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Glasgow City Council

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for Glasgow City Council staff

Please read our staff communications issued to keep up to date with our plans.

The first and most important thing to say is that we can all play a role in delaying the spread of COVID-19.

Please familiarise yourself with and follow NHS Scotland.

Daily Updates

Daily updates image        

Volunteers

Catering and FM Staff-Operational Activity

Receiving your letter

  • If you work for the Homes for the Elderly - your letter will be delivered to your place of work.
  • For staff working in all other areas of Catering and FM - your letter will be posted to your home address.

 

Neighbourhoods and Sustainability

Your Mental Health and Wellbeing

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means that life is changing for all of us for a while. You may understandably feel worried, frightened or helpless about the current ever changing situation. It's important to remember that it's OK to have these feelings, and that everyone reacts differently. This situation is temporary and, for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass.

Taking care of our mental health is just as important as protecting our physical health. Especially during this difficult time, when we're having to spend more time at home - perhaps isolated from the friends, family and other relationships that we know are vital to keeping ourselves mentally healthy. It may also be harder for us do the things that normally keep us well.

The good news is that there are many simple things we can still all do to take care of our mental health and wellbeing.

On this page, you'll find links to information, resources and support available to help us look after our mental health and wellbeing as well as supporting others. Other helpful information and resources developed as the coronavirus outbreak progresses will be added to this page.

If you need help now:

  • If you are concerned that you, or someone you know is struggling, then you should seek the advice and support of your GP.
  • If you are in distress and need of immediate help and are unable to see a GP, you should visit your local A&E. Or call 999 for an ambulance if the situation may be life threatening.
  • If you need to talk to someone, you can contact our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options - any day, any time, free on: 0800 247 1100.  LGBT helpline: 0800 138 8725. BME helpline: 0800 288 4950
  • You can also call the Samaritans free on 116 123 any day or time or click here to find out other ways of getting in touch.
  • Or call Breathing Spacefor free on 0800 83 85 87, (6pm to 2am, weekdays and 24 hours at the weekends).

Resources and support

  • Our short guide Tips for staying safe and well includes key messages from the Scottish Health Minister and incorporate the proven 'Five ways to wellbeing' to help support our mental health and wellbeing.
Staying safe and wellEmotional wellbeingFinancial wellbeing
Domestic abuseSleepSocial Connections
Eating wellPhysical activityResilience
Culture and behavioursCompassionate leadershipThe role of the team

    Managers' and Staff Briefings

    Guidance on working from home

    Frequently asked questions - with answers

    Our priority will remain to continue to deliver essential services and support the most vulnerable in our city. Our employees are key to this and we will do this whilst maintaining our duty of care to you whether you  are working in essential roles, are working from home or are unable to work.

    We've developed these FAQs to bring together all of the guidance and support information which has been issued and to provide clarity to you of the approaches we are taking. They also confirm to our managers their responsibilities to make sure we deliver our duty of care to employees. We will update these FAQs as the situation progresses.

    We're all facing this ever changing, unprecedented situation together, we're confident that our employees and managers will work together, communicate with each other and use their skills and experience alongside these FAQs to do the right thing for each other and the citizens of Glasgow at this time.

    Frequently asked questions - updated 9 April 2020

     

    WORKING FROM HOME

    Q: Can I use Whats App to keep in-touch with my team?

    • You should always try and use a council device and approved apps on your device for council business, for example, council email and phone for keeping in-touch with your teams.
    • If you have no other way of keeping in-touch then we recognise that people may choose to use Whats App on their personal devices but remember you should not use this to discuss council business.

    Q: How do I arrange a conference call line for business meetings?

    • You can use your council iPhone for conference calling between 6 people - you can add up to 5 colleagues in addition to yourself. To do this simply:
      • Call a colleague - when they answer, press add call
      • Then select the person you would like to add from your phone book, or click keypad to dial the number
      • Once the person answers, click the merge call button
      • This step can then be repeated, up to 5 times. 
    • If you require a conference call line to be set up, to keep in touch with more than six colleagues, you can make a request to John Lyle Head of Corporate Governance and Head of Strategic Innovation and Technology by email at john.lyle@glasgow.gov.uk Conference lines are being prioritised to critical areas of the business first.

