Staff disciplinary actions - Management of attendance

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Newport City Council,

In respect of your Management of Attendance Policy as published on your site (http://www.newport.gov.uk/documents/Poli..., I am requesting data under the Freedom of Information act as follows:

For each financial year from 2011 onwards, please can you provide, for each School within the Newport City Council area:

1. For each Management of Attendance Interview, or Management of Attendance Hearing, in each year:

1a. The number of days lost in the 12 months prior to the MoA Interview/Hearing
1b. The number of occurrences of absences that fall into this policy for the 12 months prior to the MoA Interview/Hearing

2. For any trigger that was reached from employee sickness absence, whether or not this resulted in either Management Support, MoA Interview, or MoA Hearing, as detailed in pages 5 and 6 of the link above.

That is, are HR in Newport City Council aware of any such cases where the policy was not carried out.

Where possible, please provide the justification for why the policy was not carried out.

As per my internal review request for my previous FOI request, I reiterate that I do not believe the section 40 of the FOI Act can absolve you of not returning the data split by School, as this will not expose any PII that was not already available prior to this FOI request. I ask that should you feel the need to use section 40 of the FOI Act that you clearly state the grounds on which you are enacting this for each and every case above.

Yours faithfully,

Phil Rogers

Newport City Council

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your request for information about :

Staff Disciplinary Actions

Received on 15/12/2016

This request has been formally logged in our FOI management system and has been assigned the reference REQ04088.
You should receive a reply to your request within the statutory time limit of 20 working days.

Please remember to quote the reference number REQ04088 in any future communications.

Yours sincerely,
Information Management

Mae’r Cyngor yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg, Saesneg neu yn y ddwy iaith. Byddwn yn cyfathrebu â chi yn ôl eich dewis. Ni fydd gohebu yn Gymraeg yn arwain at oedi.

The Council welcomes correspondence in English or Welsh or both, and will respond to you according to your preference. Corresponding in Welsh will not lead to delay.

Disclaimer/Ymwadiad

This email contains information intended for the addressee only and may be confidential, the subject of legal or professional privilege, or be otherwise protected from disclosure. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, please notify the sender immediately and do not disclose, distribute or copy the email to any other party. This email and any attached file are the property of Newport City Council.

When you email Newport City Council, you consent to the Council monitoring and reading any such emails for the purposes of security and legislative compliance. For the full disclaimer please access http://www.newport.gov.uk/disclaimer.

Mae'r e-bost hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth y bwriedir ar gyfer y derbynnydd yn unig a gall fod yn gyfrinachol, yn destun ragorfraint gyfreithiol neu broffesiynol, neu fel arall wedi’i diogelu rhag cael ei rhyddhau. Os nad chi yw derbynnydd bwriadedig y neges hon, a fyddech cystal â rhoi gwybod i'r anfonwr ar unwaith a pheidio â datgelu, dosbarthu neu gopïo’r e-bost i unrhyw barti arall. Mae’r e-bost hon ac unrhyw ffeiliau atodedig yn eiddo i Gyngor Dinas Casnewydd.

Pan fyddwch yn anfon e-bost at Gyngor Dinas Casnewydd, rydych yn cydsynio i’r Cyngor fonitro a darllen unrhyw e-byst o’r fath at ddibenion cydymffurfio â diogelwch ac â deddfwriaeth. I weld yr ymwadiad llawn ewch i http://www.newport.gov.uk/ymwadiad

Dear Newport City Council,

Please note that this request has exceed the statutory time limit of 20 working days, as per section 10 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Please can you tell me the reason for this delay, and when you expect to be able to respond to this request?

Yours faithfully,

Phil Rogers

City Contact Centre, Newport City Council

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your recent enquiry from the Newport City Council website.

Your request has been forwarded to the Information Management department to be actioned.

Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us on the Telephone number below. Our hours of opening are Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

Kind Regards,

Andrew
Newport City Council Contact Centre
Tel: 01633 656 656
Minicom: 01633 656 657

Visit www.newport.gov.uk
Did you know we offer a range of council services online, easy to use and available 24/7.

