Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


People Scrutiny Review - Staff Retention and Succession Planning

To consider a presentation by the Director of People & Organisational Development concerning the following:


“How does MFRA ensure current and future retention of staff and effective succession planning to avoid other employers recruiting the excellent staff from MFRA?”


Further questions to be covered within the presentation, as requested by Members, are:


1.    How does MFRA currently go about staff retention and succession planning?


2.    What are the trends in staff being recruited by other organisations – how many, over what timescale, costs of training lost?


3.    Do we have any evidence of difficulties in recruiting any particular groups of staff and do we know why?


4.    What can we offer MFRA staff to ensure retention of good staff and effective succession planning?


5.    Can we have a breakdown of retention rates and promotion of all those in underrepresented groups in MFRA?


6.    Is there any information from FRA’s of a similar size in terms of how we compare on these issues?






Members were provided with a detailed presentation, by the Director of People & Organisational Development – Nick Mernock, delivered in response to the following question, raised by Members:


“How does MFRA ensure current and future retention of staff and effective succession planning to avoid other employers recruiting the excellent staff from MFRA?”


Members were advised that the presentation would consider if MFRA have a problem in terms of staff retention; and if so, what are the challenges. It would then look at what can be done; and how we as an organisation, plan for the future.


The presentation started by looking at staff who have left the service over the last 2 years; and their reason for leaving, broken down by uniformed, non-uniformed and control staff. However, it was highlighted to Members that the figures are a snap shot and numbers will fluctuate year on year, dependant on the challenges being faced.


MFRA Leavers:


Uniformed staff:  Members were advised that the majority (111) of individuals leaving MFRA[HJ(1] , were those that had reached their normal retirement age. Members were informed of the historical mass recruitment, which led to a large proportion of the operational workforce retiring around the same time, which has created a challenge.


They were informed that there had been 3 medical discharges, 5 medical retirements and 11 resignations.

With regards to the resignations, Members were informed that there was an interesting trend emerging, which would be covered in more detail later in the presentation.


Members were advised that there had been 3 individuals transferring to other FRS’s. One was to relocate due to family issues, however the other 2 were officers with specific skills and experience, particularly around Protection, which has caused a small degree of concern.


The presentation highlighted that 1 uniformed employee had unfortunately been dismissed, whilst another had left under the classification of “other”, which in this case was a generic conversation between employer and employee, regarding a breakdown in the employment relationship.


Non-uniformed staff: Members were informed that the majority of employees leaving (41) were due to resignations. Unfortunately, 1 individual had died during the period. There was 1 early retirement and 3 medical retirements, 1 medical discharge; and 3 voluntary redundancies.


Members were advised that a voluntary redundancy scheme continued to operate  and would be granted where the post of the individual applying could be deleted.


In terms of the remainder of non-uniformed staff leaving, 5 were due to normal retirements, 7 were fixed term contract terminations; and 3 came under the classification of “other”, as previously described.


In relation to resignations from non-uniformed staff, Members were advised that they operate within different career parameters than uniformed staff, as there is often less opportunity for progression within MFRA. This combined with a re-vitalised and competitive market for certain skills, has created some challenges for MFRA in terms of staff retention within certain fields.


In terms of Fire Control staff, the presentation highlighted that there had been 6 normal retirements, plus  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.