Agenda item


For noting


The Corporate Director of Strategy and Resources introduced the report. As the Committee had time to read the update prior to the meeting the Strategic HR Lead for Health, Safety and Wellbeing would go over the key highlights of the measures the Council had taken to support the safety and wellbeing of staff for the Committee.


The Strategic HR Lead for Health, Safety and Wellbeing updated the Committee on the ongoing support for staff working from home. This support aided staff in setting up a workspace at home through the provision of guidance, health and safety assessments, and equipment. Additional support was being provided to support colleague’s mental health including tea and talk sessions, regular manager check ins, and the mental health first aiders. 


The Covid secure measures continued to be in place within all Council buildings. The measures were reviewed every two to three weeks to ensure they continued to be effective. Everyone moving around Council buildings were required to where face coverings to reduce the likelihood of infection, which had been complied with by all staff since its introduction.  Rapid testing had been in place since January to support frontline staff and other cohorts to take weekly tests and was working well.


The Health and Safety team had been working with colleagues in education services to support schools prepare to reopen. The support included guidance around completion of risk assessments and updates on the latest Covid guidance. The team had supported regular lateral flow testing within schools for pupils and staff through head teacher’s forum, which they attended alongside colleagues from Public Health.


The Council were to hold elections in May and the team had been working with elections staff to ensure that they would be able to go ahead safely. Finally, the Committee were informed of the continued health and wellbeing support to aid staff throughout the pandemic including Health and Wellbeing Week.


Following the update Councillor Thompson asked whether mobile polling stations would still be able to be used during the elections.  The Strategic HR Lead for Health, Safety, and Wellbeing responded that all types of polling station would be able to operate in a Covid safe way including mobile polling stations.


Councillor Boyes asked whether there had been any guidance on socially distancing for candidates and agents at the count for the election. The Strategic HR Lead for Health, Safety, and Wellbeing responded that information was being provided by the Electoral Commission for how to deliver each aspect of the elections. Where guidance was not supplied the Council were applying the same approach that they had taken to making other areas Covid secure.


Councillor Acton asked whether workforce plans had been developed for when the lockdown came to an end.  The Corporate Director of Strategy and Resources responded that the Council had been working on the workforce integration plans throughout the pandemic. The Council were taking a cautious approach in allowing people to move back into office working. The first cohort to go back into offices would be those whose roles benefitted from working in the office. The first phase would see no more than 20% occupancy in Council buildings and would only progress to the next phase when it was safe to do so.

The Council were also planning that the workforce would not go back to working in the same way as they were prior to the pandemic. A number of advantages around flexible working had been identified during the pandemic and the Council would adjust their policies and procedures to ensure those advantages remained.


Councillor Acton asked for a report to be provided to the Committee detailing the Council’s plans for the workforce. The Corporate Director of Strategy and Resources responded that they would be able to share the Council’s workforce reintegration plans with the Committees and offered to meet with Councillor Acton to discuss the Council’s plans.



1)    That the report be noted.

2)    That a report on the Council’s reintegration plans be brought to the Committee.

3)    That the Corporate Director of Strategy and Resources arrange a meeting with Councillor Acton.

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