Mae’r Cyngor yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg a Saesneg. Byddwn yn cyfathrebu â chi yn eich dewis iaith, boed yn Saesneg, yn Gymraeg neu’n ddwyieithog, cyhyd â’n bod yn ymwybodol o’ch dewis. Ni fydd gohebu yn Gymraeg yn arwain at oedi.

The Council welcomes correspondence in English or Welsh. We will communicate with you in the language of your choice, whether that’s English, Welsh or in Bilingual format as long as we know which you prefer. Corresponding in Welsh will not lead to delay.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Erica Gibson (Team Leader - Business Development), Newport City Council

Dear Mr Rogers

 

Please find below a response to your recent request, under the Freedom of
Information Act, for information concerning disciplinary action arising
from management of attendance cases for school based staff within Newport
City Council.

 

 

For each Management of Attendance Interview, or Management of Attendance
Hearing, in each year (2011 – 2016):

 

Q1a: The number of days lost in the 12 months prior to the MoA
Interview/Hearing

Q1b: The number of occurrences of absences that fall into this policy for
the 12 months prior to the MoA Interview/Hearing

 

As per the information provided to you in your previous request REQ3990,
there are some 396 instances of a MoA interview or hearing in the
requested period.  Some of the case records would be held electronically
but the majority of this information would be in manual case files located
either centrally or at the appropriate school.  It is estimated that to
determine where the case information resides, to contact the relevant
school and/or access data electronically, review case (either centrally or
by relevant school) and confirm the number of days and occurrences lost
could take between 15 mins to 1 hour per case.  Therefore somewhere
between 99 and 396 hours would need to be spent to answer this question.

 

The time taken to collate the information for your request REQ3990 would
also be aggregated, as these two requests are related to the same subject
matter.  Therefore, this request falls outside of the Freedom of
Information 18 hour rule.

 

I’m unsure of a way to simplify your request to bring this under the 18
hour ruling.  Restricting the period in question wouldn’t do that, and due
to data protection issues previously stated, we could not you provide with
this data for solely one school.

 

 

Q2. For any trigger that was reached from employee sickness absence,
whether or not this resulted in either Management Support, MoA Interview,
or MoA Hearing, as detailed in pages 5 and 6 of the link above.

 

There are circa 3500 school based staff employed by Newport City Council. 
On average, approx. 15 to 20% annually will reach a management of
attendance trigger point.  These triggers are set out in the Management of
Attendance Policy which I believe you have a copy of.

 

Some of the case records would be held electronically but the majority of
this information would be in manual case files located either centrally or
at the appropriate school (especially relating to where management support
has been provided by the schools management team).  The policy states
management of attendance should be managed on a case by case basis. 
Therefore, the head teacher will have the discretion to discount some
periods of sickness related absence, an example of this could be pregnancy
related illnesses or where there is an underlying medical condition.  On
that basis, each instance would need to be reviewed to determine the
rationale and whether the case has been appropriately managed.  As above,
to answer this question would take over 18 hours.

 

The Council continually monitors absence and we target areas of the
council with higher than average absence levels to work with managers /
head teachers to ensure the policy is applied as consistently as possible
and to look for opportunities to improve data collection for better
absence management.

 

 

I trust this information answers your request. However, if you have any
queries about this information or you are unhappy with the service you
have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or
request a review of our decision, please contact me.

 

In the event you are not content with the outcome of any complaint, you
may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. 
Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
Council’s complaint procedure.  The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Erica Gibson

 

 

Erica Gibson

Arweinydd Tîm - Datblygu Busnes / Team Leader - Business Development  

Pobl a Newid Busnes / People & Business Change

Cyngor Dinas Casnewydd / Newport City Council

01633 210470

[1][email address]

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Newport City Council,

 

In respect of your Management of Attendance Policy as published on your

site ([2]http://www.newport.gov.uk/documents/Poli..., I am requesting data

under the Freedom of Information act as follows:

 

For each financial year from 2011 onwards, please can you provide, for

each School within the Newport City Council area:

 

1. For each Management of Attendance Interview, or Management of

Attendance Hearing, in each year:

 

1a. The number of days lost in the 12 months prior to the MoA

Interview/Hearing 1b. The number of occurrences of absences that fall

into this policy for the 12 months prior to the MoA Interview/Hearing

 

2. For any trigger that was reached from employee sickness absence,

whether or not this resulted in either Management Support, MoA

Interview, or MoA Hearing, as detailed in pages 5 and 6 of the link

above.

