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Coronavirus: latest information on our response, updates on our services and what support is available

Due to essential maintenance our online planning, building control, licensing services and online forms using maps will be unavailable on Sunday 16 August 2020 between 10am and 11am.

Information for staff

On this page we will provide updates for South Gloucestershire Council staff during periods where our offices are closed due to adverse weather, or when there are other disruptions to normal business working. We have also added details of ICT’s Self Service Password Reset. Register for this service in advance and should you get locked out of your work computer or forget your password, you can reset it yourself without having to call the service desk.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updated 3 August 2020

Continue to work from home

If you are able to work from home, you should continue to do so.

The Badminton Road office is now open to support that very limited number of people who are currently unable to work from home or need to return to a council building for wellbeing purposes – only those who receive confirmation of their desk number should return to work from a council office at this time. Additionally, One Stop Shops in Kingswood and Patchway and most libraries are now open. If you are returning to a council building, you/your manager will need to have done the following:

Risk assessments have been completed for offices to ensure appropriate measures as outlined in Government guidance have been implemented to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Badminton Road office
Broad Lane office
Kingswood Civic Centre
The Kingswood Centre
Kingswood Hub
Patchway Hub

HR guidance and answers to your questions

We have produced FAQ documents to help answer your questions. Please do refer to them first before contacting our internal teams with queries who you will appreciate are extremely busy at this time.

FAQ: guidance for staff
FAQ: guidance for managers

Emergency situations HR policies and processes >
At a glance – Absence and entitlement to leave and pay >

Changes to services

We continue to work to reinstate council services. However, to limit social contact, we have made some changes to our services. We are updating residents via a dedicated webpage.

Supporting your well-being

We know that this is a very worrying time for many of us and being isolated from colleagues, friends and family exacerbates the concerns we already have about the health of ourselves and others. As a council we want to do all we can to support your well-being.

A team from HR, Workforce Development and Public Health are pulling together additional guidance and support with a specific focus on the issues people are facing at this time:

  • we have extended the support available from our independent counselling service, Interchange, to deal with issues specifically related to coronavirus
  • we have developed well-being related webinar content
  • additional tailored support is available to managers and teams via the HR CaseWork & Change team
  • support from our Mental Health Champions and Mental Health First Aiders. Click here for a list of champions and first aiders
  • online information and guidance specifically related to managing well-being during this time.

Useful online resources

Many mental health charities including Mind and the Mental Health Foundation have updated their online guidance to reflect the current issues individuals may be facing in relation to coronavirus. We’ve pulled together some articles which we think you’ll find helpful:

Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus: A comprehensive guide from Public Health England with lots of useful tips

How to broach coronavirus with children | How to explain what’s going on to children without scaring them

Healthy working at home guide

Looking after your mental health whilst working at home

5 steps to beat isolation

Panic buying – why we do it and how to counter the cravings

Coping with finance, housing and unemployment worries

Practical advice for staying at home | Checklist for staying at home

Tips for health and care professionals

Dealing with grief after bereavement or loss | Books to help children deal with bereavement

Staying at home and abusive relationships | Local domestic abuse support

Coping with bereavement

Nobody wants to think about the worst possible outcomes of coronavirus. But sadly it’s possible we may be affected by bereavements, whether personally, supporting a team member who is bereaved, or through our work supporting people in the district. We have compiled some sources of support for you if you experience bereavement, or need to support a colleague, friend, team member, or someone you deal with professionally.

Cruse coronavirus – Dealing with bereavement and grief guide
NHS – Grief after bereavement or loss
Books to help children deal with bereavement
Mind – Bereavement
Dying matters – Self-help strategies for bereaved people

Making the most of your skills

As part of our planning to ensure we can deliver essential services with reduced numbers of staff, we are redeploying staff who aren’t able to perform their normal roles, but may be able to support the council’s work across other essential functions. You may receive a call or email from your manager or a colleague from HR asking you to help with other work.

Requests for redeployment will be based on the work we most need to do and matched with people’s skills. Usually this will be a request to support another function in your division.

We are asking staff to be flexible, but please be reassured that you will not be required to perform a role which you do not have the skills for. Taking one example, whilst we are not going to ask anyone who isn’t qualified to perform the role of a social worker, there are tasks which others can do which would help social workers focus on those who need support.

Effective home-working

For some staff this will be the first time you have worked from home; we have produced guidance to support you:

It is likely that those staff working from home will be doing so for some time, so it is important that you complete a workstation risk assessment to help protect your health and safety. Items like mice, keyboards and monitors can be picked up from council buildings.

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