Minutes of Senior Management Team (SMT) meeting - April 2023

Held on 18 April 2023 at 9:30a.m.
Robens Room, Ladas Drive

In attendance:        

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

1. Apologies           

There were no apologies.

2. Minutes from the previous meeting

The minutes from the 21 March meeting were agreed.

3. Action Points

There were no action points not covered by the agenda.

4. Corporate Health, Safety and Welfare

  • SMT discussed a matter with the front gate and keyholder issues. This is being resolved.
  • There was also a discussion on security cards and the various uses that we would wish them to cover and what they should contain.

5. (a) Audit, Risk Management and Finance

  • SMT discussed the Risk Register and reviewed it.
  • There was a discussion regarding the Information Security Audit and recommendations made concerning Record of Processing Activity and the retention and disposal of records.

5.  (b) Emerging Risks

  • SMT discussed the issue of our underspend and agreed that this could be removed.
  • The ballot for industrial action has voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action. The potential impact is that HSENI would be unable to meet targets as a result of work-to-rule or strike action by staff. At the very least our service will be impacted as industrial action is likely to involve at least 50% of the workforce. SMT will continue to monitor the situation. It was agreed this would remain.
  • Retained EU Legislation is an ongoing issue for the Legislation team. It continues to be a live issue with engagement continuing with the department and GB colleagues and a desire to avoid any of our legislation made under EU cover, being sunsetted. It was agreed this would remain.
  • SMT noted the disappointment that following the meetings with senior staff in NICSHR which unfortunately has not progressed any of our vacancies in the weeks that have followed. the Chief Executive agreed to send a further email to C Smart. It was agreed this would remain.
  • SMT discussed the uncertainty of the new budget position and agreed that we would look at discretionary spend and keep this under review. It was also agreed that only minor amounts of discretionary spend i.e. less than £1k could proceed in the meantime, but would require Deputy Chief Executive approval.  All other discretionary spend would be halted until it can be reviewed at the next SMT when there may be more certainty over the budget picture. This will impact on our Corporate Plan delivery at least in Quarter one.

Table of Emerging Risks

Date of SMT meeting where Emerging Risk was first discussed

Nature of Emerging Risk

Action required

Current Status of Emerging Risk

18 April 2023

Underspend on HSENI’s 2022-23 budget due to staff vacancies and some programme spend not taking place.

Finance Unit has been monitoring the spend and liaising with Heads of Group and SMT. At present we anticipate coming in within our tolerance target for underspend.

Agreed to remove as the underspend appears to be within the 1% tolerance.

Carried forward from Quarter four risk register

HSENI unable to deliver to meet targets as a result of work to rule or strike action by staff.

NIPSA balloted its members and is likely to progress with strike/ work to rule action. Management will continue to monitor the situation.

Currently being monitored by SMT – to remain on Quarter one risk register as an emerging risk.

18 April 2023 - reviewed

Retained EU Law Bill. Risk that legislation with its basis in S.2(2) of ECA may fall etc after 31.12.23.


Risk that the volume of work required for REUL will mean other routine work will not progress as planned.

Engagement with DfE and GB/HSE colleagues.





To remain on Quarter one risk register as an emerging risk with a likelihood of 3 and an impact of 2.

18th April 2023 - Reviewed

Of the current 8 vacancies, 6 are considered to have the potential to jeopardise statutory functions or CP targets in the short term.

Regular liaison with NICS HR to highlight the importance of filling critical vacancies – a number of meetings took place with NICS HR but following these we have seen no further progress. CEO to write to C Smart seeking an update.

To remain on the Q1 risk register as a Business Continuity Risk with the likelihood of 3 and an impact of 3.

18th April 2023

Budget uncertainty for 2023/24 year

SMT agreed to halt discretionary spend over £10k and keep under review until the budget is known.

Add to Q1 risk register

6. Staffing

  • SMT noted that several weeks following engagement with NICSHR, nothing has changed. R Kidd to write to C Smart in particular regarding he Information Management Unit posts.
  • It was noted and agreed that we will have a Temporary Promotion to cover a period of maternity leave.

7. Case and Project Work

  • SMT noted that there have been 13 prosecutions resulting in fines of more than £500K.

8. Business Planning

  • SMT discussed the paper going to the Board on the launch/publication of the Corporate Plan.

9. Performance Monitoring

  • SMT noted that the over-three-day target was missed by 4.5%, major injuries are down 9%, complaints were down by 16% and Improvement Notices and Prohibition Notices served had risen significantly. Fatalities were down from 18 to eight.  The direction of travel is to be welcomed. (All figures are provisional at this time)

10. Board Business

  • SMT agreed to invite C Jack from the Department to the Board meeting. He had previously suggested that he would attend a suitable meeting.
  • It was agreed to seek feedback from the board on the Insights programme in order to determine whether they are keen to do a follow up.
  • The Quarterly Monitoring Report was discussed and some consideration was given to the format of the document.

11. Any other business (AOB)

  • SMT noted that the NICS Staff Survey has now issued and while we would encourage staff to complete it, it was noted that NIPSA has advised members to boycott its completion. 
  • The Chair mentioned an email relating to an exercise being run by the Department on emergency planning and he agreed to find out more so a suitable participant could be identified.
  • The Chair mentioned the HR Connect charges and his discussion with the Department on the matter. It was agreed to approve the payment of the invoice.
  • The matter of programme spend was discussed and a separate detailed paper was prepared in advance and considered during the meeting.

12. Date of the next meeting

The date of the next meeting is scheduled for 16 May 2023. 

The meeting concluded at 1.10pm.