 

That is, are HR in Newport City Council aware of any such cases where

the policy was not carried out.

 

Where possible, please provide the justification for why the policy was

not carried out.

 

As per my internal review request for my previous FOI request, I

reiterate that I do not believe the section 40 of the FOI Act can

absolve you of not returning the data split by School, as this will not

expose any PII that was not already available prior to this FOI request.

I ask that should you feel the need to use section 40 of the FOI Act

that you clearly state the grounds on which you are enacting this for

each and every case above.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Phil Rogers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mae’r Cyngor yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg, Saesneg neu yn y ddwy
iaith. Byddwn yn cyfathrebu â chi yn ôl eich dewis. Ni fydd gohebu yn
Gymraeg yn arwain at oedi.

The Council welcomes correspondence in English or Welsh or both, and will
respond to you according to your preference. Corresponding in Welsh will
not lead to delay.

Disclaimer/Ymwadiad

This email contains information intended for the addressee only and may be
confidential, the subject of legal or professional privilege, or be
otherwise protected from disclosure. If you are not the intended recipient
of this message, please notify the sender immediately and do not disclose,
distribute or copy the email to any other party. This email and any
attached file are the property of Newport City Council.

When you email Newport City Council, you consent to the Council monitoring
and reading any such emails for the purposes of security and legislative
compliance. For the full disclaimer please access
http://www.newport.gov.uk/disclaimer.

Mae'r e-bost hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth y bwriedir ar gyfer y derbynnydd yn
unig a gall fod yn gyfrinachol, yn destun ragorfraint gyfreithiol neu
broffesiynol, neu fel arall wedi’i diogelu rhag cael ei rhyddhau. Os nad
chi yw derbynnydd bwriadedig y neges hon, a fyddech cystal â rhoi gwybod
i'r anfonwr ar unwaith a pheidio â datgelu, dosbarthu neu gopïo’r e-bost i
unrhyw barti arall. Mae’r e-bost hon ac unrhyw ffeiliau atodedig yn eiddo
i Gyngor Dinas Casnewydd.

Pan fyddwch yn anfon e-bost at Gyngor Dinas Casnewydd, rydych yn cydsynio
i’r Cyngor fonitro a darllen unrhyw e-byst o’r fath at ddibenion
cydymffurfio â diogelwch ac â deddfwriaeth. I weld yr ymwadiad llawn ewch
i http://www.newport.gov.uk/ymwadiad

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.newport.gov.uk/documents/Poli

Dear Erica Gibson (Team Leader - Business Development),

In order to help me refine this request, please can you tell me the following:

1. What information does NCC hold on the absences per each school, and each staff member in each school?

2. Given that NCC issues a Management of Attendance annual review to all schools, and consequently, all staff members of each school, my expectation is that data is held centrally within NCC in order to generate the number of days lost and also the number of occurrences - is this the case? If not, how many schools does NCC hold data on?

3. From my other request, it has been shown that NCC has identified all the cases of MoA Interviews and Hearings, and these can therefore be tallied with the data generated in the annual review?

Yours sincerely,

Phil Rogers

Dear Erica Gibson (Team Leader - Business Development),

I am requesting a further internal review of this request made under the Freedom of Information Act

in REQ04088 you stated that:

1. NCC does not hold data electronically about the number of days lost in the 12 months prior to an MoA interview/hearing
2. NCC does not hold data electronically about the number of absences that fall into this policy prior to the 12 months prior to an MoA interview/hearing
3. NCC does not hold data electronically for all MoA Interviews/Hearings and can’t provide the outcome of a MoA trigger

You state that you would have to contact the relevant school and review the case in order to get this data, which would take between 15 mins and 1 hour per case.

You also state you have no suggestion to simplify this request, as required to under the FOIA

In REQ04251 you state that:
a. NCC calculates days lost through the payroll reason, and the school will input the reason
b. NCC holds the number of days lost and number of instances
c. NCC are able to match the cases of MoA interviews or hearings to the data from the annual review

Given the data provided in (a) and (b) above, you are able to build a record for each staff member of the number of days lost per each period of absence from school

Given the same data provided by combining the data in (a) and (b), together with the dates in (c) you are able, with the electronic data that you hold to provide the data in REQ04088 above.

