Case study - HR support was key

Head of East Kent Housing’s Corporate Services and Company Secretary, David Willis supported the project team that led to East Kent Housing being created in 2011.

An Arms Length Management Organisation, East Kent Housing was set up by the four east Kent councils of Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet to manage housing stock on behalf of the councils. East Kent Housing is also a significant employer that has responsibility for professionals from different backgrounds.

Needless to say, the formation of the company was a complex process and involved the transfer of people who were originally directly employed by the councils.

“The team at EK Human Resources provided key technical advice and explained what could and couldn’t be done,” said David.  

He explained that at the time, bringing together four local authorities to enable the formation of a housing Arms Length Management Organisation had never been done before.

He said: “We had a lot to learn because the situation was unique within the country and the rules of a public sector TUPE transfer to a limited company from four different employers was complicated.”

He went on: “We had to consider critical elements of employment law, and there was no room for error of judgement. But the East Kent HR team offered direct support to our senior managers.”

David said that one of the key strengths of the service offered by East Kent HR is the clarity of advice.

“We were very pleased with the service that we received – particularly with potentially tricky situations. And we were very impressed with the levels of professionalism of the key individuals who supported us. They were always very good at advising upon potential problems and rectifying situations”

He added: “EK Human Resources still continue to advise us at regular meetings and we now have some excellent processes in place.

“From the very beginning of the project, we’ve been very grateful for all the advice and support we’ve received.”