HR and Employment Services
South West Councils has extensive experience of providing employment support.
Our team of professionally qualified and experienced specialists offer high quality independent Employment Advice free to member organisations including:
- Terms and Conditions for local government staff and school staff including teachers
- Day to day problematic employee relations
We also provide consultancy (at discounted rates to member organisations) on:
- Recruitment and Workforce Development including suport via pyschometric testing and 360° appraisal
- Job Evaluation / Pay and Grading
- Disciplinary and Grievance Investigations
- Pre-Tribunal Conciliation
- Mediation and Conflict Resolution
- Conferences and Workshops
Our services are summarised in a leaflet which can be downloaded Leaflet.
Epaycheck: National Pay Benchmarking Service
A secure pay benchmarking facility, developed for the public sector by the public sector. Launched to local authorities across the country in 2012, the service has already attracted more than half of our councils to register for this data sharing service.
Epaycheck is delivered through a nationwide network of Regional Employers' Organisations who provide the front end service in their localities and actively work with their users to collect, monitor and quality assure the data available to report against.
Senior Pay Executive Summary
The executive summary of a review of chief executive and chief officer roles, released on 4th September, is available on our website. The full report to assist in decision-making, benchmarking, policy development and workforce planning will be available to Epaycheck subscribers shortly.
For more information on Epaycheck .....
Disclosure Barring Online Service
This Service provides a secure online environment with our partners NEREO, to provide a speedy, economical and high quality DBS service based on absolute accuracy and efficiency that will enhance your safeguarding process.
Online DBS enables organisations with a legitimate requirement to ask individuals to apply for disclosures, to gain access top this information quickly and efficiently.
Asylum Seekers and Refugees
What the difference between an Asylum Seeker and a Refugee?
A refugee is someone who has proved that they have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country and has been granted permission to stay in the UK as a refugee. An asylum seeker is someone who, having applied for refugee status, is awaiting a decision on their claim.
The regional context
The South West has just over 1000 asylum seekers, speaking around 100 different languages, who have been dispersed around the region. Most asylum seekers are located in Bristol, Plymouth, Swindon and Gloucester. There are an unknown number of refugees of many varied nationalities, who are able to chose where they live. At the end of March 2017, 450 Syrian refugees were resettled under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme in the South West, often to areas with no existing refugee populations. (See below for more information).
Syrian refugee resettlement
David Cameron announced in September 2015 that the Syrian Vulnerable Resettlement Scheme would be expanded to resettle 20,000 in the UK by 2020. In the South West, 26 local authorities have helped resettle over 450 Syrian refugees (as of end March 2017). Syrian refugee families are learning English and being supported to integrate into their local communities, many of whom have been very welcoming in the region.
What are the issues?
Both Asylum Seekers and Refugees can face difficulties when accessing public services, including education and health. Asylum seekers are forbidden to work, and are given support equivalent to about £5 a day. If they need accommodation, they are dispersed around the UK on a 'no choice' basis. If someone's asylum application is refused then the government support and accommodation is withdrawn. If approved someone who has claimed asylum is given refugee status for five years or humanitarian protection and is able to work.
For those who have fled persecution and often torture, mental health problems arise, such as: post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic attacks, and difficulties concentrating and learning. Refugees often have complex, compounding trauma, anxiety, depression, bereavement, loss of culture and uncertainty about the future.
The South West Asylum Forum
The South West Asylum Forum meets quarterly, bringing together regional stakeholders from local authorities, the Home Office, accommodation providers, police, voluntary & community organisations and others to discuss asylum and refugee issues.