    Q: Can I use Zoom to make video calls with my team?

    • Our IT provider CGI has assessed the risks involved with using Zoom in the council and has recommended that this is not used by staff on any device, including your own device, for council business and keeping in-touch with colleagues and teams. This also follow the advice of the Digital Office who recently recommended that local authorities don't use of Zoom in their organisations.
    • There are potential increased security risks with the use of Zoom and other software apps including how their design may make the information stored there vulnerable or subject to cybercrime.
    • Council business should only be conducted using council devices and approved apps on these devices. It is essential that we don't expose council business, personal or sensitive information when using these software apps on our personal devices.

    Q: Is Microsoft Teams available for council meetings and sharing information with teams?

    • Teams isn't available for everyone yet due to ongoing technical issues. It's only a small pilot group of staff who are currently able to use Teams effectively. We are working with our IT provider CGI to resolve this technical problem. When this is resolved we will roll Teams out on a wider basis throughout the council. We will keep you updated in the daily staff update.

    Q: Can I use my own computer to work at home and what should I do?

    • In the first instance you should agree this way of working with your manager and then you need to check the suitability of your device following this list:
      • Be running a supported operating system such as Windows 8 or Windows 10, but not Windows 7 or Windows XP.
      • Latest version of iOS on Apple devices
      • have antivirus software installed, updated and operating
      • have a firewall installed and operating
      • The device should be password protected (or have similar protection against unauthorised access such as a fingerprint or face scanner).
    • If your computer at home does not meet these requirements, please check on Staff Updates, Working from home, on the website for links to free resources such as free anti-virus software which you may need to install.

    Q: I'm currently at home but without a council device to work from, can I come in and pick up a computer?

    • No, not unless your manager has advised you that you're an essential worker who has critical tasks to carry out at this time and an appointment has been arranged for you.

    Q: Do I still have to come into the office and network my computer once a month?

    • At this time, there is currently no requirement to come into the office to network any council device.

    Q: I am usually prompted to change my password on the network - what should I do?

    • For the immediate future you may not be asked to change your password as often as usual.

    Q: I have been advised to work from home, what does this mean?

    • This is to make sure you're able to follow the NHS Inform Guidance on Social Distancing.  
    • Your manager will already have discussed and agreed your working arrangements with you and any work you're able to do at home during this time. We have lots of guidance to support you on our COVID19 Staff Page under the Guidance on Home Working Heading, it includes how to work safely from home, display screen equipment, supporting your mental health, cyber security tips and many more, please make sure you read this information. 
    • If you're unsure what you should be doing, you should speak with your manager immediately to clarify.
    • You should also visit our section above on Mental Health and Wellbeing for our top tips on welbeing during this difficult time whilst working from home.

    Q: I have a disability with adjustments in the workplace and have been advised to work from home, what support is available?

    • Your wellbeing is the priority at this time.  You should have discussed this with your manager and agreed if you're able to work from home, how we can support you to make this happen, taking into account your individual circumstances.   If this has not happened then you should speak with them immediately to clarify. 
    • You should also read our staff guidance which provides information and support on home working.  This guidance from SCOPE Disability Charity on home working might also be of interest https://www.scope.org.uk/advice-and-support/homeworking/.  Our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options can also provide support - contact them by telephone any time, any day on 0800 247 1100 https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/4923622270961351949
    • We appreciate your circumstances may change, our aim is to support you appropriately therefore keep in regular contact with your manager, be honest with them about any issues or concerns you have, discuss and agree with them what's needed to support you.
    • You should also visit our section abve on Mental Health and Wellbeing for our top tips on welbeing during this difficult time whilst working from home.

    WORKING ARRANGEMENTS

    Q: Am I an essential worker?

    • Your manager will already have advised you if you are an essential worker. Esential workers are those who are key to continuing to deliver services during COVID19 in line with government guidelines on social distancing.
    • If you are unsure you should speak with your manager immediately to clarify.

    Q: Can I volunteer to be an essential worker?