I would propose that you therefore answer my requests by doing the following:

i. compile a list of employees that have had an MoA action: management support, interview or hearing
ii. using the list generated in (i), and the data in (a) and (b) compile a list/array of: the first day of absence, and the number of days for that particular instance for each employee in list (i)
iii. for each event for an employee found in (c), work backwards 12 months and return the list of absences (a tuple of the first day of absence, and number of days) leading up to that incident. For each MoA instance, return a list of anonymised employee, school name, and the array of tuples, and type of MoA action: management support, interview or hearing
iv. for employees not in the list generated in (i) please return a complete list/array of: the first day of absence, and the number of days for that absence - for all employees that fall into this data set (that is the set of employees that have had absences, but are not in the list that have had an MoA action as detailed in (i)), together with the school.

I am happy that the data is anonymised by employee (e.g. use Employee A…ZZ) however please take into account my request for internal review on REQ04087 where I believe that Newport City Council are wrong to anonymise the school that the data applies to.

I believe that the above is more than easily achievable in the 18 hour time limit, and can be provided programatically or mechanically, without the need of too much manual work.

As a point of reference, if I had access to that data I estimate I can programatically generate the requested data within an hour, so should take a competent software engineer 4 hours at most. I am, of course, willing to work with this data under supervision on an agreeable date, with any recompense to myself donated equally to Childline and the NSPCC.

Should I not receive a response by Friday 3rd March 2017 I will take this request to the ICO, as given the above data provided by yourselves and external sources, you are deliberately withholding information that should be released under the FOI Act.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Rogers

Dear Newport City Council,

Please can you confirm receipt of this request for an internal review .

Yours faithfully,

Phil Rogers

Information Management, Newport City Council

Dear Mr Rogers,

 

Thank you for your email. I have noted your comments and have logged this
as a request for an internal review of our handling of your original
request. As part of this review, the Council will revisit your request and
may issue a different response to the original one issued. The review may
also uphold the Council’s original response.

 

Whilst there is no stipulation within the Freedom of Information Act for
timescales for internal reviews, the Council endeavours to complete these
within 20 working days of receipt. Further information on internal reviews
of requests for information can be found on the Information Commissioner’s
website at [1]http://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/off....

 

Regards,

 

Information Management.

 

 

 

Mae’r Cyngor yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg, Saesneg neu yn y ddwy
iaith. Byddwn yn cyfathrebu â chi yn ôl eich dewis. Ni fydd gohebu yn
Gymraeg yn arwain at oedi.

The Council welcomes correspondence in English or Welsh or both, and will
respond to you according to your preference. Corresponding in Welsh will
not lead to delay.

Disclaimer/Ymwadiad

This email contains information intended for the addressee only and may be
confidential, the subject of legal or professional privilege, or be
otherwise protected from disclosure. If you are not the intended recipient
of this message, please notify the sender immediately and do not disclose,
distribute or copy the email to any other party. This email and any
attached file are the property of Newport City Council.

When you email Newport City Council, you consent to the Council monitoring
and reading any such emails for the purposes of security and legislative
compliance. For the full disclaimer please access
http://www.newport.gov.uk/disclaimer.

Mae'r e-bost hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth y bwriedir ar gyfer y derbynnydd yn
unig a gall fod yn gyfrinachol, yn destun ragorfraint gyfreithiol neu
broffesiynol, neu fel arall wedi’i diogelu rhag cael ei rhyddhau. Os nad
chi yw derbynnydd bwriadedig y neges hon, a fyddech cystal â rhoi gwybod
i'r anfonwr ar unwaith a pheidio â datgelu, dosbarthu neu gopïo’r e-bost i
unrhyw barti arall. Mae’r e-bost hon ac unrhyw ffeiliau atodedig yn eiddo
i Gyngor Dinas Casnewydd.

