Further to the Council’s email communication of the 17th March 2020, following the most recent UK Govt and WG updates, the Council’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) wishes to update you further in respect of all staffing matters

1. Staff Deemed Essential to Key Service Provision

SLT via its service areas are currently in the process of identifying all essential staff deemed to be key in keeping services running. As part of that review, the Council is also continuing to identify those staff that are aged 70 plus or suffer with an underlying medical condition as well as those staff that either have children who attend our schools or live with a person who is either aged 70 plus, pregnant or suffers with an underlying medical condition. In respect of these areas we will have:

i) Staff who are currently or can be homeworking enabled and these homeworking arrangements should allow staff to continue with supporting key services whilst still having the ability to undertake a caring responsibility or to manage their own personal situation.

ii)  Staff who cannot be homeworking enabled, are not aged 70 plus or suffer with an underlying medical condition but will require child care support to allow them to undertake their key role. In respect of this staff group, the Council is currently working to ensure that sufficient childcare can be provided to allow these key workers to attend work.

iii)  Staff who cannot be homeworking enabled, are not aged 70 plus or suffer with an underlying medical condition but need to avoid work as they live with a person who is either aged 70 plus, pregnant or suffers with an underlying medical condition. These staff are to remain at home to provide caring support.

iv)  Staff who cannot be homeworking enabled but are either aged 70 plus or suffer with an underlying medical condition. These staff are to remain at home.

2. Pregnant Employees

All pregnant staff should refrain from attending work. For those staff that can, homeworking arrangements have either been actioned or will shortly be actioned.

3. Staff employed within Non-Essential Services

As part of the review of staffing across our service areas, SLT is also identifying those staff who would be deemed non-essential to key service delivery. Again it is appreciated that within this category, we will have staff themselves that are either aged 70 plus or suffer with an underlying medical condition or live with a person who is either aged 70 plus, pregnant or suffers with an underlying medical condition or indeed a mixture of both. In respect of this group then we will have:

i) Staff who are currently or can be homeworking enabled and these homeworking arrangements should allow staff to continue with supporting services whilst still having the ability to undertake childcare responsibilities or to care for those aged 70 plus, who are pregnant or are suffering with an underlying medical condition. For those staff who do not have any childcare or caring responsibilities, then it is likely that they may be called upon to undertake work across Rhondda Cynon Taf to support services and the wider community. If this is required, staff will be contacted by the Council and advised where they will be working.

ii)  Staff who cannot be homeworking enabled but need to avoid work as they live with a person who is either aged 70 plus, pregnant or suffers with an underlying medical condition. These staff are to remain at home to provide caring support.

iii) Staff who cannot be homeworking enabled but are either aged 70 plus or suffer with an underlying medical condition. These staff are to remain at home.

iv) Staff who cannot be homeworking enabled but are neither aged 70 plus or suffer with an underlying medical condition or have a responsibility for a person who is either aged 70 plus, pregnant or suffers with an underlying medical condition. These staff are initially to remain at home but maybe called upon to undertake work across Rhondda Cynon Taf to support services and the wider community. If this is required, staff will be contacted by the Council and advised where they will be working.

4. Payments to Staff

In respect of all of the arrangements above, staff will continue to receive their normal payment. For those part time staff that regularly work additional hours, then they will be paid average pay during this period and not their contract hours. In respect of those staff employed on term-time contracts, if you are required to help out at work during the already published school holiday periods, you will receive additional payments to compensate you for working.

5. Absence Reporting and Self Isolation

As previously reported, staff who develop symptoms of Covid-19 or are living in a household were a member of the household develops symptoms then they must self-isolate for a period of 14 days. For those staff that live alone, this isolation period lasts for 7 days. When this occurs, staff regardless of which category they fall into above must report that self-isolation to their manager who will record it on the Council’s Vision system

6. Flexi-time, TOIL accrual and Fixed Hours Working

Due to this unique situation, SLT has also determined that the current Flexi-time scheme, TOIL accrual and any fixed hours working arrangements will be temporarily suspended. During this time staff will have the freedom to organise their hours of work against their contractual hours which again should assist with any childcare or caring responsibilities. Staff should be aware though that if called upon to assist with key service delivery, then they hours of work will be directed by senior staff. This could relate to homeworking or physical attendance at a workplace. In respect of any current Flexi-time/ Flexi day or TOIL accrual then these times and days will be banked and reinstated once the Council’s operations return to normal.

7. Leave

Whilst it is highly unlikely, there may be occasions where staff have either already booked or will book short break and determine to go on that break. Where staff do decide to go on that break then they are required to utilise their own leave.

8. Homeworking Update

As referenced in the 17th March update, ICT colleagues are continuing with the process of making staff homeworking enabled and they hope to complete this process as soon as is reasonably practical.  Those agile enabled staff who have worked from home during Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are now encouraged to continue to work from home subject to the needs of the service.

9. Agency Staff

As previously stated agency staff that have been continuously employed for 3 months or more should be treated in the same way as temporary or permanent staff and will continue to be paid. Agency staff will though be redeployed wherever practical to provide support to key services.

The Council is fully aware that the forthcoming period will be extremely disruptive to your personal household and your family and as your employer we will be as flexible as we can to support you through this difficult time.  We know that we can rely on you, as much valued colleagues, to support the Council and our communities in the coming months.

As the situation around Covid-19 is continuing to change at an extremely fast pace, further updates will be provided as an when new information comes to light.

 

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