    • Yes.  We are looking for employees to volunteer to make sure we're able to continue to deliver services in public health, social care and education.  You'll receive appropriate training to allow you to do the role and you will be paid your normal salary.  You can see full details of what's required and how to apply here.

    Q: I have been advised I'm a non-essential worker, what does this mean?

    • This means that you're not required to support delivery of our key activities and therefore you should follow government advice in relation to isolation and social distancing.  It doesn't mean that we don't need you still to be doing a job, if you're able to.
    • Your manager will already have discussed and agreed your working arrangements with you, for example home working and any work you're able to do during this time if this is possible.
    • If you're unsure what you should be doing, you should speak with your manager immediately to clarify.

    Q: I am pregnant, should I be working?

    • Your health and wellbeing is the priority at this time and you should be following NHS Inform Guidance on Social Distancing.  You should not be working unless you're able to do so from home.
    • Your manager should have discussed this with you taking into account your individual circumstances.  If this has not happened then you should speak with them immediately to clarify.

    Q: I am over 70, should I be working?

    • Your health and wellbeing is the priority at this time and you should be following NHS Inform Guidance on Social Distancing.  You should not be working unless you're able to do so from home.
    • Your manager should have discussed this with you taking into account your individual circumstances.  If this has not happened then you should speak with them immediately to clarify.

    Q: I have an underlying health condition, or I am currently undergoing diagnosis for one should I be working?

    Q: I have been advised I fall under the shielding category, should I be working?

    • Your health and wellbeing is the priority at this time. You should follow the guidance from NHS Inform on Shielding. You should not be working unless you're able to do so from home.
    • Your manager should have discussed this with you taking into account your individual circumstances.  If this has not happened then you should speak with them immediately to clarify.

    Q: I live with someone who is pregnant or over 70 or has an underlying health condition or is shielding should I attend work?

    • If you're an essential employee you should attend work.  
    • We understand this will be a concerning time for you, your manager should have discussed this with you and agreed an outcome taking into account your individual circumstances.  If this has not happened then you should speak with them immediately to clarify.

    Q: I am an essential worker and have dependants relying on me at home, should I be working?

    • You should speak with your manager regarding your circumstances and identify how, and if we can support you to allow you to attend work.
    • If you're an essential worker with children and nobody to look after them then your local authority in line with Scottish Government guidance will be providing provision for your children during this time you should check with them about how they can support you.

    Q: I am a non-essential worker and have dependants relying on me at home, should I be working?

    • We appreciate your responsibilities to your dependants and it's important that you're able to support them as you need to. We have agreed that employees will be able to use 5 days paid special leave during COVID19 to help them make arrangements for childcare etc.
    • Your manager will already have discussed and agreed your working arrangements with you, for example home working and any work you're able to do during this time if this is possible.
    • If you're unsure what you should be doing or your position changes, you should speak with your manager immediately.

    PAY AND CONTRACTS

    You can see full details of our commitment to paying staff during COVID-19 in our briefing here issued on 30 March 2020pdf icon 29 April 2020 - Staff Briefing : Key commitment to our workforce during Covid:19 - Pay [310kb], which is summarised in the questions below.

    Q: Will I be paid during COVID19?

    • Yes, we aim to continue to pay employees in line with their contractual arrangements on the normal pay dates. This includes payments for contractual overtime, non-standard working pattern and work context and demand payments.

    Q: I'm working during COVID19, will I get paid for additional hours?

    • Yes, for employees working additional hours pay will remain in line with contractual arrangements. Should you have any queries you should speak with your manager.

    Q: I'm a part time worker who regularly works additional hours due to service requirements, will I get paid for any additional hours during this time?

    • It was recognised that there is a small number of part time workers in certain areas of the business who regularly and consistently work additional fixed hours that are not within their contractual hours. Employees in this group have been identified and agreement has been reached that they will receive a relevant number of additional hours pay on a 4 weekly basis. This will be linked to the regular additional hours they have worked over a set period. Where appropriate, Services will communicate at a local level these specific arrangements - mainly across areas within Catering and FM and Glasgow Life.

    Q: I'm a full time worker who works non-contractual overtime will I get paid for any element of this during COVID19?

