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Management Briefings

Management Briefings

13 May - Guidance on the Leave Buy Back Scheme Annual Leave

At the end of last week, guidance was issued on the use of annual leave during the COVID-19 pandemic and managers asked to discuss planned annual leave with all members of their staff.

With the guidance now in place, we have also considered how the leave buy back scheme is impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The scheme, part of our commitment to flexible working, allows employees the opportunity to supplement their annual leave entitlement by buying additional leave and making payment for it via monthly deductions from their salary.

As outlined in our earlier guidance, it is important to understand that everyone needs to take a break and it is good practice to encourage employees to use a proportionate amount of their leave entitlement during this period where this is possible.

We also recognise that, for example, planned trips away/abroad cannot now be undertaken and that some staff may as a consequence no longer require the additional leave that they have purchased.  In order to identify whether or not staff wish to continue to participate in the scheme, HRBPs will shortly be in touch with services advising which staff are participating in the scheme and will ask managers to discuss with their staff whether or not they wish to remain in the scheme. For those that do not, we will refund any payments made in a future salary payment. In order for these conversations to be had we will suspend leave payments for May.

It is important to note that employees cannot carry forward bought leave into the next leave year.

7 May - Guidance on the Treatment of Annual Leave during COVID-19

Over the last few weeks CoSLA and the national unions have been finalising their guidance on how annual leave should be utilised during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Managers are asked to review and ensure implementation of the following guidance. Your HR Business Partner is available to assist with any queries/areas of clarification that may arise.

Please note this guidance does not apply to teachers’ annual leave as leave practices amongst teaching staff remain, however it will apply to the associated professionals in education.

Line mangers should speak to all members of staff to discuss Annual Leave so that Services can understand what staff resources will be available in the coming months. Line managers will need to balance service delivery with individual staff member needs to ensure fairness and consistency. Staff members should be supported during this difficult time and reaching agreement with them on planned Annual Leave is fundamental to this process. Line managers should speak to their HR Business Partner to discuss any concerns they have or if they encounter any issues while trying to reach agreement with members of their teams.

Staff Health & Wellbeing

As part of our duty of care and the health and safety commitment to our employees, it is important to understand that regardless of what role is undertaken, everyone needs to take a break.  This is key to ensuring good health and wellbeing of all staff.

The proportionate use of annual leave across the calendar year can be a health and safety and wellbeing concern. This is even more relevant at the current time when employees are facing this unprecedented crisis. The fact that a planned trip away cannot be undertaken does not mean that annual leave cannot be taken but it may mean that employees will not be able to enjoy their leave to its fullest given the lock-down restrictions.  It will be good practice to encourage employees to use a proportionate amount of leave entitlement during this period where this is possible.

Taking annual leave is the best way to ensure good health and wellbeing in these unprecedented times.  This is particularly important if employees are experiencing stress, work related or otherwise, due to the current crisis. 

It is important now more than ever that personal circumstances are also taken into account in discussing an employee’s annual leave with them.

No employee should be forced to take annual leave that was booked prior to the crisis just because it is in the diary.  If a planned trip can no longer be taken it is not unreasonable for an individual to wish to change their arrangements to make the most of their leave when they can.

You should be flexible in responding to requests to change leave to accommodate changed individual circumstances and service needs.  You will need to understand the individual circumstances of your staff and how best to offer support – for some that will be a break from work, for others taking leave might exacerbate feelings of isolation and may not be the best outcome for that individual.  Attention needs to be paid to employees mental, as well as physical, health needs.

Workers who are shielding, have underlying health issues or caring responsibilities and unable to work

Any member of staff who is not doing essential work and who can’t work from home or are shielding, have childcare or other caring responsibilities or are in a higher risk category, should be encouraged to schedule a reasonable period of annual leave and you should discuss and agree this with them. 

It is important that all staff in this category understand and observe this guidance for their own health and wellbeing and avoid accruing too much leave for the second half of the leave year.   As a manager you need to ensure you treat all categories of employee in a fair and equal manner when considering annual leave arrangements. 

Key Workers

It is recognised that some key workers may need to cancel leave to assist with the crisis but managers should try to avoid enforcing the cancellation of leave wherever possible – those workers still need to take a break to remain fresh and effective.  It may be that two weeks off may not be possible at the current time but discuss how employees can reasonably take a break taking into account service demands and make sure they are able to schedule longer periods of leave later in the year.

