People matters

Public Health England terms and conditions
Anita Marsland’s and Flora Goldhill’s letter of 17 November set out the way forward for further discussions on PHE’s terms and conditions. This was copied widely to colleagues and confirmed that as an Executive Agency of the Department of Health, PHE’s staff will be civil servants. Under TUPE/COSOP protection will be granted at transition to those staff who transfer into PHE.  But regardless of the protections afforded to staff who transfer into PHE, DH still needs to determine what PHE’s own terms and conditions will be. We are keen that, as an Executive Agency, PHE has the right terms and conditions for its work and in particular, that we retain current skills and expertise – some of which are highly specialist – and we are able to attract, recruit and retain specialist skills and expertise beyond 1 April 2013, especially as many of these staff may continue to want to spend part of their careers in the NHS.

We have set up a programme of monthly meetings from December 2011 with the intention to develop in partnership a framework upon which to develop PHE specific terms and conditions by January and a set of terms and conditions by the end of June 2012.  Whilst not exhaustive, the issues identified for discussion will include:

  • pay, terms, conditions and the pensions package for Public Health England
  • the Public Health England People Transition Policy
  • Recognition Agreement post transfer – which includes partnership arrangements and list of recognised trade unions, with facilities agreements for trade union representatives
  • mapping of existing policies and HR processes across existing organisations – the development of new organisational processes, which may require a process of harmonisation where appropriate
  • contributing to the organisational and workforce “design” – including the mapping of the “new world” against the “current world”
  • the implications of executive agency status on the establishment of Public Health England

We will be holding a session for all stakeholders – trade unions, senior managers from sender organisations, departmental HR and Public Health England Transition Team colleagues on11 January 2012 and invitations will be going out before Christmas with more details on this.

We look forward to continuing good working with colleagues from both Trades Unions/Staff Sides and management groups in the new year.

Public Health HR Concordat FAQs

The Public Health Human Resources (HR) Concordat – the first part of HR advice to underpin the forthcoming transfer of public health responsibilities from PCTs to local authorities – was published on 17 November.  It provides a best practice framework for the associated organisational changes affecting staff, setting out a range of guiding principles and HR standards for managing the transfer and clarifying the agreed arrangements for NHS and local government employers and trades unions in managing this important change.

To help answer some of the more detailed questions surrounding the workforce implications of these transfers, some Frequently Asked Questions  have been developed and will be regularly updated.

The Concordat and FAQs will be followed by more detailed transition guidance which is currently being developed for PCTs and local authorities:

PCT Transition Planning Guidance is being developed by DH for PCTs.  This will be available in January.

Local Government Transition Guidance – being developed by the LGA supported by NHS Employers and in consultation with local government and NHS union representatives – aimed at HR specialists in councils who will be managing the staff transfers.  This will be available in January.

These documents relate solely to the transfer of staff to local authorities. They do not relate to the transfer of staff and functions to Public Health England which will be covered in the initial Public Health England People Transition Policy document that will also be available in January.

Sender guidance is also being developed by DH, providing practical advice, templates and guidance for sender organisations to implement the People Transition Policies at local level.  Items particularly relevant for PCTs and councils to use will be signposted.

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2 Responses to People matters

  1. Ros Hancock says:

    All the guidance so far seems to be about PCT staff moving to Local Authorities. I work for a Cancer Registry, and our jobs transfer to Public Health England – when will there be guidance about these posts?
    Also, what conditions will be in place about objecting to any physical move? I was able to take voluntary redundancy from my local PCT a few years ago when it moved premises, and my travel time to the new office was too long. Will this sort of protection be available?

  2. Jean Roberts says:

    All the current exploration is rightly focussed on transitioning a working service and making sure the workforce remains effective. I would suggest that those handling sensitive information in their day to day roles may like to consider becoming registered under the UK Council for Health Informatics Professions ( to have their competence assessed and recognised whilst we are, like some Public Health professionals groups, in discussion with the CHRE / Professional Standards Authority about becoming recognised voluntary registration bodies. Our scope is a community of 8 constituencies that includes IT, information management, knowledge management, EDT and research – all areas that your professionals will continue to operate in.

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