    • No we will only pay overtime for hours which have been worked.

    Q:  I am currently receiving a responsibility / additional contribution zone payment will this continue?

    • If you are continuing to do this work then this payment will continue in line with what has been agreed.  Your manager should clarify the position with you, if you are unsure you should speak with them to clarify. 

    Q: I am a bank/casual/sessional worker, what will I get paid during this time?

    • You'll receive an average wage based on your earnings during January and March 2020.

    Q: I am an agency worker, what will I get paid during this time?

    • Agency workers are not employees of the council. However, we have committed to also safeguarding continuity of their earnings. We have confirmed with the relevant staffing agencies that we have extended the opportunity for agency workers to receive an average wage, based on their earnings between January and March 2020, in line with the same commitments we have made to our casual employees. Some of the staffing agencies are also considering furloughing their employees - where this is the case, staffing agencies will contact these staff directly.

    Q: I have a deduction coming off my salary for purchased annual leave, can I cancel this?

    • No, our focus from a payroll perspective at this time is to continue to pay employees their core pay.  We may review this position post COVID19.

    Q: I have a deduction coming off my salary for childcare vouchers, can I cancel this?

    • You can manage the amount you're sacrificing from your salary or cancel your vouchers through your online account at www.kiddivouchers.co.uk this would be processed in your next pay, full details will be advised through your Kiddivoucher account.  Due to Government changes in Childcare Vouchers Rules if you cancel your account you will not be able to start it again, if you will continue to need your vouchers after COVID19 you should reduce the amount you sacrifice and not cancel your account. 

    Q: Will the 2020/2021 pay increase be applied?

    Q: I have a query on my pay, what should I do?

    • Our priority is to make sure all employees receive their core pay.  We are asking employees only to raise pay queries where they are really needed.  If your query relates to overtime payments then this will be rectified in your next pay.  Please see our guidance on the steps you should take if you feel you have a pay query.

    Q: I am on a temporary or fixed term contract how will I be impacted?

    • Generally we have extended these arrangements until the end of June.  Your manager will discuss your position with you in due course, if you have any concerns then please raise these with your manager.

    MAXIMISING ATTENDANCE AND SICK PAY PROVISIONS

    You can see full details of our approach in our Guidance to Maximising Attendance and Sick Pay during COVID19 pdf icon Guidance on Maximising Attendance and Sickness Policy [213kb] which is summarised in the questions below.

    Q: Am I able to get tested for COVID-19?

    • The government has expanded Covid-19 testing to include testing for additional workers and their families who have symptoms of Covid-19, to keep essential services running in Scotland.  The attached staff briefing should be followed, which provides key information on who, when and how staff can be tested.  It also outlines the internal support routes to help staff get tested and provides answers to some frequently asked questions.

    Q: I have contracted COVID19, will I get sick pay?

    • Yes, the priority is your wellbeing and you will receive your full contractual pay.  We will not count any COVID19 related absence as part of our absence management procedures or towards full or half sick pay entitlements.  You should keep in contact with your manager to update them on your situation.

    Q: I am self-isolating, will I get sick pay?

    • Yes, the priority is your wellbeing and you will receive your full contractual pay.  We will not count any COVID19 related absence as part of our absence management procedures or towards full or half sick pay entitlements.  You should keep in contact with your manager to update them on your situation.

    Q:I have been self-isolating and due to return to work, what should I do?

    • You should advise your manager that you're now fit to return to work, they'll want to ensure you're ok to return and update you on the situation for your area.  If you're an essential worker you'll normally return to your normal work location, if there's any change to this then your manager will discuss this with you.  If you're a non-essential worker then you should discuss and agree your working arrangements with your manager.

    Q: I am due to return to work after a period of illness (COVID19 or other illness), what should I do?

    • You should advise your manager that you're now fit to return to work, they'll want to make sure you're ok to return and update you on the situation for you area.  If you're an essential worker you'll normally return to your normal work location, if there's any change to this then your manager will discuss this with you.  If you're a non-essential worker then you should discuss and agree your working arrangements with your manager.

    Q: I am absent due to illness which isn't COVID19 related, how will this be handled?