Pan fyddwch yn anfon e-bost at Gyngor Dinas Casnewydd, rydych yn cydsynio
i’r Cyngor fonitro a darllen unrhyw e-byst o’r fath at ddibenion
cydymffurfio â diogelwch ac â deddfwriaeth. I weld yr ymwadiad llawn ewch
i http://www.newport.gov.uk/ymwadiad

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/off...

Dear Information Management,

With 20 working days now passed, I'm wondering what the status of this internal review is?

Please can you provide an update at your convenience.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Rogers

Information Management, Newport City Council

Dear Mr Rogers,

Your request for an Internal review is still ongoing, we will respond to your request soon.

Whilst there is no stipulation within the Freedom of Information Act for timescales for internal reviews, the Council endeavours to complete these within 20 working days of receipt. Further information on internal reviews of requests for information can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website at http://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/off....

Regards,

Information Management

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Information Management, Newport City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Rogers,

 

In reply to your request for an internal review.

 

I have undertaken an internal review of your original request which I have
enclosed, with our original answer, below for ease of reference. As you
submitted this under freedom of information your request has been
treated in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000,  the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the Data Protection Act
1998.  These acts enable individuals to request and receive recorded
information held by public authorities, unless it is exempt from
disclosure against clear guidelines.

 

Your Original Request :  REQ04088

For each financial year from 2011 onwards, please can you provide, for
each School within the Newport City Council area:

 

1. For each Management of Attendance Interview, or Management of
Attendance Hearing, in each year:

 

1a. The number of days lost in the 12 months prior to the MoA
Interview/Hearing 1b. The number of occurrences of absences that fall into
this policy for the 12 months prior to the MoA Interview/Hearing

 

2. For any trigger that was reached from employee sickness absence,
whether or not this resulted in either Management Support, MoA Interview,
or MoA Hearing, as detailed in pages 5 and 6 of the link above.

 

That is, are HR in Newport City Council aware of any such cases where the
policy was not carried out.

 

Where possible, please provide the justification for why the policy was
not carried out.

 

As per my internal review request for my previous FOI request, I reiterate
that I do not believe the section 40 of the FOI Act can absolve you of not
returning the data split by School, as this will not expose any PII that
was not already available prior to this FOI request.  I ask that should
you feel the need to use section 40 of the FOI Act that you clearly state
the grounds on which you are enacting this for each and every case above.

 

Our Original Response: REQ04088

For each Management of Attendance Interview, or Management of Attendance
Hearing, in each year (2011 – 2016):

 

Q1a: The number of days lost in the 12 months prior to the MoA
Interview/Hearing

Q1b: The number of occurrences of absences that fall into this policy for
the 12 months prior to the MoA Interview/Hearing

 

As per the information provided to you in your previous request REQ3990,
there are some 396 instances of a MoA interview or hearing in the
requested period.  Some of the case records would be held electronically
but the majority of this information would be in manual case files located
either centrally or at the appropriate school.  It is estimated that to
determine where the case information resides, to contact the relevant
school and/or access data electronically, review case (either centrally or
by relevant school) and confirm the number of days and occurrences lost
could take between 15 mins to 1 hour per case.  Therefore somewhere
between 99 and 396 hours would need to be spent to answer this question.

 

The time taken to collate the information for your request REQ3990 would
also be aggregated, as these two requests are related to the same subject
matter.  Therefore, this request falls outside of the Freedom of
Information 18 hour rule.

 

I’m unsure of a way to simplify your request to bring this under the 18
hour ruling.  Restricting the period in question wouldn’t do that, and due
to data protection issues previously stated, we could not you provide with
this data for solely one school.

 

Q2. For any trigger that was reached from employee sickness absence,
whether or not this resulted in either Management Support, MoA Interview,
or MoA Hearing, as detailed in pages 5 and 6 of the link above.

 

There are circa 3500 school based staff employed by Newport City Council. 
On average, approx. 15 to 20% annually will reach a management of
attendance trigger point.  These triggers are set out in the Management of
Attendance Policy which I believe you have a copy of.

 

Some of the case records would be held electronically but the majority of
this information would be in manual case files located either centrally or
at the appropriate school (especially relating to where management support
has been provided by the schools management team).  The policy states
management of attendance should be managed on a case by case basis. 
Therefore, the head teacher will have the discretion to discount some
periods of sickness related absence, an example of this could be pregnancy
related illnesses or where there is an underlying medical condition.  On
that basis, each instance would need to be reviewed to determine the
rationale and whether the case has been appropriately managed.  As above,
to answer this question would take over 18 hours.

