Coronavirus (COVID-19) Employees

Information and Guidance for Employees

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a global pandemic and having a huge impact on all of us.  The UKF Government and Scottish Government continue to review the position with NHS public health advisers and to review the guidance that is being issued to all of us.  It is significantly changing our working and home lives.

This page sets out the guidance and information that is available to employees and we will add to it as new information comes available.

Reporting when coronavirus (COVID-19) is preventing you from working

It is important that we continue to record absences and understand the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on our workforce.

As we have moved to emergency service provision for our frontline services and as so many of you are also working from home, it is really important that employees continue to report to us if: they become symptomatic; someone in their household is symptomatic; or, where they are higher risk due to being over 70 years old, are pregnant or have underlying health condition in accordance with the guidance.

You do not need to contact us if you have already reported your circumstances however, if any of the circumstances above now apply to you, here is what you need to do:

 

You must inform your line manager immediately by phone

AND

You must then contact Anne Marie Cunningham, Team Leader – HR Operations on 0141 574 5535or annemarie_cunningham@eastdunbarton.gov.uk
If you are unable to reach Anne Marie Cunningham, the point for escalation is Leeanne Galasso, HR & OD Manager, immediately on 6018121 or externally on 0141 578 8121 or by mobile on 07825 753 813. 

This applies 7 days a week, Monday to Sunday.

 

Up to date health guidance in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19), including the latest stay at home advice for managing and controlling the spread of the infection for you and your household, can be found on the NHS website: www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus 

COVID-19 Pay and Recording Guidelines

As such, we have considered the impact of this on the workforce in relation to the governance arrangements for recording and payment and have developed these COVID-19 Recording & Pay Guidelines, detailed below:

Covid-19 Pay & Recording Guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We will also add to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as these arise, and if you have any questions not yet covered, please raise them through your line manager and we will arrange to add these and the responses to them too.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Frequently Asked Questions

Support for Employees

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the actions being implemented to manage its spread impact on us all, and we are particularly aware of the wellbeing of our employees at this challenging time. Whether delivering frontline services or having to work from home, all employees and line managers should be in regular contact, particularly if now working remotely or if working patterns have changed.

Covid-19 Guidance for Employees

These two documents provide guidance for Care at Home staff and for those required to make Home Visits, particularly in relation to the correct PPE required.

The guidance includes the following two helpful videos, which may be of interest and support to the wider workforce:

 

Employee Assistance Programme

The Council’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), Time for Talking, remains available to all employees and the service offers:

  • A 24 hour helpline for one-to-one support/advice which can be accessed whenever you need it
  • Telephone Counselling
  • Website – with a variety of tools and resources including podcasts to help employees self-manage life’s challenges, including information on psychological, emotional, personal and physical wellbeing
  • Secure online chat application, allowing 24/7 real-time access to a counsellor

The EAP can be accessed by all East Dunbartonshire Council Employees as follows:

Tel: 0800 970 3980
Website: https://www.timefortalking.co.uk/
Password for live chat: TfTnow – please note the password is case sensitive.

    Appeal for Employee Volunteers

    In these challenging times, there is a need to ensure that we have contingency measures in place for a potential significant reduction in our frontline Homecare workforce in the coming weeks and increases in community support needed as a result of the increasing impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is a consideration for services across health and social care.

    Can you help?

    Now that we have moved to emergency frontline service delivery only, as detailed in Employee News 21 (issued Monday 23 March), we are making an appeal for any of our workforce, who have a PVG disclosure check in place and who might be available and prepared to support the delivery of our Homecare services to our community in the coming weeks. 

    What is required?

    • You should be willing to carry out Homecare visits to our residents who are in receipt of this service
    • You cannot volunteer if you are required to deliver any critical services still in place in your normal service area
    • You must have a current PVG disclosure check in place
    • It is anticipated that service from volunteers might be needed for six to seven weeks, during the period that coronavirus (COVID-19) spread is anticipated to be at its peak
    • You should advise your line manager that you wish to volunteer
    • You will need to undertake a 2 day training programme, which will cover the following areas:
      • Personal care – basics 1 day face to face group training.
      • Moving & Handling – basic ½ day face to face group training.
      • Infection control – basic 1 hour face to face group training.
      • Medication protocols – basic 1 hour face to face group training.
      • Food hygiene – basic 2 to 3 hours online (6 modules)

    Who to Contact

    Anyone who is interested in volunteering for this critical response role to support our local delivery requirements, particularly as the coronavirus outbreak escalates in the coming weeks, should contact:

    Caroline Smith, HR Business Partner on 07917 638789 or caroline.smith@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

    If Caroline is unavailable you can contact Lisa McGregor, Team Leader – Organisational Development on 0141 777 3311 Ext. 3429 or lisa.macgregor@eastdunbarton.gov.uk.

    What happens next?

    Volunteers will be contacted to discuss their availability and to arrange the 2 day training programme.  Once volunteers have been trained, a deployment plan will be put in place ready for when anticipated additional support is required.  Full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will of course be provided in line with the requirements of the role.