Leave Carry-over

The Government has relaxed the rules around carry-over of statutory leave in response to Covid-19 easing the requirements on business to ensure that workers take the statutory amount of annual leave in any one year and allowing up to 4 weeks of unused leave to be carried into the next 2 leave years.  The SLG have considered and agreed that contractual leave will be treated in the same way. In addition the normal rules for carry forward balances to be used by 30th June are relaxed this year and next.

It is however recognised that many employees will currently not be in roles where the demands of the job will prevent them from taking their planned annual leave.  It is therefore anticipated that there will not be a need for many staff to arrange to carry forward their annual leave unless operational requirements prevent them from doing so.

FAQ’s

A brief FAQ document has been prepared for all staff and can be accessed on the staff FAQ pages at https://www.clacks.gov.uk/coronavirus/stafffaqs/ 

Key Principles for managers to consider

  • Line Managers should start discussing planned annual leave with all members of staff.
  • Personal circumstances should be taken into account in discussions with staff about their annual leave. 
  • A blanket approach – in either cancelling all leave or forcing employees to use up their leave during the crisis - is unlikely to assist the Council or retain the motivation of our staff.
  • Employees and managers should, as usual, discuss and agree what leave can be taken during this period taking into account service delivery requirements and the need for employees to be able to rest and recharge.
  • Unless there are any extenuating circumstances it would be good practice to honour any leave which was approved before Covid-19.
  • New leave requests should to be considered and approved, wherever possible, by line managers.  It is important to ensure that employees are not working for protracted periods without a break.
  • There is an expectation that all employees will continue to take a proportionate amount of annual leave.
  • If due to the current situation employees wish to cancel or amend annual leave this should be discussed and agreed as per normal practice
  • When the normal delivery of services resume, annual leave requests will need to be managed in line with our operational requirements, the conditions of service and the Government’s extension to the leave carry-over period.
  • Given the fluid circumstances to the Covid-19 situation, these arrangements will be kept under regular review.

7 May - Accessing People Manager 

Managers now have the ability to access not only employee self service, but the people manager functions of iTrent outwith the Council environment.  

People Manager can be accessed through the link in Employee Self Service.

When accessing this you must ensure you comply with the principles of data protection.  If you are unfamiliar with these principles please ensure you complete the mandatory training available on clacksadacademy.  Always keep your passwords confidential and never download or store information on any non Council device.

It is important to be aware that any breach of personal data must be reported to the Councils Data Protection Officer (Annette McEnaney on 01259 45 2112 or amcenaney@clacks.gov.uk) immediately so it can be assessed, reported and investigated in line with relevant Council policies. Serious data breaches require to be notified to the ICO which could also result in significant fines being made against the Council.  

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23 April - Casual (Relief) Staff

It is recognised that during the COVID-19 outbreak  there will be disruption to established patterns of work and arrangements for maintaining service delivery. This may result in workers whose names are on casual worker lists experiencing a change in the offers of work made that they can accept. 

CoSLA have recently issued a circular in relation to payments to casual staff impacted by COVID-19. The arrangements broadly align to the principles we had looked to implement at a local level.

The circular suggests  that compensation be considered for each pay period commencing after 20/3/20 (when schools were closed by the Scottish Government). It is suggested that it should be reviewed on a monthly basis and discontinued when it is judged that working arrangements  have regularised. 

The following eligibility criteria have been recommended:

  • If a casual worker has not been offered work because of service disruption related to COVID-19, consider for compensation.
  • If a casual worker has been offered and accepts work but has been offered less work than normal overall because of service disruption related to COVID-19, consider for compensation.
  • If a casual worker cannot accept work because of being symptomatic or ill because of COVID-19, or because they are self-isolation in line with medical guidelines, consider for compensation.
  • If a casual worker cannot accept work because they are "shielding" consider for compensation.
  • If a casual worker has been offered and declines work, they will not normally be eligible for compensation. This includes offers of work of a type that they would not normally do but are capable of accepting.
  • There will be no need to consider compensation if a casual member of staff is clearly already earning more than normal.

Our payroll and HR teams are currently reviewing those staff who had been engaged on a casual basis from January through to March and determining relevant  compensatory payments. It may be that some staff will be engaged and making claims as normal and as such no compensatory payment would be due unless, as a result of the pandemic, they are working fewer hours than would have been anticipated.

