Agenda and minutes
Venue: Conference Room 4B - Tŷ Hywel. View directions
Contact: Clerk of the Remuneration Board
(11:15 – 11:30)
Chair welcomed the Board and outlined that this meeting would provide.
1.2 Jane Roberts declared an interest as a member
of the Public Policy Institute of Wales.
1.3 The Chair welcomed Gwion Evans who had been
appointed the new Clerk of the Remuneration Board. The Board noted that, as
this was his first day in the post, he would be observing proceedings.
1.4 The Chair provided feedback from the AM
Representative group meeting and a drop-in session held during Plenary the day
(11:30 – 12:00)
Strategic discussion: Consideration of the Board's work programme and reflections on induction
Board considered a paper outlining the work scheduled to be undertaken on an
annual basis and forthcoming key decision points. The Board considered the work
plan for the spring/summer term 2016 in this context, alongside a future
longer-term strategic work programme.
The Chair invited Board members
to report on their work shadowing experiences and how the induction programme
had worked for them.
Secretariat to review dates of meetings in March and July 2016.
Secretariat to draft suggestions for a strategic model for its work in the
Fifth Assembly to ensure that the Board can decide on a way forward.
(12:00 – 12:45)
Proposal for a Charter for the Remuneration Board
Board discussed the merits of having a document which would outline its core
principles and ways of working. The Board considered a paper highlighting key
areas for discussion. The Chair invited Board members to consider how they
wished to proceed.
The Board agreed that it would
consider the item further at its meeting in January and discuss the benefits of
such a document as part of its strategy for the Fifth Assembly.
Secretariat to provide the Board with a paper outlining the core principles and
conventions of the Board to be considered at its meeting on 28 January 2016.
(13:45 – 14:45)
Assembly Member Salaries for the Fifth Assembly: Impact of salary differentiation
4.1The Board reflected
on whether the current flexibility which allows Members to decline a part of
their salary, or where applicable, their additional office holder salary,
4.2The Board agreed that
Members in the Fifth Assembly will be paid their base salary, and any
additional office holder salary applicable, in full.
4.3The Board agreed that
Members should be informed that Members’ Business Support would provide advice
and guidance should any Member wish to participate in the Assembly’s payroll
giving scheme or other such options.
Members of the Board decision on the payment of Members’ salaries in the Fifth
to draft a letter to the Assembly Commission to inform them of the Board’s
decision so that Members’ Business Support can reflect this in its arrangements
and advice to Members.
(14:45 – 15:30)
AM pensions update and next steps
Board considered an update on the work the Assembly Commission’s Pensions Team
are doing to implement and communicate the 2016 changes to the Assembly
Members’ Pension Scheme.
The Board discussed and agreed
some outstanding issues for inclusion in the final draft of the pension scheme
rules. The Board agreed a way forward and noted that final approval of the
scheme will be sought from HMT early in the new year.
The Board noted that once the
final scheme rules are approved by HMT, the Pensions Team will be writing to
Members explaining the changes and how they affect them.
The Board discussed and agreed
the approach to appointing the Chair of the new Pension Board and who should
sit on the recruitment panel.
The Board agreed that Michael
Redhouse would be its representative on the recruitment panel for the Chair of
the new Pensions Board.
The Board noted the work the
Commission’s Pensions Team is doing to review the support the Assembly Member’s
Support staff are given to help them understand their choices regarding their
to contact external legal advisers to amend the draft pension scheme and
subsequently seek formal approval from HMT.
Team to share with the Board the communications to Assembly Members on the new
Secretariat to write to all those members affected by the Board’s decision on
pension abatement (Rule of 80) explaining the reasons for the Board’s decision.
Secretariat to draft a letter thanking the Board of Trustees for their valuable
contribution to the development of the new pension scheme rules.
(15:45 – 16:15)
AMSS salaries 2016-17: first discussion
Board discussed factors in AMSS salary and remuneration for the start of the
financial year 2016-17.
The Board noted that provisional
ASHE figures for 2015 were released in November 2015 at 1.1%, revised figures
are not expected until November 2016.
The Board agreed to consult
Assembly Members and Assembly Members’ Support Staff proposing to increase AMSS
salaries for 2016-17 by 1.1% in line with the provisional 2015 figures for ASHE
median earnings in Wales.
As part of the review of AMSS
terms and conditions started under the previous Board, the Board also
considered whether to introduce a qualifying period before AMSS sick pay is
The Board considered
representations from support staff and from their Trade Union representatives.
The Board agreed that it would
not be appropriate to introduce a qualifying threshold for sick pay at this
to include the proposal for an increase to AMSS salaries in the note of the
meeting and invite responses by 12 February to inform deliberations at the Board
meeting in March.
AMSS that the Board does not wish to introduce a qualifying threshold for sick
pay at this time.
(16:15 – 16:45)
Office Costs 2016 - 17: first discussion
Board considered the office costs allowance and whether it remains appropriate
for the financial year 2016-17.
The Board considered a number of
factors, including office rental costs across Wales and inflation.
The Board agreed to propose an
increase to the office costs allowance by 1% or by the change in the CPI in the
year to April 2016, whichever is greater.
Business Support to provide further information on lease agreements and whether
there are likely to be any increases in the beginning of the Fifth Assembly.
to consult on the Board’s proposal for an increase to the office costs
allowance by 1% or by the change in the CPI in the year to April 2016,
whichever is greater.
(16:45 – 17:15)
Residential Allowances 2016-17: first discussion
Board had an initial discussion on whether the Residential Allowance for
Members should be revised.
Board agreed to consider it further at its meeting in January, when it will
consult Assembly Members with proposals.
Business Support to provide further information on whether Members’ contracts
for residential accommodation include uprating mechanisms.