Welcome to West Midlands Employers
“WME working for you and with you – everything we do supports the creation of a strong public sector workforce”
West Midlands Employers (WME) is the Regional Employers Organisation offering a range of services aimed at local councils and the wider public sector to support performance improvement at both an individual and organisational level. We are all about ‘people and leadership solutions’ helping public sector organisations to make the best use of their greatest resource – their people.
How we are funded
WME receives subscriptions from councils in our region for the provision of core employer services. We also generate income from our portfolio of products and services – for which our subscribing councils receive a discounted member rate. We are a ‘not for profit’ organisation and we design our own products and services around self-financing models. Any commercial success resulting from successfully trading our services enables us to reduce the financial burden on our councils of funding the Employers’ Organisation and reward their loyalty and support.
How we are governed
We are owned by our subscribing councils and we are governed by the Rules of the REO. We have a representative body comprising the CEO of each subscribing member council who agrees our business plans, budgets and other constitutional matters. We also report through an Elected Member Management Board nominated from sub-regional groupings covering Birmingham; Black Country; Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire; Worcestershire; Herefordshire, Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire; and Staffordshire and Stoke with an additional member representing the District Councils.
What we do
WME has a small team of highly experienced individuals providing a responsive and flexible service to our public sector clients. Our services are framed around the employee life cycle and organisational journey. This covers Human Resources and Organisational Development, Leadership Development and Recruitment.
You may have already read about our services, but if you need a recap, here is a snapshot of what we offer.
Through the in depth expertise and experience of our team of HR, Training and Organisational Development professionals, we ensure a committed, responsive, results-oriented, effective service. We work closely with our national colleagues at the Local Government Association (LGA) and otaher regional employer organisations to represent the interests of our member organisations and ensure their voice is heard at both national and european level. We also work with these partners on the development of employer policy and guidance across the sector.
The Employers Service offers a range of services to its members outlined below.
- Independent and Professional Advice on all HR matters within a 24 hour turnaround time in most cases.
- HR Advisory Bulletins to help keep abreast of new legislation.
- Information on Local Authority Terms and Conditions including:
- Changes and developments
- Interpretation on local and national conditions of service
- Detailed advice on the statutory framework covering teachers
- Frequently asked questions library
- Direct provision and facilitating access to high quality and subsidised employee development programmes
- Facilitation and co-ordination of number of regional networks and events
- Co-ordinating and developing responses to National and European consultations on employment legislation
- Provide an effective regional dispute resolution mechanism, where necessary, brokering solutions and agreement with trade union colleagues, including Joint Secretarial interventions.
- Representing the regions authorities on employment matters such as terms and conditions, national pay and conditions and a wide range of employment related issues
- Benchmarking covering market pay data, employment related policy frameworks, workforce information and statistics and best practice
- Consultancy Services covering:
- Recruitment and selection
- Job Evaluation
- Discipline and grievance case management
- Training and development
- Interim HR professionals
- Psychometric testing
Leadership and OD
West Midlands Employers ‘Leadership Offer’ focuses on achievement based development for strengthening the management and leadership skills of employees and elected members.
We recognise the value of learning by application and make sure all our training and development interventions are directly linked back to the work place; providing opportunities for people to test out tools and techniques into their current roles.
We also help participants look to the future, developing their skills and competencies to step into more senior roles and understand what they need to do to take on the next level of responsibility.
Take a look to see how you can develop through coaching, development programmes, training and self awareness.
Coaching and Mentoring, Resilience & Briliance, Hot Topics, WME360 & Self Awareness Tools
Coaching and Mentoring
- Access a coach or mentor
- Coaching Skills Gyms – Essential Coaching Skills Training
- ILM Level 5 in Coaching and Mentoring – Training and Qualification
- West Midlands Coaching and Mentoring Pool
Resilience & Brilliance
- WME360 – Develop your people, enhance their leadership capacity for great value
- Conversations that Count – 360 Feedback Training
Self Awareness Tools
Raising self awareness, raising performance – Click here to see more details about self awareness tools that are available
Recruitment and Resourcing
Overview of WMJobs
Since 2010 the partnership of WME, a large group of public sector organisations in the West Midlands and our preferred service providers has worked hard to establish the WMJobs Jobs Board service, Talentlink e-recruitment system and our associated ‘bolt on services’ such as DBS checking and psychometric testing. The outcome is a leading recruitment and resourcing shared service for the sector in this region.
WME recruitment offer focuses around 3 main areas;
- WMJobs Jobs Board Service
- Back Office E-recruitment System
- Executive Recruitment
Information about each area is available below;
WMJobs Jobs Board Service
The significant investment made in the new Madgex platform delivers a state of the art Jobs Board offering a much wider variety of Job advertisement services such as featured Jobs, Mini sites, online payments for self service etc.
Our new Jobs Board platform feels and operates as a Jobs Board and not a careers site.
Whilst we are already the place to go for local jobs especially within the education sector, WMJobs.co.uk has an ambitious growth strategy previously set by the region’s local authorities; to become a recognised leading National Public Sector Jobs Board.