Similar arrangements are in place for Supply Teachers based on SNCT Circular  JS/20/78  which outlines if a supply teacher has been on a supply list during the 2019/20 school year and has been engaged for the period 1st January 2020 to 31st March 2020, the mechanism for determining the compensatory payment for loss of expected earnings until the end of June will be calculated with reference to the average hours worked over the three month period. 

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22 April - Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Team Update

Please follow the link for this useful Cyber Resilience Notice about keeping safe online.

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20 April - PPE Guidance

Please follow the link for the latest cascade on PPE guidance from the emergency planning team.

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14 April 2020 - Members of staff who are Shielding 

Over the last week the Scottish Government has written to those individuals identified by the NHS who are at risk of severe illness if they catch the Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19). This is because these individuals have an underlying disease or health condition that means if they catch the virus, they are more likely to be at risk of serious illness than others. 

These individuals, who may include members of our staff, must stay at home at all times and avoid all face-to-face contact for at least twelve weeks from receipt of their letter, except from contact with carers and healthcare workers who they must see as part of their medical care. In order for us to record any staff members who are included in the Shielding Programme a new absence reason COVID-19 Shielding has been created. This can be used against Homeworking or Special leave (paid).  It is important that as part of your regular contact with staff recorded as Self Isolation High Risk No Symptoms that you ask if they have received a Shield letter. Please ensure iTrent is updated to reflect any staff that have received a letter.

A National helpline has been set up for those who are over 70, pregnant, in receipt of the flu vaccination for an underlying health condition or registered disabled.  These people are not within the shielding group, but may have to take extra care of themselves during this period.  The helpline signposts people to sources of help, but some calls will come through to the Council to provide support.  It is intended to provide support to those who are vulnerable and do not have a good support network.  The number is to call is 0800 111 4000.

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14 April 2020 - Annual Leave

Staff are reminded that annual leave requested continues to stand.  If there is an urgent need for an employee to be at work during a period when leave was scheduled, this should be discussed with the relevant manager and the leave cancelled in iTrent.  If an employee is on special leave, the annual leave should remain in place.

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14 April 2020 - Redeployment 

In order to support critical services, we will shortly be issuing a staff wide skills audit aimed at identifying those who may be able to assist with service delivery in other areas of the Council. This will include looking at staff skills, experiencing and qualifications across all areas of our organisation, to ensure we find the best fitting staff members who have capacity to support the Council's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Managers are asked to support this skills audit as a priority, and ensure that returns are made as soon as possible. Full guidance on temporary deployment of staff to support essential services will be made available shortly.

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14 April 2020 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Clackmannnanshire Council continues to have good levels of PPE available, with additional supplies on order and due for delivery shortly.  If PPE is required, a request should be emailed to hands@clacks.gov.uk (phone x2225 if urgent).

Guidance on what PPE should be used and when is available on the Health Protection Scotland website https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/covid-19/.  It is important that you check this regularly as this information is being constantly reviewed and updated.

Facilities are available to dispose of PPE which may have been contaminated with COVID-19.  Such waste should be removed as soon as it is safe to do so, and double bagged.  Each residential premises will have their own arrangements in place for storage and collection.  For staff working from Kelliebank Depot, this can be placed in the Clinical Waste area at the back of the depot.  In Kilncraigs, a bin is available in Room 0.01 for this type of waste.

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14 April 2020 - Staff Testing for COVID-19 

A process is now in place which allows us to get people tested to ensure that our critical staff members can get back to work.  If you have a staff member who is having to self-isolate due to symptoms, or a family member displaying symptoms, please email emergencyplanning@clacks.gov.uk with the following details:

Name

Date of Birth

Service

Role

Home address

Contact Phone number

Symptoms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depending on the level of demand for testing, these requests may be prioritised based on factors such as the number of others able to fulfil the role and the criticality of the role being carried out.  This prioritisation is happening across Scotland using the same matrix.

As yet there is no test available to test for those who may have had it in the past and built up an immunity.

Please remember to keep checking the staff website at https://www.clacks.gov.uk/coronavirus/staffinformation/ for updates and further guidance.

