New role to enable ‘smooth transition’ as joint Mansfield and Ashfield HR services disband

Mansfield Civic Centre
By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter

Mansfield District Council is planning to end a joint HR services relationship with Ashfield District Council.

The authority plans to appoint a senior HR advisor to work within the council as it prepares to set up its own human resources department, with the joint services with Ashfield to dissolve in November next year.

The shared HR services were first set up between the two authorities in 2013, with both councils seeing the move as an “efficient and innovative” way to save money amidst financial pressure on councils.

The councils have also shared services in other areas, including legal and regeneration.

However, the authorities are in the process of also disbanding the shared legal services while a decision was taken in 2020 to dissolve the shared regeneration services.

The decisions were made due to opportunities arising within both councils to run the services in-house, with the shared HR service to be disbanded for similar reasons.

The shared HR service led to the two councils running a joint website for recruiting jobs, but emails from within the HR department would come from a Mansfield Council email address.

It manages employee relations, recruitment and payroll services among other areas across both local authorities.

Now Mansfield District Council is planning to employ a senior HR advisor as it manages the ongoing transition process, with its own human resources team expected to be in place by November 30, 2023.

Documents state the role will be used to progress projects including a pay and grading review across both councils, implementing Mansfield Council’s HR systems review and a new system post-transition.

There will also be a recruitment review across both councils, a data cleaning project, an allowance review at Mansfield District Council, and the eventual shared services dissolution.

A report published by Mansfield Council states the role would undertake day-to-day operational work, so the existing HR manager and senior advisers can progress with these projects.

This, the report states, would “enable the knowledge and understanding” from the projects to remain in-house following the end of the new advisor’s contract.

The role is expected to cost Mansfield District Council between £71,547 and £79,287 for the 17 months to November 30 next year, when the senior HR advisor’s contract will come to an end.

The council’s co-chief executive Mike Robinson is expected to approve the new post during a delegated decision on Friday (May 20).

The report, published in advance of the meeting, states: “There are a number of high priority projects and high levels of operational work to be undertaken within the HR Service.

“Currently, the HR manager and senior HR advisers are unable to progress key projects due to high volumes of work across both authorities.

“The fixed-term post would undertake some of the day-to-day operational work, in order to enable the capacity of the HR Manager and Senior HR Advisers to concentrate on the above priority projects.

“[This] would also enable the knowledge and understanding from the projects to remain in-house.”

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