Back Office E-recruitment System
The e-recruitment service is the largest service delivered by WME and therefore requires a high level of resource. There is a dedicated team of 6 FTE posts managing, supporting and developing the jobs board and e-recruitment service. There is also support from the wider WME team from accounting, business and customer services and general management.
The Talentlink system is a leading edge applicant tracking system provided by Lumesse, a multinational company whose core business is Talent attraction and management.
We work in partnership with leading executive search providers to offer an ‘end to end’ executive recruitment service to ensure our clients recruit the right people to the most critical roles within their organisation. WME can offer support at every stage of the recruitment process and we pride ourselves in providing a first class recruitment experience.
Customer and Business Services Hub
The Business and Customer Services Team (Hub) is responsible for establishing, co-ordinating and managing the full customer journey in relation to all WME services and product offerings covering the all WME service areas.
The Finance Team is responsible for the provision of an efficient, effective and robust Financial Management and Accounting service for WME in respect of all its activities.
Together both teams work collaboratively as The Business and Financial Services Team.
The Business and Financial Services Team will work together to contribute to the growth and development of WME’s service provision. Delivering a ‘first class experience’ for customers, service providers and partners, through efficient and flexible financial, business and customer support service.
- Provide outstanding professional support and relationship building with internal and external customers.
- Develop an integrated response that aligns resources and capacity, working effectively to manage workloads and ensure appropriate prioritisation.
- Maintain and share expertise that contributes to WME Business plan, improves KPIs, and maximises WME’s added value for customers and partners.
- Be accountable and nurture customer relationships
- Deliver an efficient, effective and robust financial management and accounting function, working within corporate policies, protocols and legal requirements
- Maintain and develop business critical systems, providing guidance and advice on WME’s business processes
Click on the below images to see further information about WME in our strategic plan and infographics along with the organisation structure.
What’s it like working at WME?
Based at Sandwell Council House in Oldbury, the WME team is made up of experienced individuals who come from all over the West Midlands area. They are passionate about the West Midlands and providing support to our public sector client base.
You can see what they think about working at WME below;
Policies and Training
WME is the Regional Employers’ Organisation and is owned by its subscribing Local Authorities. WME is a separate legal entity and operates as a small not for profit business, but Staffordshire County Council (SCC) acts as our host employer and we are located within Sandwell MBC. This means that the staff at WME are employed by Staffordshire County Council.
So the employment policies that we work to are also SCC’s and are set in line with the nationally agreed pay and conditions of service for local government services. Some details about the policies will be included in your contract of employment but you will also be given access to Staffordshire’s intranet whereby you can view all the policies in full.
WME also has its own ‘operational policies’ on how we conduct and manage our day to day business, that is in the best interest and efficiencies of WME. You will have access to a list of WME Operational Policies and supporting documentation is available in the electronic WME Staff Handbook.
When you start you will be provided training, either delivered on the job or through dedicated sessions, where relevant to you and/or your role.
However there is some online learning that you can access as soon as we have provided your login to you. This is available through Staffordshire County Councils learning pool and covers topics ranging from an introduction to the public sector to Health & Wellbeing support through to the development of your skills.
You can access any of the learning modules you feel would be useful or relevant. You must however complete key modules (linked below) as they are a key requirement of all the roles at WME. Please work through these once your login has been provided to you.
When you start
We know whilst it is exciting, it can be daunting starting in a new job at an organisation that you don’t know!! So we want to give you an idea of what to expect.
Whilst you can be sure to be greeted by a warm, welcoming team what else should you expect?
To give you an idea we asked some of our recent new starter Nicola what the induction was like for her:
I was contacted by the team before I started to have a conversation about my first day arrangements – fortunately, the building I work in now is the building I worked in previously, so I already knew where I was going and where to park, although I was given the contact details of who I needed to ask for at reception on my first day and what time to arrive.
How did your first day go and what did you do?
My first day went very well! I was warmly welcomed by everyone and introduced to the team. What was really nice is that although it was my first day, everyone seemed to know who I was and feeling like the ‘new kid’ wasn’t as daunting as I expected.
Although for our team, we have a hot-desking policy in place, for the first day, I was allocated a seat to ensure that I was settled, with WM Jobs supplies (or as I like to call, goodies!) ready and waiting for me. All my ICT equipment, logins and passwords were set-up with no issues, so after my induction, I was ready and raring to go!
I was also allocated a mentor who spent time the majority of the day with me, firstly explaining housekeeping, moving onto a overview of the organisation, and then concentrating on the details I needed to know regarding my direct team and has been very supportive ever since!
What did you do in your first week?
I was very busy! Everyone in the organisation made an effort to arrange a one-to-one session with me to explain their role and their place in the organisation, but also, to get to know me as well. It made settling in a lot easier.
It was a full packed week of training – the training being essential to my role. I attended Configuration Training in Staffordshire for two days, along with Reports Training in Wolverhampton, so I was out and about, getting a feel for the role and also meeting colleagues from other organisations, which is something I really enjoyed. I received messages from my colleagues as well, making sure I was ok and asking if I enjoyed the training.
