Minutes of HSENI Senior Management Team (SMT) meeting - September 2021

Minutes of SMT Meeting held on Monday 6 September 2021 at 9:30am
via zoom.

In attendance:

  • R Kidd - Chief Executive (Chair)
  • L Burns - Deputy Chief Executive
  • N Monson - Deputy Chief Executive
  • B Monson - Deputy Chief Executive
  • K Neeson - Deputy Chief Executive

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. Minutes from the previous meeting

The minutes from the 1 July 2021 meeting were agreed.

3. Action Points

There were no action points not covered by the agenda.

4. Corporate Health, Safety and Welfare

  • There was a discussion on the ongoing work surrounding the re-occupation of the building. A draft proposal has been circulated to SMT for comment and then will be shared with Heads of Group. TUS is content. SMT plan to hold a Zoom meeting for all staff to talk through the plans and take any questions that might arise
  • There was discussion on the issues surrounding the policy for claiming mileage and how it is impacting some of our staff significantly as they are not travelling to the office but are having to subtract their commute mileage from any miles claimed for the day. This is being taken forward with NICS HR
  • The issues arising from the adherence group were also discussed briefly

5. Audit, Risk Management and Finance

SMT noted the current financial position and the issues which could swing the current profiling towards over or underspend. Much of this is related to the filling of vacancies and in particular the appointment of trainee inspectors but also the market surveillance staff and the lab vacancies

Emerging Risks

The possibility of an underspend was noted if staff cannot be appointed by the indicative dates. This will be kept under review with the finance team.

6. Staffing

  • SMT considered the current competitions and when they are likely to see staff in post
  • There was some discussion on the pressures within various groups and the options to support those areas most in need until vacancies can be filled permanently. A number of Tempory Promotions (TPs) will help provide cover in some areas as well as acknowledging the extra duties being taken on by staff
  • SMT also acknowledged the most recent staffing news in relation to retirements, a resignation and sick absences

7. Case and Project Work

Major Investigations Team (MIT) update

N Monson shared the statistics on the number of cases currently with MIT. The workload is currently manageable but close to the capacity of the team.

EU Exit / Transition period

L Burns updated SMT on the current position in relation to the Biocides agreement.

8. Buisness Planning

A new exercise for the next business plan will be launched soon. A draft will be produced and presented to the board in due course.

9. Performance Monitoring

B Monson updated SMT referring to the CMS report. He is currently examining the number of visit interactions as these are lower than expected. Reasons for this include the current shortage of staff at inspector level and the loss of staff to promotion in areas where inspection numbers would ordinarily be higher.

10. Board Business

There were no updates in relation to the board. SMT noted that the current meetings are ongoing to get to meet the new members of the board.

11. Any Other Business

R Kidd updated SMT that he had spoken with the board chair re the Balmoral show and was going to raise the matter with the Department also.

It was also noted that due to a variety of issues including vacant posts, our T&S spend is likely to be lower resulting in an underspend in this budget line.

12. Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting is 6 October 2021 at 9:30am.

The meeting concluded at 11:45am.