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9 April 2020 - Message from Senior Leadership Group 

Colleagues

As we go into the Easter bank holiday weekend, it’s clear for all to see that this year will be unlike any other we have ever experienced. You will have heard the words "unprecedented", "challenging" and "difficult" quite a lot over the last few weeks and no one can argue the impact that the Coronavirus is having on every aspect of our lives. Although as Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand reminded us today, the Easter bunny is an essential worker, so Easter will certainly still go ahead in some capacity.

We have been filled with a sense of pride on a daily basis by the way our staff are going above and beyond to enable us as a Council to continue to support the most vulnerable people in our community.

Staff from services which are currently not operating have been volunteering or are being redeployed to keep other critical front line services going. Some are taking calls via our Community Support Helpline from those most in need, while others are helping deliver food and medicines in the community. If you have volunteered and haven’t been contacted yet, don’t worry we’ll get back to you soon and very much appreciate your continued support.

Huge effort has also been put in by colleagues to ensure that guidance about social distancing and advice on appropriate protective equipment for specific roles is clear and well communicated. We have been working hard to ensure we have enough PPE supplies to keep our essential staff safe which is a key priority for us.

Our IT Team have also been working hard to ensure that staff who are able to work from home have the necessary equipment to do this. But it hasn’t been an easy task as demand had outstripped our supply and we appreciate your patience with this.

Whether you are front line and out and about or working from home you are part of this critical workforce and together we are playing a key role in "Keeping Clackmannanshire Connected".

It’s equally important to ensure that we are supporting all our colleagues in these uncertain times. We have created a staff page on our internet https://www.clacks.gov.uk/coronavirus/staffinformation/ which can be easily accessed from home computers, laptops or phones. On there, you will find the latest staff updates, guidance and advice on wellbeing, particularly if you are working remotely. We are working to make this even better and we would encourage you to check regularly for updates. Both managers and colleagues are reminded of the importance of keeping in touch with each other through weekly video meetings, calls, Whats App chats or whatever method that is secure and mutually agreed by you. Now more than ever it’s important to make sure that we remain connected to each other.

For those of you who are unwell, or who have families members who are unwell, please know that our thoughts are with you and we hope you get better soon.

If you are off work over the course of the Easter weekend please remember the key national message: stay home; protect NHS; save lives. This is the big contribution we can all make.

Where possible, we hope you all have a well deserved break over Easter.  Very many thanks for all of your continued commitment and efforts.

Stuart, Fiona and Pete

Strategic Directors

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9 April 2020 - Update on IT remote working programme 

Colleagues

We want to give you an update on the IT remote working programme that is being implemented to enable people to work from home. Our IT team have been working hard to ensure that, during these difficult times, staff who are able to work from home have the necessary equipment to do this.  We have had to prioritise allocation, however we have aimed to ensure that all critical services have staff set up to work remotely.  We now have 290 people working remotely and regularly logging into Citrix.  

We have ordered more new laptops from our suppliers but due to current high demand nationally, they are estimating a delivery date for these in mid-May.  In the meantime, the team are doing all they can to try and source local suppliers and get as many staff who are needed to run critical services working from home as soon as possible.  

We are also looking at options to make the best use of existing IT kit (older laptops; PCs and Terminals) and enabling these to be set up for people to access Citrix from home in a secure and safe way.   We are currently testing options for this and will come back to you shortly with a further update.  

In the meantime can I ask all services to identify any laptops that are currently sitting on desks, in cupboards or in homes which are surplus to requirement email IT at it@clacks.gov.uk know on  in order that we can arrange for these to be assigned.

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31 March 2020 - Redeployment and Staff Requirements

Over the last 2 weeks the Council’s Incident Management Team have been responding to and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with managers, unions and staff across all Council areas we have had to rapidly identify and develop new ways of working to ensure we are able to meet the needs of our communities in these difficult and exceptional times.

The response from our staff and unions who have risen to this challenge has meant we are able to continue providing services where they are needed. The contributions from right across our Council area are recognised and greatly appreciated.

During this time we have also put together a staff information portal, created and answered a number of questions/concerns raised by our colleagues as well as creating a fact v fiction page. The responses we have given have been informed by our HR Colleagues, taking account of local policy, terms and conditions and government guidance in a fast changing environment. We have recently been advised that COSLA has also been leading a working group, with representatives from the national trades unions – UNISON, UNITE, GMB, SSTA, EIS, SLS, AHDS, NASUWT and produced a comprehensive set of FAQs. Having reviewed these it is encouraging to see that the approach our Council has taken, and the measures we have put in place, prior to having seen sight of the CoSLA paper aligns to the national position.