 

The Council continually monitors absence and we target areas of the
council with higher than average absence levels to work with managers /
head teachers to ensure the policy is applied as consistently as possible
and to look for opportunities to improve data collection for better
absence management.

 

I trust this information answers your request. However, if you have any
queries about this information or you are unhappy with the service you
have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or
request a review of our decision, please contact me.

 

In the event you are not content with the outcome of any complaint, you
may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. 
Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
Council’s complaint procedure.  The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Your Request for an Internal Review: REQ04352

I am requesting a further internal review of this request made under the
Freedom of Information Act

 

in REQ04088 you stated that:

 

1. NCC does not hold data electronically about the number of days lost in
the 12 months prior to an MoA interview/hearing 2. NCC does not hold data
electronically about the number of absences that fall into this policy
prior to the 12 months prior to an MoA interview/hearing 3. NCC does not
hold data electronically for all MoA Interviews/Hearings and can’t provide
the outcome of a MoA trigger

 

You state that you would have to contact the relevant school and review
the case in order to get this data, which would take between 15 mins and 1
hour per case.

 

You also state you have no suggestion to simplify this request, as
required to under the FOIA

 

In REQ04251 you state that:

a. NCC calculates days lost through the payroll reason, and the school
will input the reason b. NCC holds the number of days lost and number of
instances c. NCC are able to match the cases of MoA interviews or hearings
to the data from the annual review

 

Given the data provided in (a) and (b) above, you are able to build a
record for each staff member of the number of days lost per each period of
absence from school

 

Given the same data provided by combining the data in (a) and (b),
together with the dates in (c) you are able, with the electronic data that
you hold to provide the data in REQ04088 above.

 

I would propose that you therefore answer my requests by doing the
following:

 

i. compile a list of employees that have had an MoA action: management
support, interview or hearing ii. using the list generated in (i), and the
data in (a) and (b) compile a list/array of: the first day of absence, and
the number of days for that particular instance for each employee in list
(i) iii. for each event for an employee found in (c), work backwards 12
months and return the list of absences (a tuple of the first day of
absence, and number of days) leading up to that incident.  For each MoA
instance, return a list of anonymised employee, school name, and the array
of tuples, and type of MoA action: management support, interview or
hearing iv. for employees not in the list generated in (i) please return a
complete list/array of: the first day of absence, and the number of days
for that absence - for all employees that fall into this data set (that is
the set of employees that have had absences, but are not in the list that
have had an MoA action as detailed in (i)), together with the school.

 

I am happy that the data is anonymised by employee (e.g. use Employee
A…ZZ) however please take into account my request for internal review on
REQ04087 where I believe that Newport City Council are wrong to anonymise
the school that the data applies to.

 

I believe that the above is more than easily achievable in the 18 hour
time limit, and can be provided programatically or mechanically, without
the need of too much manual work.

 

As a point of reference, if I had access to that data I estimate I can
programatically generate the requested data within an hour, so should take
a competent software engineer 4 hours at most.  I am, of course, willing
to work with this data under supervision on an agreeable date, with any
recompense to myself donated equally to Childline and the NSPCC.

 

Our Response to your request for an Internal Review: REQ04352

Dear Mr Rogers,

 

The Council has, to date, provided responses to previous freedom of
information requests submitted since November 2016;

·         REQ03390 (18 November 2016) – 6 hours

·         REQ03998 (21 November 2016) – 6 hours

·         REQ04087 (15 December 2016) – 2 hours

·         REQ04088 (15 December 2016) – 3 hours

·         REQ04251 (26 January 2017) – 2 hours

The Council is mindful that, as these requests are linked, the accumulated
time to answer these requests has already exceeded the 18 hour limit. In
the spirit of freedom of information, the council have endeavoured to
comply with the Act and respond.  But the Council reserves the right to
refuse to supply such information in future if requested under the Freedom
of Information Act.  This will not affect your right to request or receive
information on different matters, or any complaint, where there is a
different ruling for the disclosure of information.