    • Our normal maximising attendance and sick leave provisions will apply in these circumstances for both new non COVID19 absences and absences which started before COVID19.

    ANNUAL LEAVE PROVISIONS

    You can see full details of our approach in our Guidance on Annual Leave Provisions during COVID19 pdf icon Guidance on Annual Leave provisions during Covid-19 [131kb] which is summarised in the questions below.

    Q: I have leave booked which was approved before COVID19, does this still stand?

    • Yes. It's important that all employees take approved leave to ensure their own health and wellbeing and our focus is on making this happen.  In the rare circumstance that we need you to cancel or amend your leave then your manager will discuss this with you.  We are currently finalising our guidance on leave provisions during COVID19 and will update on this soon.  

     Q: Am I able to make leave requests during this time?

    • Yes.  You should agree this with you manager in the normal way, our guidance on leave provisions during COVID19 explains our approach at this time.  We are currently finalising our guidance on leave provisions during COVID19 and will update on this soon.

    DISCIPLINARY AND APPEALS PROCEDURES

    Q: Are the disciplinary procedures still valid during this time?

    • Disciplinary action is always a last resort for us.  Our procedures are designed to make sure that we treat every employee in a fair and consistent way and allow us to deal with unsatisfactory standards of performance and behaviour.  Our procedure will still be valid during this time, we are unlikely however to be able to meet any recommended timescales at this time but will do all that we can as quickly as we can to bring things to a conclusion.  You should speak with your manager or your trade union representative should you have any concerns. 

    Q: I am involved in an ongoing disciplinary case which started before COVID19, what will happen with this?

    • Unfortunately progression of this may be delayed.  Dependent upon the stage of the procedure the investigating, disciplinary or appeal hearing officer should already have been in touch with you to provide an update.  You should speak with them or your trade union representative if this has not happened.

    OTHER

    Q: Will things change for me as the pandemic progresses?

    • This is an unprecedented and unknown situation, we aim to keep employees fully informed of the overall picture for the organisation and how and if this will impact you as things progress. Your manager will maintain regular contact with you, if you have any concerns you should speak with your manager

    Q: I'm struggling to keep my kids busy and trying to keep them up to speed with school work. Is there any help?

    • A selection of education experts across subjects are working in partnership with the Glasgow Times to offer advice and help to our families with home learning hints and tips. These are being published in the paper twice a week while the schools are closed - this is to complement the learning packs that were sent home with pupils and the ongoing support our school staff are maintaining directly with their pupils.
    • The features will run on a Wednesday and a Friday and will cover: literacy and numeracy, STEM, English as and additional language, PE and active sports, music and creative skills, early learning and advice from educational psychologists.

    Q:  I am worried about this situation, where can I get support?

    • It's an unknown time for everyone and it's understandable that you're worried.  You should speak with your manager or trade union representative about any concerns you have. 
    • You and your family members can also access our Employee Assistance Provider Workplace Options by telephone any time, any day on 0800 247 1100 or watch their a webinar - Keep calm and carry on-maintaining your composure during the coronavirus outbreak at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/4923622270961351949

    Q: Are council committee meetings still taking place?

    • In response to Government advice to stop non-essential contact with others,the Council's Emergency Committee met in March to agree temporary changes to the council's decision-making arrangements to reduce the number of face-to-face interactions required to continue the Council's daily business.
    • The committee agreed:
      • with the exception of the City Administration Committee (CAC), which will only meet as required, all committee meetings are cancelled until further notice. This includes meetings of the council together with Community Planning structures.
      • that the membership of CAC be reduced.
      • that, in consultation with the relevant City Convenor and in certain circumstances, a number of decision making powers are delegated to senior officers.
      • any proposed action that would either be contrary to council policy, or for any other reason would require political approval, will be referred to CAC for a decision.
      • These temporary arrangements will be kept under review and may be adjusted or revoked by CAC at any time.
      • These arrangements do not apply to the Licensing Board - separate arrangements are under consideration.
      • You can read the committee paper agreeing these changes at http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/councillorsandcommittees/Agenda.asp?meetingid=17317

     

    Further information

     

     

     

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