We have also received a copy of a letter, agreed jointly between the Scottish Government and Scottish TUC, which focuses on ensuring fair work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Scottish Government have high expectations of how fair work principles should be applied during the current crisis. This means an approach where workers, trade unions and employers work together constructively to reach the right decisions on all workplace issues that arise throughout this crisis. As a Council we agree with these principles, demonstrated through our recent signing of our Working Together Agreement, and our engagement with our union colleagues throughout this crisis. The commitments outlined in the letter are commitments we as a Council fully endorse.

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30 March 2020 - No Mail Today

There will be no mail deliveries or uplift today due to local industrial action at the Alloa sorting office. At this time we are unsure when the situation will be resolved.

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30 March 2020 - TechOne

I appreciate that services are dealing with their own particular priorities however, corporately we must ensure that we pay suppliers within our contract terms and enable them to continue to provide vital services to the Council.

Can all users please check their Workflow in Technology One to ensure they are approving requisitions, goods receipting orders when they have been received which allow invoices to be matched. Can all invoices received also be passed to creditors either by email to Creditors@clacks.gov.uk or in the creditors mail tray located at the front of the office on floor 2.

Access to Technology One outwith Citrix

Managers can approve documents from any Council mobile device or Technology One can be accessed out with Citrix through any internet web browser (preferably google chrome) using the URL https://cla.t1cloud.com and entering your username and password.

Username and Password

Your username will be the first part of your email address eg the username for email address jbloggs@clacks.gov.uk would be jbloggs.

If you do not know your password, you can select the Forgotten password? option from the log on screen,

You will then be prompted to enter your username or work email address. The response email will be sent to your work email address as held on the system, so please do not enter a personal email address, as the link will not be sent.

If you do not have access to your work emails, please email creditors@clacks.gov.uk and your password will be reset for you and you will be emailed back with your new password.

Thank you for your support at this difficult time.

Lindsay Sim
Chief Finance Officer
e: lsim@clacks.gov.uk

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26th March 2020 - Redeployment and Staff Requirements

Over the last 2 weeks we have been asking, and continue to ask, that services provide information regarding what capacity there may be within their teams for staff to be redeployed. The redeployment could  support other critical Council services which are experiencing higher levels of staff shortages. 

In addition at the start of this week we launched a staff survey seeking volunteers which will also support continued service delivery.

This information is being collated and reviewed on a daily basis.

If you have an urgent requirement for additional resources to support critical service delivery  please forward the completed attached template to emergencyplanning@clacks.gov.uk

Your requirements will be reviewed and compared against the information we have received from our staff volunteering survey and the information provided from services regarding potential capacity. Where we identify staff that may be redeployed or have volunteered and match your skills requirement we will advise both you and the relevant manager so engagement can be undertaken with the employee(s).

You should be aware that volunteers may decline any offer of engagement.

Staff members should only be  redeployed to a role that matches their skills and that they are comfortable to undertake. No staff member, whether volunteer or redeployee, will be engaged without the following:

  • A relevant  induction,
  • Necessary training to undertake the duties of the role,
  • Required PPE and
  • Training on any relevant risk assessments related to the area of work they will be undertaking.

It is important to emphasise that we are reliant on the goodwill of both staff and volunteers  to undertake these roles during this unprecedented period.

We are also working with our Trade Union Colleagues to reassure staff who may be redeployed that this is a temporary measure to support critical service delivery and they will return to their substantive role on conclusion.

We would also express our thanks hanks all all our staff who have volunteered their flexibility and understanding are greatly appreciated,

Any staff member wishing to complete the questionnaire can access at:

https://bit.ly/2J9bqyu 

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24th March 2020 – Essential Staffing – updated list

Created: Wednesday, 25 March 2020 09:00

Message for all staff regarding essential working.

The last few weeks have been unprecedented and as a Council, we have had to change our working practices in order to ensure we deliver essential services to the most vulnerable in our communities.

We understand that our staff will be anxious and have concerns and we appreciate the support we have received and the remarkable efforts made from across all Council service areas. Thank you.