 

Please also note Section 14(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000,
vexatious or repeated requests;

Where a public authority has previously complied with a request for
information which was made by any person, it is not obliged to comply with
a subsequent identical or substantially similar request from that person
unless a reasonable interval has elapsed between compliance with the
previous request and the making of the current request.

 

Although the Council acknowledges that it has substantial data on absence,
its purpose has been designed for two reasons; to discharge our duty to
pay occupational and statutory sick pay as well as support our management
of attendance policy.  You asked us to provide further breakdown of
information in relation to the data already provided;

·         For each management of attendance interview or hearing in each
year

o   Number of days lost in 12 months prior to the interview/hearing

o   The number of occurrences in 12 months prior to the interview/hearing

We have reviewed our data from all sources which are made up of varying
reports from our HR management system which we have used to provide
responses to your previous requests.  From that data, we identified 296
interviews or hearings in the period in previous responses.  This
represents 168 employees (some employees will have had more than one
interview/hearing in the period). To identify the absences that trigger
the interview or hearing cannot be done quickly through automation as it
has to be done manually to ensure that correct records are used in the
analysis.  The attached spreadsheet lists the 168 employees with their
absence dates and interview/hearing stage.  We have matched the detailed
absence data for the previous 12 months for three employees (employee 74,
employee 60 and employee 73) as an example.  You will see that each
employee reached their trigger points at the correct stage.  From this
data you can work out the number of instances or number of days lost but
requires a calculation. You will note that employee 73 had further
absences which could not be included in any MOA trigger as these were
pregnancy related.  This demonstrates that data cannot be used in
isolation but requires a degree of filtration to ensure that the data
represents the point at which an interview or hearing would be
appropriate. To complete the overall exercise would require the
correlation of records, applying further filtering to ensure only
appropriate records are included and then to calculate the number of
instances or days lost which will take at least 5 minutes per employee. 
(Please note:  in the circumstance where documents at the relevant school
would also need to be verified, this time will increase).  The whole
exercise would take well over 10 hours to complete.

·         For any trigger that was reached from employee sickness absence,
whether this resulted in management support, MOA interview or hearing

Once again, we have reviewed the data for the period beginning April 2011
to date. This data includes nearly 52,000 instances of absence for 8,689
employees (both existing and former).  The same issues apply to this set
of data. To calculate the trigger point for this number of records will
require the same manual work as identified above, far exceeding anytime we
could allocate under the Freedom of Information Act. It cannot be
automated as it would not be a true reflection of our application of the
management of attendance policy where discretion could have been applied.
The Council does not want its data to be inaccurate and subject to
misinterpretation.

 

We have reviewed your requests and see that you may wish to demonstrate
potential inconsistent practice amongst schools in dealing with the
management of absence.  In request REQ04088 you specifically ask “That is,
are HR in Newport City Council aware of any such cases where the policy
was not carried out”. It is for each governing body to adopt the
Management of Attendance Policy and ensure that, where adopted, it is
consistently applied. However, the policy does allow for an element of
managerial discretion in certain circumstances i.e. a headteacher may not
undertake an interview or hearing for an employee returning to work
following treatment for cancer or a broken leg. That said, schools are
encouraged to be consistent in the application of the policy and the
Council’s Human Resources Team work closely with schools to support and
advise in the management of attendance. If you have a specific concern in
relation to the way a school or officer has complied with any Council
policy (including the Management of Attendance), we would encourage you to
submit a formal complaint using the Council’s Complaints Policy. This will
allow us to investigate your concerns and, where necessary, put measures
in place to rectify any issues.

 

I hope this provides the information you were looking for; If you are not
content with the outcome of the internal review you have a right under
section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to apply directly to the
Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a
decision unless you have exhausted the Councils complaints procedure. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information
Commissioners Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9
5AF.

 

Regards,

 

Information Management.

Mae’r Cyngor yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg, Saesneg neu yn y ddwy
iaith. Byddwn yn cyfathrebu â chi yn ôl eich dewis. Ni fydd gohebu yn
Gymraeg yn arwain at oedi.

The Council welcomes correspondence in English or Welsh or both, and will
respond to you according to your preference. Corresponding in Welsh will
not lead to delay.

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