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Temporary deployment of staff due to COVID-19

If you have been identified as being unable to carry out your normal role or are working in a non critical role, we may ask you to temporarily move roles (be temporarily deployed) so that we can continue to provide critical services to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note: the Trade Unions have been consulted and understand that we are introducing this to make sure we can continue to provide all of our critical services. There will be an ongoing consultation throughout this period.

About temporary deployment

What is temporary deployment?

Temporary deployment is where you are moved to another role to make sure critical services can still be delivered. The job role will be one which you are appropriately qualified, skilled and will be trained to carry out.

The period of temporary deployment could last from a few weeks to a few months, and will depend entirely on both the COVID-19 pandemic and on the availability of regular staff members (who may not be available due to self isolation for example).

During temporary deployment, you may be moved to:

  • a different location
  • alternative duties at home or at a different location
  • a different job but one you are fully skilled or will be fully trained to do
  • take on extra hours of work if you are a part time, supply or casual worker
Who are we asking to move roles?

If you work in a role where the pressure has been reduced on your service you may be asked to temporarily change roles to help us continue to provide critical services.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should work from home where possible. This will be considered when we match your suitability and skills to job roles.

If you are on the redeployment register you can still be asked to move. You can continue to apply for other roles during the temporary move. At the end of your temporary deployment you will return to the redeployment register if there is still time left on your original contract. If your original contract expires while you are on temporary deployment, the temporary deployment role will come to an end and unfortunately you will leave the council if you have been unable to secure another role.

Why are we asking you to change roles?

The challenging and changing times of COVID-19 has meant that pressure has increased on our essential services but reduced in others with the closure of some of our venues for example.

What is the process for moving roles

Step 1 - Fill in the survey

We may ask you to complete a skills survey or your manager may discuss your skills with you. This will identify the type of work that you could support the delivery of, so that critical services receive the extra support they need.

Fill in the skills survey

Step 2 - Finding you a new role

How will we decide where to move you to?

Our decisions will take into account a number of factors to make sure we are placing you in a suitable position. We will consider your:

  • skills
  • availability
  • location preferences

Before any proposed move your line manager will discuss any concerns and answer any questions you may have. They will also help to identify any training, support or equipment you may need to help in your new role.

What happens once a possible role has been found?

Once a potential move has been identified you will have a discussion with your line manager and/or our central coordination team about the proposed move. During this discussion your manager will complete the below temporary deployment form, discussing and detailing the:

  • reasons for the proposed move
  • duration of the new role, if known
  • the type of work and duties you'll be expected to do
  • what extra checks, training and equipment is required
  • the impact of the proposed change on:
    • working hours, shift patterns, pay and reporting manager
    • travel and the right to claim for excess travel expenses
    • any caring responsibilities
    • any restrictions due to visas, right to work and professional organisation conditions
    • health and wellbeing
    • any extra health and safety risk assessments
    • any booked annual leave
  • concerns you have
  • process for documenting the move and reporting sickness
  • changes to your working hours and pay

If you agree that the role is suitable, you'll need to add your name to the form your manager has completed. Your manager will send the completed form by email to the HR helpdesk.

If you don't agree your manager will continue to discuss alternative deployment options with you.

Temporary deployment discussion form

How will any concerns I have about the proposed move be resolved?

You need to agree to the proposed change. If you have any concerns you should speak to your line manager and discuss your options. Once you have reached an agreement, you will be supported.

During the temporary move you will be supported by your line manager and your new, temporary manager.

Can I refuse to move to a different role or undertake different tasks?

We trust our staff to be supportive by being flexible during this unprecedented time. You will be provided with the right support, training and equipment to enable you to carry out your new role safely and confidently.

If you do refuse to move to a different role despite attempts to resolve your concerns with your line manager, further advice will be provided to your manager by HR.

All cases will be reviewed on an individual basis, recognising the difficult time we are in.

How much will I be paid?

Same or lower graded role

If the role you are carrying out is the same grade or less you will receive your current level of pay. Where you are required to work less hours in your new role you will still be paid your full contractual hours.

Higher graded role

If you are asked to move to a higher graded role you will be paid the higher rate for the duration of the temporary role. If you are asked to work less hours than in your current role you will be paid the higher rate for the hours you work and the remaining hours will be paid at your normal contractual rate.

What will happen to my current role?

The contract for your current role will remain and the temporary move will not impact on your existing terms and conditions, continuous employment or employment rights.

Can I still take my pre-agreed annual leave?

Yes, but as a critical worker you may be asked to consider cancelling this to help support the continued delivery of service. This will be discussed with your new line manager before the proposed move. If you agree to cancel the leave you will not lose any of your leave entitlement.

Step 3 - Planning your move

When will I have to change roles?

This will be different for everyone who is identified as suitable to be moved temporarily and will be determined by the needs of critical service areas.

How much notice will I get before the move?

You will receive as much notice as possible but there is no minimum notice period as any move is determined by the needs of a service. Your manager will make sure that you are given appropriate time for any extra arrangements to be made such as:

  • training requirements
  • caring responsibilities
  • travel arrangements
  • personal circumstances
How long will I be in my new role?

There is no set length of time you will be deployed for. Some roles will be for a very short period but others could be for the duration of the COVID-19 situation.

Your temporary move will only be for as long as is necessary for the delivery of the critical service and will be reviewed on a regular basis.

When will I receive a named service area contact for my new role?

You will be provided with a named contact to report to before you start. You will report to them on your first day and throughout your time in your new role.

Step 4 - Preparing for your move

Will I receive training for my new role?

You will receive appropriate training which will be identified and provided by the service area you move to. This will be discussed with you before the move.

I have been away from the workplace for a long time. How will I be supported?

Your manager and/or our central coordination team will discuss any extra support that you require during the initial meeting about any proposed move.

Can I get help and support to maintain or improve my mental health?

Yes, during your initial meeting with your line manager and/or central coordination team, you will discuss your health and wellbeing. Any existing or new reasonable adjustments you may require to carry out the new role will be considered and implemented, where required.

Our health and wellbeing page provides useful tips and resources for your mental and physical wellbeing.

Will I need to wear a different uniform for my temporary role?

You may need to wear a specific uniform or personal protective equipment (PPE). This will be communicated to you and be provided by your new manager.

You should wear your ID badge at all times.

Working in your new role

Can I claim travel expenses?

Yes, in line with our travel and subsistence policy you can claim the extra cost where the distance from home to your new work base is greater than your usual commute. You should record and claim these expenses in the usual way. This process will be confirmed by your manager.

How do I report sickness?

You need to inform your new manager in line with the usual reporting procedure.

Raising concerns and issues

I don't think the temporary deployment is working. What can I do?

You should talk to your new manager about any issues or concerns you have. If you feel that this has not resolved your concerns you should speak to your usual line manager who will take advice from HR, if required.

I am concerned about a practice or behaviour in my new area of work. How can I report this?

You should raise your concern with your new manager. If you are not satisfied with the response and continue to have concerns, you should speak to your usual line manager.

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