Government advice and guidance has been changing at an incredibly fast pace. The welfare of our staff remains a priority for us.  In addition, we are faced with the difficult challenge of delivering statutory services to meet the needs of our communities.

Over the last few days we have been developing a list of key workers who we have identified as being critical to maintain essential council services.
The broad categories identified are:

Essential (required to be at work)

  • Care staff (Ludgate, Menstrie House and Woodside Unit)
  • Catering Staff at the School Hubs and Class Cuisine
  • Refuse Collection staff
  • Streetcare staff
  • Burial grounds staff
  • Designated Social Work staff across HSCP, Criminal Justice and Children’s Services (as directed by Chief Social Work Officer)
  • Registrars
  • Council Incident Officers (as directed by Emergency Planning Officer)
  • Fleet (as directed by Senior Manager)
  • Cleaning and facilities staff for Council premises that remain operational
  • Designated Finance & Revenues staff (as direct by Chief Finance Officer)
  • Health and Safety
  • IMT Comms Officer
  • Tenancy Services and Homelessness (as directed by Team Leader)
  • Designated Environmental Health staff (as directed by Senior Manager)
  • School Hub/Key Worker support/Online learning/ (As directed by the Chief Education Officer)
  • Senior Managers (Corporate rota being development)
  • Contact Centre Staff (as directed by Team Leader)

Essential (homeworking)

  • Procurement Manager
  • Designated Finance & Revenues staff (as direct by Chief Finance Officer)
  • Payroll
  • Communication Staff (with the exception of IMT comms officer)
  • Business Standards (as directed by Senior Manager)
  • Tenancy Services and Homelessness (as directed by Team Leader)

Essential Standby (at home but may be called upon to report to work)

  • Registrar Support
  • IT (as advised by Team Leader)
  • Designated Social Work staff across HSCP, Criminal Justice and Children’s Services Staff (as directed by Chief Social Work Officer)
  • All Land Services Staff
  • Road Services
  • Housing Repairs
  • Other Catering staff (primary schools)
  • Planned work and compliance team

In addition to the above a number of staff have been identified to complete particular pieces of work to reduce normal services. These staff should continue to report to work as normal until the work is completed.

Staff who are on the list, should be reassured that we will be taking all steps necessary to ensure their continued safety at work. They should continue to follow good practice by washing hands regularly and ensuring social distancing, as advised by Public Health Scotland, is followed.  With less staff in buildings we will be able to maintain the recommended guidelines for social distancing.

Staff who are not office based should also follow the recommended guidelines and liaise with the line managers on how best to achieve this.

Services will be required to review their Risk Assessments based on any changes to working practices.

The Council’s health and safety team will be able to provide guidance if required. Our H&S Colleagues are available at hands@clacks.gov.uk.

Staff who have not been identified on the above list should not attend work at this time to comply with both UK and Scottish Government guidance. 

If you are able to work from home and have the facilities to do so, you should ensure that you speak with your line manager to identify work priorities.

Staff who are not on the list but are unable to work from home may be able to utilise their own laptops and PCs to review policies, procedures and research practices and complete mandatory training which can now be accessed through the dedicated staff page on this staff portal - www.clacks.gov.uk/staff (then select links).

We would also encourage all staff members who are working from home to ensure they are taking steps to look after their wellbeing during this time.

This includes:

  • Maintaining regular contact with your line manager and colleagues.
  • Taking regular breaks
  • Avoiding being “always on” by ensuring you identify non-working time
  • Contacting our counselling service PAM Assist on 0800 8824102 if you are experiencing high levels of anxiety
  • Being aware of the things that can cause you poor wellbeing and carrying on with activities which can help with mentally and physically.

We will be reviewing our staffing on a regular basis and may have to redeploy staff into other areas where necessary and you may be required to attend for work in a different capacity. We will regularly engage with our Trade Union colleagues on this matter.

Finally we would just like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff for their continued hard work, patience and understanding during these extremely difficult times.

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23rd March 2020 – IT requests

Colleagues

Further to last week's notice,can you please ensure that your staff are not repeatedly approaching IT or phoning up to enquire about laptops.

The volume of traffic is hindering their ability to work through agreed priorities.  Not only is stressful for the handful of staff in IT, the number of people going in and out is currently compromising social distancing efforts.

