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Councils criticised over ‘unfair’ policy giving directors extra holiday

PUBLISHED: 21:51 16 December 2019 | UPDATED: 21:35 17 December 2019

Two Norfolk councils have been criticised for granting directors five more days annual leave than staff. Pictured, Shaun Vincent, right, and John Fuller, leaders of Broadland and South Norfolk Councils. Photo: Broadland District Council

Two Norfolk councils have been criticised for granting directors five more days annual leave than staff. Pictured, Shaun Vincent, right, and John Fuller, leaders of Broadland and South Norfolk Councils. Photo: Broadland District Council

Broadland District Council

Two Norfolk councils have been criticised for granting directors five more days annual leave than staff, some of who branded the move “unfair”.

Two Norfolk councils have been criticised for granting directors five more days annual leave than staff. Picture: South Norfolk CouncilTwo Norfolk councils have been criticised for granting directors five more days annual leave than staff. Picture: South Norfolk Council

South Norfolk and Broadland Councils are to combine their management teams, with new roles in effect from January 2020.

Documents outlining the new plans were published ahead of a full meeting of South Norfolk council on Monday, December 16, so councillors could agree them.

And they revealed new starters at both councils would get a 25-day holiday allowance, rising to 28 days after five years' employment, while directors and assistant directors would have an allowance of 30 days from the get-go.

The document said: "New starters will receive 25 days and move to 28 days on completion of five years continuous local government employment.

"Directors and assistant directors receive 30 days of leave from date of commencement."

Feedback from Unison, the union representing council workers, saw some employees brand the move "unfair", and ask for all staff to receive the same holiday allowance.

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The union, who asked employees for their thoughts on the new arrangements, said: "A number of respondents commented on the number of days directors receive and asking that all staff, no matter of rank, receive the same number of annual leave days.

"There were some comments around it being unfair to those who have worked their length of service of plus five years."

In response, the council said annual leave for directors had been agreed during the process of management restructuring.

The council said: "They have 30 days annual leave as requirements on them vary slightly to the rest of the organisation.

"The managing director, directors and assistant directors are able to work their hours flexibly during the day but they cannot take flex days off.

"There is an expectation on the senior management team to work unsociable hours when needed."

But the union queried the council's response, and said the flexible working approach did not specify that directors would be excluded from the flexible working arrangement.

The new arrangements were unanimously approved by South Norfolk councillors on Monday and were also agreed at Broadland Council on Tuesday, December 17.

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