Supplementary memorandum from Cafcass
Questions 53-60 and 65 (Mr Bacon): The cost of
Cafcass initiated a restructuring of its National
Office and Corporate Service support functions in 2009. As a result
of this exercise the individuals affected were entitled to contractual
benefits. The payments made to each employee are detailed below.
| Costs (£)
|Employee 11 Corporate Director|
|Employee 12 Corporate Director|
|Employee 13 Corporate Director|
The restructuring programme resulted in 50 posts being deleted
from the organisation's structure.
The table above outlines payments made to 43 of these staff
under the Cafcass Severance and Voluntary Early Retirement (VER)
Scheme during this period.
Seven staff left as a result of the restructuring but did
not meet eligibility criteria for benefits under the Severance
or VER scheme and therefore no payments were made.
The restructuring achieved cashable efficiency savings of
£2.7 million from 1 April 2010.
Cafcass operates a severance scheme which provides benefits
to individuals who find themselves in a redundancy situation.
Redundancy is a last resort once other options have been exhausted,
eg redeployment to other posts. If a redundancy is unavoidable,
the Cafcass scheme provides the following payments:
1 week for each year of service up to the age of 23;
2 weeks pay for each year of service between ages
of 23 and 41;
3 weeks pay for each year of service age 41 and over;
these payments are subject to a limit of 66 weeks
The severance payments outlined in the table above are based
strictly on length of service and contractual pay only using the
schedule outlined above. There were no enhancements made to any
of the individual severance payments made.
Subject to eligibility, staff that are made redundant and
are aged over 50 (55 from 1 April 2010) may also be entitled to
early release of their pension benefits under the Local Government
The pension figures in the table constitute the employer
costs of the "actuarial strain" of releasing pension
benefits early in line with the Pension Scheme regulations.
Staff must meet strict eligibility criteria and be members
of Cafcass' pension scheme, operated by West Yorkshire Pension
Fund to access VER payments.
The pension payment and costs are based on pensionable service
in the scheme only. No added years or enhancements were provided
to any pension payments made.
Questions 86-93 (Chair, Mrs McGuire): Sick leave
The table below plots out the number of days lost to sickness
amongst Family Court Advisers (FCAs) and amongst all other staff
in 2009-10 and in 2010-11 to date. It then compares the two years
to produce the year on year change to days lost to sickness.
Year on Yeardays
|FCA days lost2009-10||1,185
|FCA days lost2010-11||951
|All other staff days lost2009-10
|All other staff days lost2010-11
|Total days lost2009-10||1,747
|Total days lost2010-11||1,416
The data above highlights that there has been substantial
reduction in sickness absence between 2009-10 and 2010-11. The
average days lost for FCAs in 2009-10 was 16.4 (based on 1093.7
FTEfull time equivalent) and since 1 April 2010, this is
now averaging 13.0 days (based on 1044.1 FTE). This is projected
to reduce to 10-11 days by 31 March 2011. Cafcass is also currently
in the process of recruiting a further 40 FCAs so the FTE figures
will increase from October 2010.
Cafcass recognise the impact of sickness absence and there
is a corporate focus on managing this in a supportive and business
focussed way.Managers prioritise this and work in close partnership
with HR to support improved attendance at work, and take formal
action to challenge sickness where appropriate.
From April 2009 to August 2010 formal procedures have been
invoked in over 225 sickness cases. In 35 of these cases, staff
have left the organisation as a result of ill-health capability
Preventive work (stress audits, well-being days) have been
undertaken in 14 hotspot teams with the majority showing a decline
in sickness absence.
Early intervention has been particularly successful in tackling
sickness absence (eg: 95% of staff absent for more than 20 days
are now referred to Occupational Health). The standard practice
is for all staff to be referred to Occupational Health after two
weeks of continuous absence.
Short and long term sickness absence are regularly monitored
in Human Resources Management Information reports with analysis
of trends and patterns shared with operational managers. Challenge
and support to improve sickness absence is regular feature of
Service Improvement Meetings (SIMs) and supported by HR.
There is a specific focus on tackling long-term sickness
absence. There were 43 staff on long-term sick leave at the end
of July 2010this has been reduced to 28 staff as of end
of August 2010 and is currently down to 18 staff as at 17 September
There is an active ongoing promotion and early intervention
of Employee Assistance Programme support, specifically the Confidential
Care and Counselling (CiC) service for stress, depression and
The reasons for the increased FCA sickness rates in 2009-10
the new performance management framework (over 165
staff going through some form of performance procedures during
this period) and substantial increase in work for the organisation.
This intensive performance improvement drive did impact negatively
on absence and turnover in the same period, with poor performers
replaced with competent new staff;
performance management linked to Cafcass' pay system,
from April 2008. The significant tranche of staff had their performance
appraised in April and May 2009. Only staff assessed as satisfactory
or better were eligible for pay progression;
robust performance management through direct supervision
under the Quality for Children Framework (Q4C); and
targeted support and intervention under the Cafcass
Performance Conduct Policy.