SLG have agreed a list of priorities and I have asked that IT colleagues prioritise this in the first instance.

Whilst we have sufficient laptops, we have today been informed that the RSA tokens supplier has seen a tenfold increase in demand, We are continually pressing our case but this is out with our control and may take sometime to work through. 

In the meantime, we are reviewing current RSA token allocations to ensure these are prioritised to those in highest need.

As per Stuart Crickmar's communication of last week, if there are any concerns about laptop issue priorities or pace, can these be routed through SLG.

We understand that there are frustrations, however we ask that colleagues remain patient and respectful in their communications.

Many thanks in anticipation of your support.

Nikki

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23rd March 2020 – identifying essential staff

In line with government advice to work from home wherever possible we are working on identifying the critical/essential staff who will be required to maintain Council Services in the days/weeks ahead. 

The full list will be issued early tomorrow but in the meantime we would ask managers to identify which of their staff would not be required to attend for work tomorrow.

These staff, if they are able and have appropriate equipment, should work from home and you should discuss what priority areas to focus on. Other staff who are unable to work from home should be encouraged, using their own IT equipment, to undertake mandatory training, review policies, undertake research etc through this staff portal - clacks.gov.uk/staff.

It is critical that staff who support statutory services, vulnerable groups, provision of payment and supporting the school hub set up are NOT sent home. These staff should continue to attend work.

We would ask that you also advise those staff who are being asked not to attend their place of work that, as we review this list, they may be contacted and asked to attend work to undertake work/tasks which support our communities and most vulnerable residents.

We would wish to thank all staff for their continued patience and support during these times.

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20th March 2020 – cleaning arrangements clarification

Cleaning Arrangements

Public Health Scotland has approved the 4 key products that we are using for the purpose of cleaning/disinfecting and sterilising our buildings.

Cleaning regimes

It is our normal daily practice to clean & disinfect all hand touch surfaces within our buildings at least once per day. We are currently investigating if we can identify additional resources from within the council to enhance this regime.

Council staff can assist by using the product to clean their desks surfaces on a daily basis. We can issue guidance to staff relating to the application of the product. 

The products are environmentally friendly and do not require any detailed COSHH assessment training for their use.

Normal daily regime – Nu Multi Kleen Cleaning & Disinfection

  • On a daily basis our normal regime across all buildings is to use a multi-purpose product which is bacteria/fungicidal based to clean/disinfect all surfaces.
  • This product stays active for up to 80 hours.

For cases of infection outbreak – Sterilisation using virucidal products

  • Examples of outbreaks including viruses are chickenpox, foot and mouth, diarrhoea.

Stage 1

  • A product called Safe Zone Plus is applied using a spray bottle to sterilise the affected areas. This product will not stay active and is effective only at time of use.
  • This product is permanently stocked within our buildings and are routinely applied by both our cleaning staff and council staff i.e. Nursery Managers in the event of an outbreak.
  • Once the outbreak is under control we will return to using our disinfecting products.

Stage 2

  • On occasions where it is deemed that a deep clean sterilisation of the entire building is required due to the type of outbreak i.e. norovirus or covid-19 virus we will apply a product called Eco Static Ultra.
  • This product is applied using electrostatic sprayers and can be used for sterilising all surfaces and equipment within the building including IT equipment. 
  • This product stays active for 48 hours and once the outbreak is under control we return to our disinfecting products.

Stage 3 – This stage will only take place on instruction from Public Health Scotland.

  • On occasions where the outbreak is persistent, numbers of cases are increasing or the outbreak has spread across a large area we will apply a product called Eco Static Control. 
  • This product is applied using electrostatic sprayers and can be used for sterilising all surfaces and equipment within the building including IT equipment.
  • Following application, this product will stay active for up to 28 days controlling any further outbreak of the virus. Once the outbreak is under control we return to using our disinfecting products.

