The Scottish Government is still on track to lift all restrictions by 9th August 2021. Whilst this will allow us much greater freedoms in our personal and social lives, as a responsible employer North Lanarkshire Council are keen to continue with some restrictions to keep all our staff safe and avoid workplace transmission of COVID-19, in the short term.
In discussions with the Senior Management team and trade union colleagues, it has been agreed that despite changes indicated by Scottish Government, NLC will instigate very few changes to the ways we are currently working, for the majority of our services, for at least the next three months.
For you as managers, it is important that you continue to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your staff. This means communicating regularly with them to avoid confusion – measures currently in place to protect them will continue – despite changes coming from the Scottish Government.
You must be clear and consistent in your messages to staff and point them to myNL for more information. See below for more detail on what this means for different categories of staff:
Home Based and Agile-Home Based staff
This means for those working from home, this will remain the default. If a staff member does need to return to an office for a wellbeing or work based reason, they should discuss this with their line manager in the first instance.
Agreement to return them to an office should be by exception and in line with an appropriate risk assessment. You should limit their attendance in an office to the minimum possible.
Space in offices should be booked via the workspace booking app which can be found here.
Agile-Site based and Static-Site Based staff
For those working across our frontline services, additional measures including the wearing of face coverings, 2 metre physical distancing and appropriate PPE will continue to be in place in line with risk assessments.
In some services where interactions with the public are a frequent occurrence, this will prove challenging as they will be aware of the lifting of restrictions and may wonder why our employees are not doing the same.
Managers may have to take extra care to handle these situations, ensuring our staff are supported to politely explain that these extra precautions are to keep us and the public safe while still delivery on the services we have committed to provide. Staff should be offered appropriate support in these situations to ensure they are confident in their delivery of the information and supported with any difficulties that may arise.
It is recognised that there are some exceptions to our plans especially for services where the easing of restrictions will increase service availability and require staff to respond to this. Services in this category will be in regular contact with local trade union representatives to ensure all relevant mitigating measures are in place and risk assessments kept under review.