Coronavirus Update for Inverclyde Council Members

Inverclyde Council have now agreed to provide staff with regular updates as the situation with COVID-19 develops and evolves. UNISON Scotland’s website also has up to date advice for members and this can be reached on www.unison-scotland.org

Meetings between UNISON and the council are taking place daily and we want to clarify our position locally in respect of some important issues:

Women members who are pregnant

Members who are pregnant are being allowed to work at home if their job allows for homeworking. If your job is not suitable for home working or there are no tasks that could be undertaken at home then paid leave should be granted. If any member who is pregnant and is having difficulty arranging to be away from work then you should contact us asap.

Members with underlying health problems

The definition of underlying health problems, within the context of COVID-19, is very wide ranging. Not all members in this group may need or want to self-isolate for the next 12 weeks. However any member who feels that they should not be at work (due to underlying health problems) should be allowed to self-isolate and work at home. If your job is not suitable for home working then paid leave should be granted. Members experiencing difficulties should contact us asap.

Home working generally

The council have advised us that they plan to roll our home working across the full council over the next few days. I understand that there are ICT and other technical issues are currently being addressed. This arrangement would cover all members whose job is suitable for home working.

School/Nursery closures

We have asked the council to ensure that any members who cannot attend work due to child care difficulties be allowed to work at home . Again if your job is unsuitable for home working then paid leave should be granted. It is our expectation that the council will put in place appropriate measures for parents of children due to closures. We expect to get final clarity on this shortly.

Hot desking

Members should not share desks. It is important that if you work in an office where hot desking is the normal practice, then this should discontinue and desks should not be shared. This should not be overly difficult given the number of staff who are either off or working at home. Again if this is a problem please contact us asap.

Alternative duties

Members working in services which are closing (mainly schools and nurseries) are being asked to volunteer to relocate to carry out other duties – primarily in essential services such as home care. There may be members who previously worked in home care for instance. It is important to stress that this is entirely voluntary. Full training will be provided to any member who agrees to undertake alternative duties.

Sick pay arrangements

Any member who is self-isolating is not off sick but is on an authorised absence. Any member who is off due to having covid-19 symptoms is on sick leave and should submit a self-cert for the first 7 days. If the period of sickness lasts longer then they will need a sick line but this doesn’t have to be immediately especially if there is difficultly getting hold of a GP. Triggers should not be used and this has been agreed.

Robin Taggart
Branch Secretary
Unison (Inverclyde Branch)
Old Library
30 Bawhirley Road,
Greenock
PA15 2BH

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