    NHS Public Health Guidance

    It is important to stress that the only guidance and advice that should be followed in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19) is from the NHS.  There is a dedicated coronavirus section on the NHS Inform website, which is updated on a daily basis www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus.

    There is specific information on the site in relation to:

    What to do if you develop symptoms
    https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poiso...(link is external)

    Stay at home and self-isolation guidance:
    https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poiso...(link is external)

    Social distancing and preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)
    https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poiso...(link is external)

    Council Service Updates

    The latest information in relation to Council Services has been published on a dedicated COVID-19 page on the Council website, which can be reached from the link on the homepage and will be updated on a regular basis: https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19

    There are specific service updates available, with guidance for residents linked to that page, including:

    Covid-19 Schools Update:
    https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/covid-19-school-update
    Covid-19 Waste Update:
    https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/covid-19-waste
    Covid-19 Food vouchers
    https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/covid-19-foodvouchers
    Covid-19 Parks & Allotment Update:
    https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/covid-19-parkallotments
    Covid-19 Early Years Update
    https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/covid-19-earlyyears
    Covid-19 Shielding
    https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/covid-19-shielding

    COVID-19 Annual Leave Principles and Guidelines -EFFECTIVE FROM APRIL 2020 

    1.    SCOPE (EMPLOYEES) 

    1.1.    These guidelines and its full content applies to all employees of East Dunbartonshire governed by Chief Officers, Local Government Workers and Teaching Employees. 

    2.    SCOPE

    2.1.    COVID-19 has been determined by the World Health Organisation as a pandemic and in responding to it, the Council’s approach to service delivery is based on Scottish and UK Government guidance and Public Health Scotland Guidance. 

    2.2.    The principles of Annual Leave including working over the Easter Break are included within the scope of these arrangements.

    3.    REQUESTING ANNUAL LEAVE 

    3.1.    Employees can continue to request Annual Leave throughout the current arrangements, subject to emergency (life or limb) and essential service delivery needs, which may vary service to service, depending on the nature of the activities performed and the emergency or essential services required. 

    3.2.    Wherever possible, we should continue to comply with the requirements of the Working Time Directive to ensure that employees have sufficient rest and break periods, including holidays.

    3.3.    If you work in a non-emergency/essential service, you should continue to request annual leave in the normal manner.

    3.4.    Employees in emergency frontline services or those services which have been deemed as essential, should discuss any request with their line manager in advance of making requests. Where possible, subject to available resources to deliver the emergency or essential service, leave requests will be granted

    4.    PRE BOOKED ANNUAL LEAVE 

    4.1.    Where employees have pre booked annual leave, particularly during the Easter holiday period, they should continue to take the annual leave, subject to the service delivery needs of emergency and essential services. 

    4.2.    If you work in a non-emergency/essential service, and you have pre-booked annual leave, particularly over the Easter break, you should continue to take it. It will not be possible for all pre-booked annual leave to be cancelled.

    4.3.    Employees delivering emergency or essential services should discuss any pre-booked annual leave with their line manager. Depending on available resources and service needs, your line manager may ask that you postpone your pre-booked holidays to support the delivery of the service.  Any request like this would be subject to your agreement. 

    5.    TERM TIME EMPLOYEES COVERING PERIODS OF LEAVE 

    5.1.    Employees who are employed on a term time contract and who are delivering or supporting the delivery of emergency/essential services, may be asked by their line manager if they would be willing to work during the Easter break. Any request like this would be subject to your agreement.

    5.2.    Term time employees who agree to work during the Easter holiday period to deliver or support emergency/essential services, will be paid in accordance with existing terms and conditions.

    5.3.    Managers should ensure that all hours worked by their term time employees during the term time break periods (including the Easter holiday period) are recorded and processed in accordance with current pay and recording guidelines (issued week ending 27 March 2020), to ensure timely payment.

    5.4.    Term time employees in non-emergency/essential services will continue to take their term time break. 

    6.    EASTER PUBLIC HOLIDAY WORKING 

    6.1.    Where employees are working on either or both of the 2 Easter public holidays (Good Friday, 10 April and/or Easter Monday, 13 April 2020), their normal terms and conditions will apply and payment and/or leave arrangements will be made in accordance with their contract.

    6.2.    Employees who are not normally required to work on these public holidays, but who agree to do so, will receive the appropriate enhancement, in accordance with existing terms and conditions.

    6.3.    Managers should ensure that all hours worked by employees who are not contracted to work public holidays, are recorded and processed in accordance with current pay and recording guidelines (issued week ending 27 March 2020), to ensure timely payment.

    7.    RECORDING 

    7.1.    Recording of annual leave on iTrent should continue in accordance with normal arrangements and approval processes. 

    8.    CHANGES TO THE ANNUAL LEAVE YEAR

    As it is unknown at this time how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last and therefore how long Council will continue with its current service delivery restrictions and working arrangements, consideration will be given over the comings months whether any changes need to be made to the annual leave year.

    Further information relating to any necessary changes to the annual leave year will be released when the position, informed by Government and Public Health Scotland advice, is clearer.

    In the meantime, the principles and governance for annual leave arrangements defined in this document should be applied until further notice.