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Guidance for group and service managers

We acknowledge that some of your staff have been working in the office throughout the pandemic, but it has now been agreed that, from February 2022, on a managed approach to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, more staff can start returning to the office on a service by service basis.

Returning more staff to the office

Before you can return more of your staff to the workplace, you need to follow the steps outlined below. You and your head of service can complete steps 1 to 3 in preparation and steps 4 and the individual risk assessment, where required, when the return is approaching.

Step 1 - Team protocols

To make sure your team knows what has been agreed for your area and how they are expected to work, you must complete a blended working team protocol. This can be tailored to fit your individual team allowing for flexibility.

When completing the team protocol document you should refer to the blended working policy and safe systems of work for offices and meeting rooms. You are also advised to consider the points in the managers checklist, and although it isn't a mandatory requirement, you may want to complete this too.

Blended working team protocol

Blended working policy

Safe systems of work for office based locations and shared spaces (non-health care)

Safe systems of work for holding meetings and use of meeting rooms

Manager's checklist

Please connect to the network
We are unable to display the COVID-19 response protocol document as you are not currently connected to the council network.
If you are unable to access the network, use the button below to contact the safety services team and request a copy via email.
We must be able to verify you as a member of staff, so if possible please provide your work email address.
Step 2 - Share your team protocol

Once you have completed your team protocol, you need to share this with your group manager or head of service by email.

If you have also filled in the manager's checklist this should be shared by email with your head of service so that they can record this on the service area risk assessment.

Step 3 - Service area risk assessment

Your head of service will complete the COVID-19 service area risk assessment along with the senior management team (SMT). This makes sure that all risks are managed for the return of larger numbers of staff to the workplace.

COVID-19 service area risk assessment

Step 4 - Return to the workplace

Once the service area risk assessment has been signed off by SMT, heads of service can agree a return to the workplace on the basis of the team protocols and risk assessments. Heads of service will liaise with the agile transformation lead to agree a return date and organise any required ICT support. You will be notified by your head of service of your team's agreed return date.

You should also share the team protocol with your staff so that they are aware of the agreed way of working for the team and how they are expected to work.

Individual risk assessment

If a member of your team is in a clinically vulnerable group, requires extra adjustments, has concerns or feels anxious about returning to the office, you should undertake an individual risk assessment with them. You should take a proactive approach with the individual risk assessment process and make sure staff returning to the office are aware of this option. You can email safety services for further support.

The risk assessment will help you and your staff member discuss and address those concerns prior to them returning to the office.

Once completed, both you and your staff member must sign the document. This should then be sent by email to the HR helpdesk.

Individual risk assessment

Review

You should review this individual risk assessment with your staff member at least on a monthly basis, if government guidelines change, or if you or they have other concerns you need to discuss.

When staff are working in a council building

Monitor compliance

You should proactively check that staff are complying with the safe systems of work and adopted procedures related to keeping a COVID-secure work environment, such as:

  • adhering to the clear desk policy to help with the cleaning regime
  • only using their allocated workspace so the required social distance is maintained
  • keeping left when moving around the building
  • opening windows while in the office to achieve maximum ventilation
  • recommending face coverings are worn when not seated at a desk.

If, as a manager, you have any COVID-19 related concerns, please discuss them with your service area representative.

Coronavirus related safety issues or concerns

If a member of staff has a COVID-19 related concern, whether this is about a work colleague, or their working environment, please aim to resolve the matter with their line manager initially.

If you need any specific advice, please contact safety services, accommodation services, asset strategy or people's services.

FAQs

What should I do if any employee who is working in a council building has coronavirus symptoms?

Isolate the member of staff from any other colleagues immediately and send them home.

You also need to follow and complete the COVID-19 response protocol document as there is a suspected or confirmed case and email it to the safety services team and the public health team.

Please connect to the network
We are unable to display the COVID-19 response protocol document as you are not currently connected to the council network.
If you are unable to access the network, use the button below to contact the safety services team and request a copy via email.
We must be able to verify you as a member of staff, so if possible please provide your work email address.
What should I do if one of my employees has been in contact with someone who has tested positive?

Advise the member of staff to follow the process about daily testing for contacts of positive COVID-19 cases, detailed on our dedicated COVID-19 website. This includes who is eligible for daily testing and what to do if you then get symptoms.

Find out more about daily testing rules on our COVID-19 website

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