being
- health and safety
- strategic communications
- Review progress against these measures and seek assurance around any performance issues identified, including proposed corrective actions and improvement plans.
- Agree a programme of benchmarking activities to inform the understanding of the Committee and its work.
- Ensure the credibility of sources of evidence and data used for planning and progress reporting to the Committee, and to the Board of Directors in relation to the Committee’s purpose and function.
- Ensure alignment of the Board assurances and consistent use of data and intelligence, by working closely with the Audit, Patient Safety and Quality Standards, Finance, Planning, Performance and Compliance Committees.
- Review and shape the quality-related content of periodic people reports to the Board.
5. Cycle of business
The Committee will set an Annual Plan for its work to form part of the Board’s Annual Cycle of Business, including reference to the Board Assurance Framework, and report to the Board on its progress.
6. Statutory compliance
The Committee will ensure that current statutory and regulatory compliance and reporting requirements are met and appropriate action is taken and operationalised in respect of:
- standards of professional conduct and practice;
- freedom to speak up;
- equality, diversity and inclusion;
- consultation on service change
The Committee will:
- identify, assess and manage strategic risks in relation to the Committee’s area of focus via the Board Assurance Framework;
- establish and maintain an overview of the Trust’s people risks and ensure the effectiveness and implementation of controls for people risks and actions to mitigate these risks;
- refer any potential risks to patient safety or quality identified by the Committee to the Patient Safety and Quality Standards Committee;
- commission and oversee assurance deep dives into specific identified risks at the request of either the Committee, the Chair of the Board of Directors or the Chief Executive;
- provide the Audit Committee and the Board with assurance on the effectiveness of management of the principal risks relating to the Committee’s purpose and function.
The Committee membership will be agreed by the Board of Directors to consist of:
- At least two Non-Executive Directors
- Chief People Officer
- Chief Nurse/Director of Patient Safety and Quality;Medical Director;
- Chief Operating Officer
One of the Non-Executive Directors will be appointed by the Trust Chair as the Chair of the Committee. A further Non-Executive member of the Committee will be appointed as Vice- Chair by the Committee Chair.
There will be a standing invite to the Committee for the Chief Executive.
Only members of the Committee have the right to attend and vote at Committee meetings, however, the following will be invited to attend meetings of the Committee on a regular or ad-hoc basis.
- Deputy Chief People Officer;
- Head of People Services;
- Head of Workforce Planning, Quality and Projects;
- Head of Culture, Leadership and Development
- Chair of the Joint Staff Side;
- Associate Director of Communications and Marketing;
- Freedom to Speak Up Guardian;
- Staff Network representative
Other individuals may be invited to attend for all or part of any meeting, as and when appropriate and necessary, particularly when the Committee is considering areas of risk or operation that are the responsibility of a particular Executive Director or manager.
Members are able to attend Committee meetings in person, by telephone, or by other electronic means. Members in attendance by electronic means will count towards the quorum.
The Chair of the Committee should ensure the membership promotes equality, diversity and inclusion.
The Committee will be deemed quorate to the extent that at least two Non-Executive Directors and two Executive Directors are present. A duly convened meeting of the Committee at which a quorum is present will be competent to exercise all or any of the authorities, powers and discretions vested in or exercisable by the Committee.
Members should aim to attend every meeting and should attend a minimum of two-thirds of meetings held in each financial year. Where a member is unable to attend a meeting of the Committee may nominate a deputy to attend on their behalf, agreed with the Chair of the Committee.
Members of the Committee do not represent or advocate for their respective area of the Trust, but act in the interests of the Trust as a whole.
10. Committee administration
The Committee will meet bi-monthly and at such times as the Chair of the Committee, in consultation with the Executive Director Lead, shall require, in order to allow the Committee to discharge all of its responsibilities.
The Chair may at any time convene additional meetings of the Committee to consider business that requires urgent attention.
The agenda will be set in advance by the Chair, with the Executive, reflecting an integrated cycle of meetings and business.
Notice of each meeting confirming the venue, time and date, together with an agenda of items to be discussed, shall be made available to each member of the Committee, no less than five working days before the date of the meeting in electronic form. Supporting papers shall be made available no later than two working days before the date of the meeting.
The Chair shall establish, at the beginning of each meeting, the existence of any conflicts of interest and ensure that these are recorded in the minutes accordingly.
The Committee Secretary shall minute the proceedings of all Committee meetings.
The Committee shall, at least once a year, review its own performance, using a process agreed for all Board Committees by the Board of Directors.
11. Reporting and accountability
The Committee Chair will report to the Board of Directors after each meeting on all matters within its duties and responsibilities, drawing the Board’s attention to any matters of significance or where actions or improvements are needed.
The Committee will report to the Board annually on its work in support of the Annual Report and will describe how the Committee is discharging its responsibilities against its Terms of Reference.
The Committee will report to the Audit Committee at least annually on its work in support of the annual governance statement, specifically commenting on the staff report, and the appropriateness of the self-assessment of the effectiveness of the system of internal control and the disclosure of any significant internal control issues.
The Committee Chair shall attend the Annual General Meeting to respond to any stakeholder questions on the Committee’s activities and shall provide an annual update to the Council of Governors on the work of the Committee.
The Terms of Reference of the Committee will be reviewed by the Board at least annually.
Terms of Reference Approved by the People Committee: March 2023
Terms of Reference Approved by the Board of Directors: TBC
Next Planned Annual Review: March 2024