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20th March 2020 – PPE, childcare arrangements and non essential meetings

PPE

  • A number of employees have raised queries in relation to accessing supplies for personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, aprons and face masks. The council has had a recent delivery of disposable gloves and aprons and we are awaiting delivery of fluid-resistant masks. Any service which requires urgent supplies should email hands@clacks.gov.uk or phone 2225 setting out their requirements. We will continue to update our risk assessments and reconsider/re-prioritise requirements for PPE in the coming weeks.
  • These items will be ordered centrally.  However, any orders already in the system should continue.
  • National triage arrangements are in place, with Scottish Government producing guidance for healthcare professionals   and Health Protection Scotland producing guidance for non-healthcare settings.
  • NHS have made us aware of difficulties with access to sufficient supplies (particularly in relation to access to masks) and priority is being given to ensuring that staff in a health and social care setting have all the essential PPE equipment needed. NHS have set up triage arrangements where local supply routes have been exhausted.

Childcare Arrangements

In line with the Depute First Ministers announcement which he gave on Thursday we are developing our school hub model to ensure ongoing support in terms of childcare for key workers/vulnerable groups.  More information will be issued as this is developed.

We recognise that in some cases some staff whose roles do not allow them/do not have equipment to work from home, from Monday, will be unable to report for duty because of their childcare needs. We want to assure staff that this will have no impact on pay.

For those staff who are working from home/will be able to work from home, and  from Monday, will also have child care responsibilities, our normal home working arrangements have been relaxed to allow a degree of flexibility to support both home work and requirements for childcare.  Please ensure you liaise with your line manager on what arrangements/changes to normal work hours you would propose.

We will be regularly reviewing priority tasks and other redeployment opportunities which may become available as other models of operational delivery are worked on so that staff may be asked to take on additional/different responsibilities whilst at home.

Draft Staff Guidance on Essential/Non-Essential Meetings

Scope:

  • Applies to meetings where social interaction is required
  • Applies to individual 121 interactions and group meetings

Points to consider:

  • Do you need to meet at all?
  • Consider other means of communication, eg Skype,
  • Keep the number of participants to a minimum
  • Ensure that the location is suitable in terms of space and ventilation and that cleaning protocols are observed before and after the meeting.

Assessment:

Is the meeting essential to delivering a statutory or high priority service?

Yes / No / Possibly   

Comment:

Is there a health, wellbeing , financial or contractual risk if the meeting doesn’t go ahead?

Yes / No / Possibly

Comment:          

Are there any organisational consequences, e.g. financial impact, breakdown in command and control or communications, reputational impact?

Yes / No / Possibly

Comment:        

Cleaning Arrangements

Public Health Scotland has approved the 4 key products that we are using for the purpose of cleaning/disinfecting and sterilising our buildings.

Cleaning regimes

It is our normal daily practice to clean & disinfect all hand touch surfaces within our buildings at least once per day. We are currently investigating if we can identify additional resources from within the council to enhance this regime.

Council staff can assist by using the product to clean their desks surfaces on a daily basis. We can issue guidance to staff relating to the application of the product. 

The products are environmentally friendly and do not require any detailed COSHH assessment training for their use.

Normal daily regime – Cleaning & Disinfection

  • On a daily basis our normal regime across all buildings is to use a multi-purpose product which is bacteria/fungicidal based to clean/disinfect all surfaces.
  • This product stays active for up to 80 hours 

For cases of infection outbreak – Sterilisation using virucidal products

  • Examples of outbreaks including viruses are chickenpox, foot and mouth, diarrhoea.

Stage 1

  • A product called Safe Zone Plus is applied using a spray bottle to sterilise the affected areas. This product will not stay active and is effective only at time of use.
  • This product is permanently stocked within our buildings and are routinely applied by both our cleaning staff and council staff i.e. Nursery Managers in the event of an outbreak.
  • Once the outbreak is under control we will return to using our disinfecting products.

Stage 2

  • On occasions where the outbreak is persistent, numbers of cases are increasing or the outbreak has spread across a large area we will apply a product called SafeZone Control. 
  • Following application, this product will stay active for up to 28 days controlling any further outbreak of the virus. Once the outbreak is under control we return to using our disinfecting products.

Stage 3 – This stage will only take place on  instruction from Public Health Scotland.

  • On occasions where it is deemed that a deep clean sterilisation of the entire building is required due to the type of outbreak i.e. norovirus or covid-19 virus we will apply a product called SafeZone Ultra.
  • This product is applied using electrostatic sprayers and can be used for sterilising all surfaces and equipment within the building including IT equipment. 
  • This product stays active for 48 hours and once the outbreak is under control we return to our disinfecting products.

The above Cascade Briefings are also available via .pdf document.