At the end of the week, a meeting was pre-arranged with my mentor to have a catch-up to make sure I was ok and for an opportunity to ask any questions, if I had any.
The support I received during my induction period was overwhelming and I’m happy to say that this continues on a day-to-day basis. Go WME!
Your first day:
Your first few weeks:
In the Office:
Socials, Events and Training
A full staff team meeting is held every six weeks over at Jack Judge Library where all staff are required to attend and there is usually some nibbles involved.
We also encourage our staff to attend some of our WME events and training sessions to get real insight into what we do and who our clients are. You can find a list of our upcoming events here.
The Dress Code
Smart and business appropriate. A full suit isn’t necessary but may be required at events etc
Friday however is dress down day so if you are going to be in the office and don’t have any external visitors coming to see you the dress code is relaxed.
Sandwell and Dudley train station is 5 to 10 minutes walk from the office and there are a number of local buses that stop nearby.
If you are driving there is a car park by the office. The cost is £4 a day however you can purchase a parking pass from Sandwell Council which will be cheaper.
As at 1st April 2019 the prices for the parking passes are;
£24 – one month pass
£240 – Annual pass
There is also an option to buy a part-week season ticket which allows you to park for three specified days a week at a cost of £14.40 per month or £144 per year.
Further information including applying for a parking permit can be found: http://www.sandwell.gov.uk/info/200286/parking_and_permits/2144/buy_a_monthly_or_annual_parking_permit
Pay and Conditions:
Benefits available to you
For ease, the doucment below contains the benefits available however as these are subject to change for up to date information you will be given access to Staffordshire County Councils intranet site so you can access this at any time.
When you get paid
You get paid on the 28th of each month.
The only exception to this is at Christmas where you usually get paid around the middle of December.
Any mileage/expenses are paid in arrears. For example if you had expenses that you incurred in October – you can claim them in early November for them to be paid in your pay at the end of November.
Your contract of employment will tell you how many days annual leave you will have each year.
At WME your leave year (period you use your leave in) works off your birth month. For example if you were born in July your leave year will run from July to June.
If you join part way through your leave year then you will be given a Pro rata allowance based on how much of your leave year is remaining.
Don’t worry we’ll sort this out for you when you start as well as letting you know how to book annual leave.
As well as your annual leave you get the following bank holidays off as well;
– New Years Day
– Good Friday
– Easter Monday
– Early May Bank Holiday
– Spring Bank holiday
– Summer Bank holiday
– Christmas Day
– Boxing Day
If a bank holiday is on a weekend, a ‘substitute’ weekday becomes a bank holiday, normally the following Monday.
WME’s host employer is Staffordshire County Council and we are required to follow the HR Policies of the council in relation to our employment contracts. However WME is a separate legal entity and operates as a small not for profit business; as such we have the right to establish ‘operational policies’ in relation to how we conduct and manage our day to day business, that is in the best interest and efficiencies of WME.
WME Local Rules for Flexible Working and Flexitime When WME was formed in 2013 it was agreed not to have a flexitime system because it was onerous for staff to sign in and out and keep time records. As a small organisation we are unable to support up to an additional 12 days of potential flexi-leave per individual. We therefore opted instead to work flexibly.
In 2015 as part of a business service review WME Management Team agreed that a flexitime approach would be introduced solely for use by the Business & Customer Services Hub. This was to enable greater flexibility in on site cover during core business hours to support and deliver customer service systems.
For more information on our policy, please see the below document.
Flexitime System for the Business Hub
Generally WME will follow the SCC policy (as located on SCC Intranet) for flexitime but with the following adaptations to reflect the operational and business needs of WME.
- Staff will sign in and out and record hours worked using WME documentation
- Staff should only be working extended hours to meet a specific business need
- Hub Team Leader will monitor hours worked and ensure time is generally recouped via shorter days wherever possible
- Whilst ‘flexitime leave days’ will be permitted these are to be agreed by the Line Manager and will be kept to a minimum
- Staff may not carry over more than 7 hours per month
- WME Core hours are 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 3.30pm; our bandwidth is 8am to 7pm; and Hub service cover must be in place between the hours of 9am and 5pm
- SCC policy elements that do not apply at WME are;
- Days cannot be banked and flexi days are not a given (6.1)
- Out of hours and weekend working does not apply (8.1)
- Overtime for part time contracts does not apply (8.1)
[Note: This WME flexitime system was introduced May 2016 for the BCS Hub only.]
Flexible Working for all other staff
- WME staff not in the Business Hub will not operate a flexi-time system but will have flexible working, which means that we work on a basis of trust that staff will manage their own time to effectively deliver their job roles. Managers are expected to monitor compliance.
- If there is a business need that requires staff to work significantly more than their contracted hours, then they should bring this to the attention of the line manager to agree a suitable approach to recouping such time back.
Health and Safety
Health and Safety Information
Health and Safety information is via Staffordshire County Council as WME’s host employer.
Click on the document below to read more about the policy: