Urgent messages will be posted below.
In the meantime, stay up-to-date with the latest news by joining our Staff Facebook group.
Covid booster jabs for eligible staff
Wednesday 13 October, 2021
Frontline health and care staff are now eligible to book a Covid-19 booster vaccine appointment.
A booster dose will help to extend immunity and give longer-term protection against Covid-19.
Boosters are being offered to all social care staff who work face-to-face with service users and who were eligible for their first vaccine in phase one of the roll-out in January 2021 (see below for more details).
Eligible staff can now book via:
- The national NHS Booking System or by ringing 119 (appointments are based on current nearest availability and new appointments are being added all the time)
- Via Liverpool drop-in sites (no appointment required)
- Via Cheshire & Merseyside hospital sites
When you arrive for your vaccination – whether for a booked appointment or at a drop-in session – you will need to confirm that you are a frontline health or social care worker by providing one of the following:
- A workplace photo ID,
- A recent letter from your employer (last 3 months), or
- A recent payslip which shows your employer (last 3 months)
In all cases it must be at least 182 days (six months) since the second dose was administered. For example, if you had your second dose of the vaccine on 1 April 2021, you could have your booster from 30 September 2021 onwards.
Managers of eligible staff: please ensure your staff are aware of how to book their Covid booster jab. Especially staff who have limited access to a PC in work and who might not see this message.
As per the eligibility criteria in January, the following staff can now get their Covid booster jab:
- Staff in our Covid-19 smart testing centres
- Social care staff directly involved in the care of their patients or clients, including those who were previously identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, including children and anyone with a learning disability
- Special school staff who have face-to-face contact, that includes personal care, with children with special educational needs
- Frontline social care staff from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background and/or previously identified as clinically extremely vulnerable/'very high risk' through the council's risk assessment process, whether you are having face-to-face contact with service users at the moment or not
- Staff working in care homes (i.e. our hubs).
- The above could include staff working in people’s homes, day centres, supported living settings, supported housing, services for homeless people and transport, as well as social work.
NEW | Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training
Mayor Joanne: "It's a really important part of our improvement journey, ensuring that we all share the same values."
As part of our Culture Change programme and Improvement Plan we are all being asked to complete the brand new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training programme.
All staff will receive an email* from the LearningHUB with a link to the new e-Learning programme. Training must be completed within three months. If you're a new starter, you will be allocated training as part of your induction.
There are 12 short modules in total which will take a few hours to complete in full. Most modules will take around 10 to 20 minutes, whilst three modules may take up to 30 minutes. To get the most from the programme, we strongly recommend you complete it in small chunks, dipping in and out over a period of days, or weeks, depending on how you prefer to learn. You may wish to discuss your approach with your line manager.
As you progress through the training, please take time to reflect and think about what you have learnt. What can you do to promote equality, diversity and inclusion?
Think about your team and what can you do within your area to help us make the council a great place to work for everyone.
*Staff who use VMware and VDI, please make sure to check your ‘other’ outlook inbox for an email from the Learning Hub, alternatively offline staff can either speak to you line manager or you can visit LearningHUB and go to My Learning to access the programme direct.
Please note that you may have issues accessing the LearningHUB via Internet Explorer, please use Google Chrome and contact ICT if you need access. Other browsers such as Safari, Firefox or Microsoft Edge should also work but you may still encounter some issues.
If you have any comments or queries regarding the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training programme, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support available to residents following UC change
Wednesday 6 October, 2021
It has been well documented in the media recently that vulnerable families and individuals could be pushed further into poverty in the coming weeks, as furlough ends, the uplift in Universal Credit payments is removed and energy prices rise.
This will undoubtedly affect our own residents and service users, but there is support out there to help people who are really struggling.
If, as part of your job, you work with people who you think may need extra support, please tell them about the options below - schemes that help to support people in crisis, including paying council tax and rent, and buy essential goods.
(We have put this information on the staff extranet too, so you can get a list of the various support channels available via your personal device if you need to.)
Request benefits advice or get help with Universal Credit claims today at www.liverpool.gov.uk/bms or check if you qualify online at www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators. You can also call freephone 0800 028 3697 or visit any One Stop Shop. You can also speak to your landlord if you’re a social housing tenant.
Your local Citizens Advice can help you deal with debt. You can book appointments with the city centre money advice team on 0151 233 2771. Call 0344 848 7700 or visit www.citizensadviceliverpool.org.uk to find your local office. For details of other organisations go to www.liverpool.gov.uk/debt
Call us today on 0800 028 3686 if you’re having problems paying your Council Tax, have Council Tax arrears, are struggling to pay back overpaid Housing Benefit or owe other debts to the council.
Free school meals
Apply today at www.liverpool.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals or call free phone 0800 028 3697 and your family could save over £400 per year and your child’s school can receive up to £1,900 additional funding for every eligible child.
Housing Options provides help and advice if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness. Call us on freephone 0800 731 6844. Visit any of our One Stop Shops – www.liverpool.gov.uk/onestopshops or call 0151 233 3000
Fuel and energy bills
Our Healthy Homes team can provide free help and advice if you’re struggling to pay your fuel bills, and energy saving hints and tips to help keep you warm and your bills low. They may also be able to help with replacement boilers and windows. Visit www.liverpool.gov.uk/housing/fuel-poverty-and-energy-efficiency/ or call them on freephone 0800 0121 754.
Council Tax Support
Council Tax Support helps you pay some of your Council Tax if you are on a low income or claiming certain benefits. You can claim whether you own your home or rent, or whether you’re working or unemployed.
Discretionary Housing Payments
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) can give you short term help to pay your rent when Housing Benefit or Universal Credit does not meet your rent in full. You can apply if you receive Housing Benefit or the housing cost element of Universal Credit or there is a shortfall between your rent and benefit entitlement.
Liverpool Citizens Support Scheme
If you find yourself in crisis you can apply for support to get food and basic necessities for you and your family including gas and electric vouchers (urgent needs) and furniture and household essentials (home needs). An emergency or crisis might be a fire or flood, or you have had to move due to violence or fear of violence, or you are leaving care or prison and need support to stay in the community.
Foodbanks in Liverpool
Your local foodbank can provide at least three days' emergency food and support to people in crisis. You can get a voucher from your: health visitor, social worker, local citizens advice or charity organisation and take your voucher to your local Trussell Trust foodbank to receive your emergency food. Your local church or community centre may have their own system and you may not need a voucher.
Find out more: www.liverpool.gov.uk/benefits/help-in-a-crisis/foodbanks/
Short-term benefits advance
If you’re waiting for your first benefit payment and don’t have enough money to cover food and essential items such as rent, gas and electric you can ask your local Job Centre for a short-term advance.
BOOK: Flu jab clinics for eligible staff
Thursday 30 September, 2021
All eligible staff urged to book their flu jab now.
The flu virus kills thousands every year. It's essential we protect ourselves from flu, in doing so we will also protect those we work with too.
With the number of Covid-19 cases continuing to rise, it’s more important than ever this year, that frontline staff know how to protect themselves to stay well this winter.
By getting a flu jab you are not only supporting your own health, but also reducing the risk of you passing the virus on to people you work with – like service users and your own colleagues.
Who is eligible for a free flu jab?
- Those who work in a frontline service directly providing health and social care for patients and service users
- Colleagues on the council’s duty rotas, so that critical functions can be maintained over the winter
- Staff within priority 1 services for business continuity purposes
If you fall under one (or both) of the groups above, then we strongly encourage you to take up the offer of a free vaccination.
If you are unsure if you’re eligible please speak to your line manager.
How to book
- Check out the list of sessions taking place below
- Find the most convenient one for you
- Book online using the button below
Flu immunisation sessions
Provisional Date (some still tbc with venue)
Suggested time slot
Monday 4 October
Speke Resource Centre Parklands
Conleach Road, Liverpool, L24 0TY
CLC Office, Ground Floor
Thursday 7 October
Unicorn Road, L11 4TE
MDT meeting room
Monday 11 October
Crown Street, L1 1JJ
Massage Therapy room
Tuesday 12 October
Wednesday 13 October
10am – 2pm
Edge Hill CFC
80-82 Wavertree Road
Monday 18 October
Crown Street, L1 1JJ
Massage Therapy room
Tuesday 19 October
St. Georges Hall
St Georges Place, L1 1JJ
Thursday 21 October
106 Townsend Hub, Anfield, L6 0BB
Tuesday 26 October
10am – 2pm
Edge Hill CFC
80-82 Wavertree Road
Wednesday 27 October
41 Sedgemoor Road, Liverpool, L11 3BN
Thursday 28 October
Tuesday 16 November
If you are not eligible for a flu vaccination through the council, you can get it from the GP or many pharmacies for free if you are at-risk of serious illness from flu. Please seek guidance from your GP. It's recommended for all pregnant women, people of all ages with long term medical conditions and everyone aged 65 and over.
Many supermarkets and pharmacies also provide the flu vaccine at a small charge for anyone who wants one.
If your child is at school and aged 4-11-years-old make sure you sign and return the consent form. Secondary school children from years 7 to 11 are now eligible for a free flu (spray) vaccine too.
For more information please visit www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine.
There's still time to have your say
Monday 20 September
Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Jane Corbett, encourages key stakeholders across the city to get involved in the 'Our City. Our Future. Your Say.' survey.
If you haven't done so already, you have until Friday 8 October to share your views on the future of our city. There are just three simple questions to feedback on:
- What do you love about Liverpool?
- What would you love to see in Liverpool?
- What would make Liverpool stronger and fairer?
You can have your say online - it's a really quick and simple process
Our City. Our Future. Your Say survey
Alternatively, you can fill in a purple postcard which are dotted around Cunard Building, in our customer hubs, libraries, Children’s Centres and Lifestyles Centres.
Boost your pension with our new salary sacrifice scheme
Monday 20 September
We’re delighted to announce that staff in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) can now access a valuable new staff benefit – a salary sacrifice scheme to boost their pension pots.
We have teamed up with AVC Wise Ltd to offer LGPS members the chance to sign up for a Shared Cost Additional Voluntary Contribution (Shared Cost AVC) scheme.
Shared Cost AVCs are a cost-efficient way to top up your pension pot, providing flexibility, security and value.*
Not only will you benefit from the saving on your Income Tax and National Insurance contributions, you’ll also have the flexibility to change how much you contribute, as and when you need to.
For example, a £100 contribution costs a basic rate taxpayer just £68.12!
Find out more at a webinar. AVC Wise are hosting the following webinars to give you an opportunity to learn more and ask questions.
Your new retirement benefit
Mon 27 September 10:30 and Mon 4 October 12:30
Open to LGPS members who currently pay standard AVCs, this 30-minute webinar will help you understand the benefits of switching to Shared Cost AVCs.
How to retire early and with more money
Tues 28 September 14:30 and Fri 1 October 10:30
This 30-minute session will give you an insight into how Shared Cost AVCs can provide a unique savings opportunity that not only benefits you today, but also at the point of your retirement.
The LGPS and Shared Cost AVCs
Weds 29 September 12:30 and Friday 8 Oct 15:30
Join AVC Wise for a detailed 60-minute session during which you can discuss the LGPS, your investment options and the many benefits of Shared Cost AVCs.
Please ask your line manager's permission to attend if during work time.
To book a place:
- Visit www.avcwise.co.uk/book and register
- Select the webinar you wish to attend
- AVC Wise will confirm your place
(Please note, webinars cannot be accessed through Internet Explorer. Please use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browsers instead.)
Fancy a chance to win a £100 eGift card?
Register on the AVC Wise website by 30 September and you’ll be entered into the prize draw!†
Once registered, you’ll also have access to a range of tools to help you learn more about this valuable employee benefit, including:
- Attending a free 20-minute individual meeting with an AVC Wise retirement expert
- Access to FAQs and Ts & Cs documents
- The AVC Wise Knowledge Hub, which houses a retirement calculator and informative videos
*The value of an investment can go down as well as up
†Ts & Cs apply www.avcwise.co.uk/promotional_terms_conditions
Special offer! Complimentary tickets to 3 Philharmonic performances
Thursday 16 September, 2021
Whether you were already a seasoned concert-goer pre-pandemic, or the lockdown has given you a new-found appreciation for live music and orchestra, why not dip your toe back into the live music scene courtesy of this amazing staff offer!
As part of the Royal Philharmonic Hall's ‘Welcome back to Live Music’ campaign they would like to offer Liverpool City Council colleagues up to four complimentary tickets (max) to any of the following concerts:
Leeds International Piano Competition Winner
Thursday 23 September, 7:30pm Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Wagner Overture, Tannhäuser
Piano concerto to be confirmed on 18 September
Dvořák Symphony No.8
Case Scaglione conductor
Leeds International Piano Competition winner piano
Saturday 9 October 7:30pm Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
*Aldemaro Romero Fuga con pajarillo
*Respighi Ancient Airs and Dances Suite III
**Vivaldi The Four Seasons
** Piazzolla The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
*Adi Brett violin / director
**Diana Tishchenko violin / director
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Strings
Thursday 21 October7:30pm Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Strauss Don Juan
Anders Hillborg Viola Concerto (world premiere, co–commissioned with Frankfurt Radio, Swedish Radio, Basel Sinfonieorchester, Aspen Music Festival, Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra and Viola Commissioning Circle)
Dag Wíren Serenade for Strings
Sibelius Symphony No.5
Andrew Manze conductor
Lawrence Power viola
How to book tickets
To order tickets, please quote promo code COUNCIL when booking on liverpoolphil.com or calling 0151 709 3789.
Tickets must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance of the concert.
The offer is subject to availability and applies to all available seats. There is a limit of four tickets per person per concert.
Covid Winter Plan - update for staff
The Prime Minister has set out his autumn and winter plan - how does this affect staff?
The Prime Minister Boris Johnston has confirmed the Government's next steps in a bid to tackle the expected rise in Covid infections. These include:
- Booster jabs for over 50s and care workers
- Vaccines for 12 - 15 year olds
You can read the statement from Public Health colleagues in response to the Prime Minister’s plan on Liverpool Express.
How will this impact staff?
Staff are asked to continue to work in their usual way whether that's full time in the office, homeworking or agile working.
When in and around the workplace, it is important we continue to protect each other by staying vigilant and following the workplace measures:
- Wearing face coverings (unless exempt) in communal areas of buildings
- Regular hand washing
- Keeping our distance from others (desks will remain at two metres apart)
- Retaining good ventilation
Cleaning stations are accessible to all so please ensure you wipe down desks, photocopiers and kitchen work tops, before and after use.
Your health and safety remains our number one priority but we all need to play our part in keeping each other safe.
Our proposed new values: tell us what you think
Wednesday 15 September 2021
Over 170 staff recently took part in Listening Sessions across LCC. It was an opportunity to discuss openly and honestly about how we can move on from the past, change the council’s culture together and look again at our organisational values.
We trust, encourage, and empower all our staff to be innovative, creative and curious, valuing everyone’s contribution
Now it’s over to you.
Please send any comments/feedback email@example.com by Friday 24 September so we can get our values right, together.
Managers of offline staff can download a feedback form from the intranet, to use to capture the thoughts of any staff without access to email/the intranet. Please return completed forms to firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Later this month, we’ll publish a new ‘Workplace Charter’.
This will set out what we want you to bring as an employee to the council, and what LCC as your employer will bring. They’ll echo our new values.
Again, we’ll share this for comments before it is finalised.
Between September and December, we will hold another round of Listening Sessions, to give more of you the chance to be involved, listened to and heard.
We plan to involve more frontline staff from across all directorates - and will hold more sessions face-to-face. As per the first round of sessions, Chief Executive Tony Reeves or a Director from Management Team will be at each one, to meet staff and actively listen to your feedback.
Finally, we’re preparing a summary of all the comments from the first Listening Sessions – so everyone can see what came up.
We’ll explain too, what improvements we’re planning as a result of your feedback.
Boost your career with an apprenticeship
Chief Executive, Tony Reeves gives his full backing to the council's apprenticeship offer which is available to all staff, of any age and any grade.
In his latest clip, Tony shares more about the benefits of apprenticeships for both staff and the council. He encourages staff take look at the opportunities which are available on the Learning Hub and if you have any questions or queries, to contact email@example.com.
In the coming weeks, members of staff who are currently undertaking an apprenticeship qualification will be sharing their experiences first hand via case studies and blogs. Keep an eye on the intranet and Staff Facebook or ask your line manager.
A warm welcome back
Monday 6 September 2021
A warm welcome back to the workplace for those who are returning today, and in the days ahead.
We understand that some of you may be feeling a little anxious at being back in one of our buildings but please let us assure you that with our Covid-safe protocols still in place, we are confident that you will enjoy this chance to see colleagues face-to-face again, after such a long time.
Of course many of you have been popping into work over the last 18 months, or have been working full-time from the office. We hope you too will welcome seeing our buildings busier and you will enjoy the more bustling atmosphere that will no doubt develop.
With many colleagues now working in an ‘agile’ way, and a lot of staff returning on a rota basis, we will not see the volume of people in the workplace that we did pre-pandemic. This will help to support our social distancing protocols.
However, we are looking forward to seeing a better balance between staff working from home and colleagues being in the office over the coming weeks – another step towards the ‘normality’ that Covid took from us so swiftly all those months ago.
With children back to school this week too, we appreciate that big changes are afoot for many of us. If you do have worries, please don’t bottle them up. Speak to your manager if you can, or one of our mental health and wellbeing champions, or seek support through our new Employee Assistance Programme.
We look forward to catching up with you in the coming weeks and months.
In the meantime, take care and a big thank you to all of you, for your continued hard work.
Tony Reeves Joanne Anderson
Chief Executive Mayor of Liverpool
Our City. Our Future. Your Say.
Monday 2 August, 2021, 4.15pm
The council wants to open conversations with everyone in the city, to hear their views on what they love about Liverpool and how we can come together to make it a fairer city for everyone. The feedback we receive will help inform the way forward for us as a council.
There will be opportunities for residents to get involved by filling out postcards in our customer hubs, libraries, Lifestyles Centres and Children’s Centres.
We will also shortly open up an online form, so people can give us their feedback via a short survey as well.
As valued colleagues we want you to take part in this discussion. You know our city better than most and it’s really important we hear what you love and where you think our priorities should lie.
We will share the online link once available, and we will also distribute postcards to as many council buildings as possible. Please look out for them.
Mayor Joanne Anderson on World Heritage Site Status decision
Wednesday 21 July
Mayor Joanne Anderson has issued a statement after UNESCO vote to remove Liverpool's World Heritage Site status...
Mayor Joanne Anderson said: "I’m hugely disappointed and concerned by this decision to delete Liverpool’s World Heritage status, which comes a decade after UNESCO last visited the city to see it with their own eyes.
“Our World Heritage site has never been in better condition having benefitted from hundreds of millions of pounds of investment across dozens of listed buildings and the public realm.
“We will be working with the Government to examine whether we can appeal but, whatever happens, Liverpool will always be a World Heritage city. We have a stunning waterfront and incredible built heritage that is the envy of other cities.
“Our commitment to maintaining and improving our buildings remains as strong as ever and will continue to be a key part of our drive to attract visitors, investors and events.
“I find it incomprehensible that UNESCO would rather Bramley Moore Dock remain a derelict wasteland, rather than making a positive contribution to the city’s future and that of its residents.
“I’ll now be seeking to draw together all the UK heritage bodies in a round table to plan a positive future with further investment.”
Read more about the investment that Liverpool has made in its World Heritage assets in recent years.
Please click on 'CC' to turn on subtitles.
All Staff Q&A on Return to Workplaces
Tuesday 20 July, 2021
Over 400 staff tuned in to hear more on our 'staggered' return to workplaces, the recent Pulse survey and our revised Flexi policies. A recording is now available below.
Director of Finance and Resources, Mel Creighton, Director of People and Talent, Jo Twist and Public Health consultant Melisa Campbell, were on hand to answer questions in the virtual session on Microsoft Teams.
While Director of Communications, Camilla Mankabady facilitated the 60 minute session.
It was a great opportunity to hear first-hand from senior colleagues as we delved deeper into the issues you raised in the Return to the Workplaces 'pulse' survey, the staggered return to our workplaces over the summer and our new flexi policies recently introduced.
Please click on 'CC' to turn on subtitles.
Important read: Flexible Working and more...
Wednesday 14 July
We've revised our Flexi Time Policy and added a new Compensatory Time Off element, plus our Flexi Working Policy can now been applied from day one of your employment at LCC.
Many of us have had to find ways to work more flexibly over the last 15 months.
Flexible working can take different forms and may involve different working patterns and hours, different locations, and different styles of working.
The commitment of our people during the pandemic to keep the council moving forward has been a great credit to you all. This includes our key workers who have continued to attend their workplaces throughout this period, ensuring that essential services have been able to operate and keeping our buildings clean, safe, and accessible. A large group of our employees have had to get used to working remotely from home for much of this period, which has been a great learning curve for many of you. We must also recognise the efforts of those employees who have been re-assigned temporarily to other roles.
We have reviewed some of our policies around flexibility and working arrangements. The aim is to reflect the new ways of working that so many of you have adopted and to factor in the agile working arrangements that are covered in our Agile Flexible Working policy.
We have agreed these changes with JTUC (Joint Trade Union Committee).
Flexi Time Policy
This policy has been updated in response to our move to agile working methods and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has opened up new ways of thinking about work and the traditional concept of the working day. It is recognised that many employees who are eligible for Flexi Time work away from the traditional office base for certain periods of time and key aspects of this policy are based on that fact.
The specific changes are:
- The removal of core hours (7.30am to 6.30pm) and their replacement with a looser arrangement around 6.00am to 10.00pm as the period during which eligible employees might work
- The removal of the grade restriction, so that the policy may apply to employees in eligible posts up to and including Grade 15
- The addition of a Compensatory Time Off Policy at appendix one of the Flexi Scheme policy, which covers employees in posts that are not eligible for the Flexi Time Policy.
Compensatory Time Off Policy
We are aware that employees in certain teams where the Flexi Time policy does not apply may sometimes need to work extra hours to fulfil key service requirements. As an example, some social workers have to collect or transport children from various locations, sometimes outside the city and on occasion around the UK. This work often has to be done outside normal working hours and at short notice. The Compensatory Time Off policy enables people to take these extra hours as time off.
This policy is separate from the existing Flexi Time Scheme. The key features are:
- Only employees who are not eligible for the Flexi Time Policy will be covered by the Compensatory Time Off Policy
- Grade limit is up to and including Grade 15
- Up to 14 hours additional work time can be accrued in a 4 week cycle
- Where the situation demands it, this can be extended up to 21 hours
- Additional work time can only be accrued with the agreement of the line manager – in other words, the line manager must be aware of the reason for the additional work being accrued and must agree it either before or, in an emergency situation, as soon as possible afterwards
- Accrued time that is not approved is invalid
- Employees can take this accrued time as compensatory time off within the 8 week period following the additional time worked
- Employees in services deemed eligible for this policy must record their worked time on an electronic ‘card’ and submit this time when requesting time off
- All requests for compensatory time off are subject to agreement by the line manager and are dependent on business needs
- Line managers must not refuse such requests unreasonably and where time off cannot be agreed on requested dates, a suitable compromise should be reached
Flexible Working Policy
We have made this a day 1 right, meaning employees can request to flexible working arrangements as soon as they start employment.
Examples of flexible working arrangements that can be requested include:
- Part Time Working/Reduced Hours
- Compressed hours (eg. 35 hours worked over 4 days)
- Varied start and finish times
- Term-time working
- Annualised Hours
- Home Working
Refusal of any such requests must be supported by a clear business reason.
FAQs have been produced to help answer any queries you might have. Please download the PDF document.
'Staggered' return to the workplace
Friday 9 July
Following the Prime Minister’s decision to lift all remaining Covid restrictions in England on Monday 19 July, and in light of the results of our recent survey, senior management are keen to have a more flexible return over the summer holidays.
It is therefore, not expected that all staff who are currently working from home will return to their workplaces with immediate effect from Monday 19 July. Instead we will be adopting a more gradual approach.
More details will be shared next week once the Management Team and trade unions have agreed the way forward.
In the meantime, if you are already working from a council building, you can continue to do so as our buildings are Covid-safe spaces, with a raft of measures in place.
It is important that all staff stick to the Covid working protocols whilst in the workplace, and do not become complacent - including social distancing, wearing face coverings in communal areas, and ventilation.
Frontline workers should continue to attend the workplace as normal, and follow the Covid working protocols in place to protect you and your colleagues whilst in work.
If you have any queries, please raise them with your line manager.
Workplace protocols to stay
Friday 9 July
If you're planning on returning to the workplace during the summer break please ensure you're aware of the current Covid working protocols which will remain in place.
Following the Prime Minister’s decision to lift all remaining Covid restrictions in England, on Monday 19 July, we want to clarify how this affects our workplaces, ahead of your gradual return over the summer holidays.
Given the current rise in infection rates across Liverpool and the wider city region, we will be retaining all Covid working protocols until further notice.
This includes the wearing of face coverings in communal areas and two-metre social distancing, as well as urging everyone to ventilate their workspace by leaving windows and doors open as much as possible.
Since the start of the pandemic, the health and safety of all our colleagues has been our number one priority. In agreement with Trade Unions, the Covid working protocols were introduced as a means of keeping those working and visiting our buildings safe at all times. By keeping our Covid working protocols in place now, we will ensure our workplaces remain a safe space for staff.
As more staff look to make a gradual return to the workplace on an ‘agile’ rota basis, it is important that we protect each other by staying vigilant and following these measures. We all need to play our part:
- Wearing face coverings (unless medically exempt) in communal areas of buildings
- Regular hand washing
- Keeping our distance from others (desks will remain at two metres apart)
- Retaining good ventilation
Cleaning stations are accessible to all so please ensure you wipe down desks, photocopiers and kitchen work tops, before and after use.
The situation will be monitored closely by colleagues in Public Health and Health and Safety with further risk assessments taking place as infection rates drop.
If you have any concerns regarding returning to the workplace please speak to your line manager in the first instance.
Return to Workplaces survey results
Thursday 1 July 2021, 4pm
Our first ‘Pulse’ survey of the year focused on how staff feel about 'returning to the workplace' from 19 July onwards. It received a total of 1,124 responses – giving useful insight into how you feel about ‘agile’ working and the planned return to workplaces.
The results have been analysed and shared with Corporate Management Team. Directorate ‘breakdowns’ have been provided to senior managers, so they can act on specific issues in their areas. Comments have been edited where necessary to ensure anonymity.
The main headlines are:
- 90% of staff who responded have read our new agile working policy AND our workplace protocols
- 57% of staff who took part have discussed their circumstances with their manager and understand whether they will be an agile, home or office-based worker
- However, 25% of staff have not yet had this discussion.
- Just over half of staff who completed the survey feel confident in how safe the workplace will be (54%); while 23% do not.
- Only 21% of respondents feel confident in using public transport to commute to work. Over half of staff (51%) said they were not
- 72% of staff who took part say they have the support from their manager to work in an agile way; just 10% of staff say they do not.
- 67% said who filled in the survey have the kit needed to work agile; 22% said they don’t.
- 78% of staff who responded know how to access mental health support; just 8% said they don’t.
Finally, staff were asked to state how confident they feel overall about returning to workplaces. While 45% of staff feel confident; 32% feel unconfident; and 23% sat on the fence, responding neutrally (neither agreeing nor disagreeing).
It’s worth noting that colleagues from ethnic minorities, who completed they survey, reported feeling less confident about returning to the workplace (36%), and more concerned about using public transport to commute in (only 13% feel confident).
Over 500 of you provided comments, suggestions or queries, with some common themes becoming clear.
The top 10 themes were:
- The need for adequate IT kit/furniture at home and in office
- Some of you want to remain working from home/don’t want to return
- You’re concerned that Covid protocols are not adhered to
- You feel anxious about returning
- A large proportion of you are already back or have been in our workplaces throughout
- You like the mix of office/home working on offer
- You’re worried about travelling
- Some managers haven’t communicated with you or been supportive
- Staff having enjoyed working from home
- Staff having a say on how much office/home working they do
We are working on a number of actions to prove we’re taking your feedback seriously – and we’ll report back on them.
- Each director has had a breakdown of their results, to help guide communications and actions within your own area
- We are in the process of getting answers to all the questions you asked
- We will provide regular updates on the ongoing roll-out of ICT kit – 1100 laptops so far have been ordered and distributed
- Look out for more soon on parking and public transport
- New signage will be rolled out in our buildings – so everyone understands our important Covid working protocols
- Managers have been reminded that they must talk to their teams about the return to work plans, if they haven’t already done so
- A workplace reinduction checklist is on the intranet, to guide the discussion your manager will have with you, before you come back. Please speak up about anything that’s concerning you in your next Let’s Talk or an individual meeting
- Some of you had very specific issues – for example, concerns about cleaning in some of our buildings, like Parklands. We will follow this up with directorates/Premises Management
- We’ll look at what extra wellbeing support we can offer staff over the coming weeks and months. Don’t forget our mental health and wellbeing champions, and The Samaritans, are there for you, if you’re feeling particularly anxious.
We appreciate coming back is a big deal for some of our staff, and we know it’s a challenge too for managers planning a return while balancing the needs of services and the individual circumstances of all their staff.
Expect to see more regular updates about returning to workplaces in the run-up to Monday 19 July – to help you feel informed, reassured and, we hope, ready to come back.
Finally, we’re planning our next All Staff Q&A later this month, where you’ll get the chance to hear from Chief Executive Tony Reeves and Joint Director of People and Talent Jo Twist on the survey results and the return to workplaces.
Making it safe to ‘Speak Out’
Thursday 24 June, 6pm
Speak Out launches today. Any employee can use it to report concerns in an informal, confidential way.
We want to make sure every single member of staff feels safe, listened to, valued, supported and able to bring their ‘whole selves’ to work.
We want you to feel confident that the council is truly committed to developing a supportive, kinder, fairer, more open, honest and listening culture.
That’s why, we’ve launched a new confidential ‘Speak Out’ process.
You can use ‘Speak Out’ to report anything that concerns you in work, before it escalates and has a negative impact on your morale, your health or wellbeing.
This could include, for example:
- unethical, unsafe or unfair behaviour
- bullying or intimidation in work
- financial or procurement concerns
- poor management practices
- unfair recruitment
- inadequate training
These are just examples. You can speak out about anything. We will listen and we will look into your concerns. Our new, independent Ethics and Compliance Officer Karen Lewis – who is overseeing the process - will aim to resolve them as quickly as possible, without you needing to go through a formal route, unless you want to.
Speak Out doesn’t replace our formal processes such as our whistleblowing hotline, existing HR, Health and Safety policies and procedures. These still exist, and you can still use them if you prefer.
Speak Out simply gives you another, less formal route of highlighting a concern or asking for help to investigate issues that are not right.
All we ask is please give as much detail as possible and be honest.
It doesn’t matter if it turns out that you’re mistaken in reporting a concern, or if it ends up having an innocent explanation. What matters is you have genuine concerns and have given us a chance to look into it further.
Karen said: “You might be worried about using Speak Out, and I can understand this, but please don’t be. It’s important staff use Speak Out to help us improve as a council and create the right working environment, where everyone feels safe, supported and listened to. Today's launch is a positive step forward in addressing one of the recommendations in the recent Best Value report. I hope staff will use Speak Out whenever they need to.”
Trade unions have been consulted on Speak Out and have given it their full backing.
How to 'Speak Out'
If you would like to raise an issue, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Karen on 07900 701098 between 9am and 6pm.
Any communication will be confidential and staff can ask for their details to be withheld during the course of any investigation. An eform is coming soon which will enable staff to submit a concern anonymously. Staff are encouraged to provide contact details in order to provide updates on progress or outcomes of the investigation.
Planning on travelling abroad?
Make sure you’re across the latest Government advice, agree your plans with your manager AND factor in any time off to quarantine…
Thinking of booking a holiday?
While foreign travel is currently allowed, restrictions are in place under England’s red, amber and green ‘traffic light system’ for travelling to different countries.
If you are planning to a holiday or trip abroad, please read the latest Government advice and make sure you factor in any additional time you need to take off to quarantine when you return to the UK. You can only avoid quarantining if you go to one of the countries on the ‘green’ list - and it remains 'green' throughout your trip.
Be aware that the Government may move countries between the ‘red’, ‘amber’ and ‘green’ lists at short notice and sometimes without warning.
We recommend you sign up for emails alert from the Government so you’re aware of any changes that may happen before or during your trip.
But before you do anything, please discuss your travel plans and options with your manager.
And please note - while Covid cases are on the rise in Liverpool, the Government’s guidance is that travel in and outside of our region should be minimised. You may wish to delay booking a holiday while this guidance is in place.
We know how important it is for staff to take their annual leave, so we will try wherever possible to accommodate your needs.
Depending on your role and circumstances, and agreement with your line manager, you may be able to work from home during any required quarantine period.
If your job requires you to be in the workplace, you must take annual leave, or unpaid leave, to cover any period of quarantine.
Whatever your circumstances, your manager will need to consider whether there is capacity in your team for you to take additional leave at the end of your holiday for quarantining.
Managers are asked to be as flexible and fair as possible, while balancing the needs of your service.
Once you’ve agreed arrangements, managers needs to inform HR by emailing email@example.com.
Finally, it’s important we keep our workplaces as Covid-safe as possible. Any colleagues who return to the workplace before their quarantine period is up, will be sent home and may be subject to disciplinary action.
Your co-operation and support is vital in keeping levels of the virus as low as possible and much appreciated.
Working from home update
Read the latest on working from home and the return to our workplaces, following the Prime Minister’s announcement…
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a delay to moving to stage four of the government's roadmap out of lockdown on Monday 21 June.
It follows a steep rise in Covid-19 ‘Delta’ variant cases across England - including in the Liverpool City Region where additional measures are being put in place.
The current rules will therefore remain in place until Monday 19 July.
Our plans to bring more staff back to our workplaces from Monday 21 June onwards will also be put on hold until then.
It means that:
- If you are working from home, and haven’t yet returned to the office, please continue working from home.
- If you are already working from a council building, you can continue to do so as they are Covid-safe spaces, with a raft of measures in place to protect you. It is important you stick to all the Covid working protocols while in our workplaces, including social distancing, wearing face coverings in communal areas, and ventilation. However if you can do your job from home, and wish to go back to doing so during this rise in cases, please speak to your line manager to discuss.
- If you have not yet returned, but would like to before Monday 19 July, please seek permission from your manager. (If you are returning to Cunard, please let firstname.lastname@example.org know so we can manage numbers in the building, due to the ongoing fire escape work. Please read on for an update.)
- Frontline workers should continue to attend the workplace as normal, and follow the Covid protocols in place to protect you and your colleagues whilst in work.
If you have any queries or concerns, please discuss with your line manager.
We will continue to keep in close contact with your trade unions and will let you know if there are further changes.
We are urging all staff to get their first – and second vaccinations – as soon as you’re invited to do so. While it’s not mandatory, we are strongly encouraging everyone to, to help protect yourself, your loved ones and your service users.
Please encourage your friends and family to get theirs too – it’s our best chance to get back to a more normal way of life as soon as possible.
Find out more: Liverpool CCG’s vaccination FAQs.
Book your vaccination if you’re eligible: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/
Your wellbeing matters
We appreciate some of you may be feeling anxious about returning to your workplace, or about being in workplaces whilst cases are rising.
We want to make sure you feel supported either way.
Please speak to your manager, a colleague, or one of our mental health and wellbeing champions, who can signpost you towards further help. You can also contact The Samaritans 24-hour call back service in confidence.
For dealing with anxiety, please visit the free courses on the LearningHUB, to support your wellbeing during these difficult times.
Last updated: Monday 14 June 18.30pm
Fire escape works in the Cunard Building
Contractors are on schedule to complete the work on the The Strand side of the fire escape on Friday 6 August. Managers due to bring teams back to that side of the building can schedule their team moves in – working with ICT and PMU - from Monday 9 August onwards.
If you have any queries about this, or the return to workplaces in general, please discuss with your manager.
Government decision on Best Value interventions announced
Thursday 10 June, 2021, 2.10pm
Colleagues can now read the full package of government interventions for Liverpool City Council, following the Best Value inspection earlier this year.
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, made an announcement in a written statement to the House of Commons this afternoon.
The changes will see:
- All-out elections every four years from 2023, with no elections held in 2022
- The Mayoral election to be brought forward from 2024 to 2023 (dependent upon the outcome of a governance review over the future of the role)
- A move to one councillor per ward, except where it is deemed essential to have more than one ward member
Four Commissioners who will oversee the authority’s highways, regeneration and property management functions and improvement plan over the next three years, have also been named.
We would like to extend a warm LCC welcome to:
- Mike Cunningham QPM (Lead Commissioner) – involved in policing for more than 30 years, most recently as Chief Executive of the College of Policing from 2018 – 2020, the standards setting body for policing in England and Wales. Formerly one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary, inspecting forces in the north of England and Northern Ireland, and the national lead inspector for the development and implementation of inspections into police efficiency, legitimacy and leadership, and Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police.
- Joanna Killian (Local Government Improvement Commissioner) – more than 30 years of experience in the public sector delivering transformational change and service improvement. Since March 2018 she has been Chief Executive of Surrey County Council. Prior to this, Ms Killian worked at KPMG and was also Chief Executive of Essex County Council for 9 years.
- Neil Gibson (Highways Commissioner) – Former Executive Director of Transport, Economy and Environment for Buckinghamshire County Council, plus a role as Interim Chief Executive. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation and former President of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport.
- Deborah McLaughlin (Regeneration Commissioner) – Extensive experience working in Regeneration and Housing for over 30 years across public and private sectors, including as Director of Housing at Manchester City Council, regional director for the North West at Homes England and Director of Capita’s real estate business. Also worked at the Audit Commission as a Best Value Inspector and auditor.
The four Commissioners, alongside two support staff, will be based on the 4th floor of Cunard Building. They will be working across multiple teams in Cunard so staff in the building may see them frequently, as you go about your day.
Commissioners will be here to support the work already underway on our Improvement Plan. It’s a welcome opportunity for us to use their extensive knowledge and expertise to help bring about lasting change.
Rober Jenrick has asked the Commissioners to also have regard for:
- The Council’s Boundary Commission submission
- The Council’s governance referendum
- The financial position of the Council
- Broader service delivery related to the Council’s wider improvement journey
Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said: “We are determined to deliver the changes required to deliver the best possible value for our residents.
“The entire organisation is committed to ensuring the improvements we have mapped out in response to the report are achieved.
“The Commissioners will be here to support and guide us on our improvement journey and we are ready to work collaboratively with them, utilising their significant experience and skills.”
Mike Cunningham QPM, Lead Commissioner said: “As someone who grew up in the Liverpool area I am honoured to have been appointed by the Secretary of State as lead commissioner for the Government’s intervention at Liverpool City Council.
“I will be part of a wider commissioner team that will support the council as it continues its improvement journey to better serve the people of Liverpool.
“I am looking forward to starting this important work which will include providing regular updates on progress to the Secretary of State.”
Last month, a meeting of all city councillors approved an 18-page document responding to the Best Value Inspection, including a timetable for implementing various changes to how the authority conducts its business.
The Government’s full recommendations can be read here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/inspection-into-the-governance-of-liverpool-city-council.
Comms Corner - Renewal and Return
Director of Communications Camilla Mankabady shares more on the stories in the pipeline for the month of June.
The sun is finally shining and it really does feel like sunnier times are ahead for us all. This month’s ‘Comms Corner’ is all about renewal and return.
With the government’s roadmap due to officially end on 21 June, we know that many of you will be returning to your desks - after weeks, or months - working from home. Please take a look at the Pulse survey that has now gone live. Here in the Comms team, we want your views on what it feels like to come back.
Also, please get to know our characters – Aisha the agile worker, Heather the home worker and Oliver the office worker – they’re all finding their feet, as they navigate new and different ways of working. Thanks to Marketing colleagues for bringing these little people to life!
As we begin a new chapter, it’s also important to reflect on our recent past. Over the last 14 months, the Comms team has been out and about photographing and filming the city throughout all stages of the pandemic. As more of us head back into the city, we thought it would be a good idea to share the content more widely. Please look out for the photo book and exhibition that we in Comms are producing, in conjunction with colleagues at Liverpool One.
This month, we will also be welcoming Government Commissioners to LCC. The Comms team will keep you up-to-date on all news relating to the ‘Best Value’ report and our ‘Improvement Plan’. Look out for our new, designated space on the intranet for all of this related content.
With more of us getting together again, it’s a perfect time for People and Talent’s Listening Sessions to get off the ground. We will let you know when sessions are planned and how you can participate. These sessions are all about discussing - and shaping - our values and behaviours that we want to adopt, going forward. These are your values and your sessions. Please take the time to attend.
And finally, this month we will be celebrating all of the wonderful carers in our city who provide support, love and advice to many. If you are a carer, or want to give a shout-out to someone who spends time helping others, please let us know. Often these wonderful people go under the radar and we want to let them know how valuable they are. Contact Internal Communications.
As always, we want to hear from your and your teams. Please keep us in the loop about what’s happening in your service area. The Comms team and I are always open to story ideas and contributions.
Director of Communications
Return to Workplaces Survey
As we prepare to welcome more staff back to our workplaces from Monday 21 June onwards - we want to know how YOU feel. Please fill in our quick, confidential staff survey...
We’re looking forward to welcoming more staff back to our workplaces from Monday 21 June onwards and over the summer - as lockdown restrictions continue to ease.
We want to make sure you feel confident and reassured about working in our buildings, and that you’re clear about how you’ll be working – whether that’s in a set workplace/office, as a homeworker, or working ‘agile’, split between home and the workplace.
Please take part in our ‘pulse’ survey to let us know how you feel. Your views are important to us and will help shape our plans moving forward.
This survey is anonymous and should take no more than three minutes to answer. It’s open until Wednesday 7 June for you to have your say.
As well as this survey, we are getting ready to welcome more staff back by installing fresh new signage, spacing out desks, setting up more cleaning stations and producing – what we hope – is a helpful set of FAQs – link coming soon.
Finally - we will be running more ‘pulse’ staff surveys throughout the year, checking in on you more regularly and listening to your concerns. It’s all part of our culture change programme and improving how we engage with you, our valued workforce.
Return to workplaces – FAQs
We’re looking forward to welcoming more staff back to our workplaces from Monday 21 June.
We know you’ll have questions, which is why we’ve compiled these FAQs. While they won’t cover every single scenario, or apply to every employee, we hope they act as a good ‘starter for 10’ as we start planning for the ‘big welcome back’.
Please read them carefully and look at our new agile, flexible working policy. Your manager will discuss your return with you, so you will be clear on where, when and how you’ll be working.
All LCC staff will be classed as either an ‘agile worker’ (split between home/workplace), ‘a homeworker’, or an ‘office (or workplace)-based worker’ (working in a set building, for example one of our hubs, libraries, leisure centre or a reception).
Most staff will be ‘agile’ but this won’t apply to everyone - it may not be possible due to your role or other considerations - again, your manager will discuss this with you.
We’ll keep these FAQS updated - as we get ready for your return – we’re also installing new signage, spacing out desks, putting in lots of cleaning stations and republicising our Covid protocols. We want you to feel confident and reassured about coming back.
If you have any queries or concerns, please take part in our pulse survey (see news item above), raise any issues you may have with your manager or email email@example.com
Download the FAQs here
FAQs- Updated 14 June 2021
BLOG: ‘I sit here a year later in the biggest political leadership position in our city and feel hope’
Tuesday 25 May 2021, 9.30am
Mayor Joanne Anderson reflects on racial inequality on the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death - while ALL staff are invited to take part in a period of reflection.
"One year ago, the world was shocked, saddened and angry at the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin.
For many of us who work in race relations, the tragic incident is not new, many black people have died in the same way. What we did not know back then was the Derek Chauvin would be convicted for his murder, for many others this has not been the case.
Whilst the whole world grieved, myself and some other friends who have been championing race equality for decades, felt this deeply. We felt that we had wasted our lives and careers in pushing for equality, to no avail. We were sad for George Floyd, and his family but also sad for ourselves as well. When one black person suffers in this way, we all suffer.
The last year during the Covid Pandemic has highlighted the many inequalities faced by black people. Outcomes are disproportionate in every area of life, education attainment, health outcomes, housing, employment, political representation, criminal justice – the list goes on, and on.
The collective outrage expressed by people was also not new. The country had been appalled by the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence and more locally the murder of Anthony Walker.
Some changes have taken place during these times that even led to a change in equality legislation.
As a black person it was heart-warming to see people take to the streets to support Black Lives Matter and say enough is enough.
There were many discussions about what to do, about how to be an ally, about how to get it right this time. All helpful, but nothing I hadn’t heard before.
However, I sit here a year later in the biggest political leadership position in our city and feel hope. Hope that things are different and that I can make a difference, by bringing my experience of race equality to the role, to help pave the way for others to follow in my footsteps.
It is already well documented that I want all communities to access opportunities that Liverpool can provide, not matter where you are in Liverpool, or your background.
But, by gaining this position, I am particularly proud of letting women and black people see that they can be a leader and there is a space for them in leadership positions.
Rest in peace George Floyd - your life was taken far too prematurely but your death has impacted the world and made positive strides towards dismantling an unjust system."
Marking the anniversary
Our Diversity Forum and Staff Network for black and ethnic minority colleagues invite ALL staff to take part in a period of reflection today, on the first anniversary of George Floyd's brutal murder. They ask colleagues to think about the positive action they can take, to stop racism, prevent hate crime, and make our city - and world - a fairer, more equal place.
The city's civic buildings will be lit up purple tonight in George's memory.
All Staff Q&A - watch it back
Monday 24 May 2021, 6pm
Missed Monday's All Staff Q&A on culture change and the Improvement Plan? Catch up with the live recording.
Over 300 staff tuned into our third All Staff Q&A, with Mayor Joanne Anderson and Chief Executive Tony Reeves.
Thanks to everyone who put forward a question - we really value your input.
Keep your eyes peeled for news of the next All Staff Q&A - we're committed to holding them regularly, to keep you in the loop and give you regular opportunities to put question to our leaders.
During the session, Director of Communications Camilla Mankabady shared a the seven themes in our draft Improvement Plan. You can take a longer look here:
She also talked about some of the work that's underway on staff engagement - sharing this timeline:
Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's Celebrate - The Spine team
Friday 21 May, 2021, 12.15pm
A BIG shout-out to all our colleages involved in The Spine.
Earlier today Liverpool’s Mayor Joanne Anderson and the City Region’s Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram officially opened The Spine – an impressive 14-storey centre-piece to the £1bn Paddington Village development.
It’s the culmination of four years of intense hard work by Liverpool City Council, working alongside Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, contractor Morgan Sindall and lead architect Rob Hopkins, to create a building not only magnificent to look at, but which is on course to being officially labelled the ‘healthiest’ building for its workers in the UK.
Ambitious projects like The Spine take grit, determination and boldness to see through. We’re really proud of all our staff who have been involved in making it happen.
First and foremost the council’s Paddington Village Lead, Mike Horne, Capital Investment Programme Manager within Regeneration. Mike has been involved since Paddington Village itself was just a concept and, alongside lead project manager, Martin Thompson and project manager Jenny Carr, Mike has been a driving-force behind The Spine coming to fruition.
The project has received huge support from finance and legal colleagues, painstakingly looking after the complexities of a project this size – Sian Jones, Strategic Finance Manager and Ed Austin, Principal Solicitor in particular have been pivotal. Other notable colleagues include: Premises Management Services (PMS), including Karen Lewis, Interim Head of PMS, Billy Scott, Head of Cleaning Services and our fantastic cleaning team who were deployed to blitz all 14 floors. Our stellar reception staff, have also provided a welcoming smile to everyone stepping over the threshold, and the Town Hall’s very own Andy Povey has moved across to be the temporary facilities manager of The Spine.
Head of Planning, Sam Campbell and Planning Officer, Paul Vertigen also deserve a shout out for their contribution, as well as the Communications Team’s Mike Doran, who has waxed lyrical about the council’s ambitious Paddington Village schemes to the outside world and who has provided the kind of sound judgement that any project of this scale requires.
A massive well done to Liverpool in Work too. All schemes delivered through Paddington Village have contributed to the local community and the wider city region, helping people to develop the essential skills needed to be work-ready. Colleagues in Liverpool in Work joined forces with the Spine’s contractor, Morgan Sindall, to ensure local people received quality training and apprenticeships, equipping them with key skills. To date the Paddington Village programme of works has supported 145 trainees, generating 1,900 weeks’ worth of work experience for apprentices.
As a council we have faced many challenges in recent months and we know that more lie ahead. But we also know that that’s not the whole story. We are a council which is getting the job done, which is being innovative, ambitious and bold. We’re also a team, a collective, which comes together to deliver. The Spine is just one example of what that team work can accomplish and how, through combining our skills and determination, we don’t just achieve, but we achieve big!
Chief Executive, Tony Reeves said: “I’ve had the pleasure of watching The Spine grow, quite literally from a set of foundations in a muddy development site into the masterpiece it is today. And I’ve seen first-hand the resolve of colleagues in Regeneration and across the organisation to create a building that will help to grow the city. That we have attracted tenants like the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is testament to that ambition. I am exceptionally proud of everyone who has played their part, from the project managers, to the cleaners, to our great reception staff, who have made sure that RCP colleagues get a warm welcome when they arrive. We should never stop believing in ourselves and our power to make positive change happen for Liverpool – well done everyone!”
New Agile Flexible Working Policy
Liverpool City Council has a new Agile Flexible Working Policy which outlines how agile flexible working will be further adopted across the council, helping staff to maintain an effective balance between their work and home life.
There are three recognised 'workstyles' for council staff. They are:
- Office-Based Worker
- Agile Flexible Worker
- Home Worker
Most staff will fall into the 'agile flexible worker' style of working, which involves a mix of working from a council building and working from home and/or another suitable location.
A flexible working style is now considered the norm in LCC but we recognise not all roles fit into this model, and not all staff wish to work in this way.
If you have any questions, please speak to your line manager. You may wish to discuss the policy in your 'Let's Talk' session with your manager.
Newly elected Mayor of Liverpool
Friday 7 May 2021
Joanne Anderson has been elected Mayor of Liverpool and has this message for Liverpool City Council staff.
She said: "I really want to show what an excellent job I can do for the city. The first thing I want to do is apologise to the city for what's happened under the previous administration. I will do everything in my power to make it right...to make sure that we have an accountable, transparent local authority that the people of Liverpool deserve.
"I will be honest about what's happened in the past.
I do, however, want to be hopeful about our future. We have so much opportunity ahead of us, particularly as we build the city that we want post-Covid.
“We need to build a city that looks after its people, that is fair and caring, that is transparent but also aspirational."
Joanne is the first woman to hold the position and the first black female leader of a city in the UK.
Joanne received a total of 46,493 votes after the first and second preference votes were counted.
The turn-out for the vote was 30.51% and the total ballots cast was 102,630. The vote went to a second preference count because there was no one candidate with more than 50% of the vote after the first count.
You can see the full breakdown of the results on the council's website.
Free virtual training on suicide prevention
Friday 7 May 2021
Frontline workers are being invited to trial a new, one day, online suicide prevention training course.
Please also ask your line manager's permission before you request a place.
The course would suit frontline colleagues who are interested in making a difference to individuals who feel so desperate they see no solution to their problems.
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:
An understanding of the facts and myths about suicide
Why it is a public health issue and preventable
What you need to know in conversation with distressed people
How services can work together to protect individuals and their families
More confidence in dealing with difficult conversations
Virtual session for BEM social care staff
Thursday 6 May 2021
Black and ethnic minority staff from adult and children’s social services are invited to take part in a virtual session organised by the Race Equalities Taskforce.
The Race Equality Taskforce has been commissioned to look at inequalities in the city and make recommendations on how to tackle them.
In March, a session was held for Black and ethnic minority (BEM) staff networks across the public sector.
The Taskforce believe it's important to hold a specific session with BEM staff from adult and children’s social services.
This takes place on Tuesday 11 May at 6pm, via Zoom.
They are eager to create a safe space for colleagues to come and speak openly about any issues or concerns.
Senior managers are urged not to attend as the task force team is keen to enable an environment in which staff feel empowered to speak out.
The meeting will be chaired by Tracey Gore.
Please register via the following Zoom link:
Find out more
You can find out more about the work of the Race Equality Taskforce on their website: liverpoolret.org.uk/
Tuesday 4 May 2021
Stories coming up this May, by Director of Communications Camilla Mankabady.
Hello and welcome to our first ‘comms corner’.
I chaired a couple of focus groups earlier this year, as part of our rethink on staff engagement and there was a strong desire from colleagues to feel more included and have a greater awareness of stories that feature on our platforms.
So, your wish is our command 😊 I hope you find this summary useful.
We’ve all just emerged from the most extraordinary weekend when Liverpool once again made history. Our wonderful colleagues in CL and PH have made us proud by facilitating some brilliant events as part of the government’s Events Research Programme. Our city has hosted the UK’s first business event, the first nightclub dance and the first park festival since the pandemic struck. So we start this new month on a high, with bags of optimism, ambition and enterprise.
We are always on the hunt for opportunities to unpack the detail from these two plans. If you have any information that you would like us to share, please let us know.
To help our politicians settle in, we’ll be holding a session for new elected members on 13 May and on 19 May we’ll be holding a special council meeting, to agree the improvement plan in response to the ‘minded to’ letter from government following the ‘Best Value’ report.
May is an important month for us when we dedicate time and effort to highlighting the wonderful work of our foster carers, in the hope that we can encourage others to follow suit. We’re keen to recruit from all parts of our community, to ensure as many of our young people as possible, can get the best start in life. Please read and share our content that will run from 10 – 23 May during our 'Fostering Fortnight' focus which is themed 'Small Moments, Big Difference'.
May will continue to see more age groups gaining access to their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, we will continue to find moments and reasons, to highlight why it is vital that everyone takes up the offer from the NHS.
We will mark the Eid Al Fitr Celebrations on 13 and 14 May and will remind our city’s Muslims that sadly once again the festival cannot take place in the usual way. 17 May will bring us all some new freedoms, as once again we will be able to dine and drink inside bars, cafes and restaurants. We’ll be out and about to see how the reopening of this part of the hospitality sector goes.
Normality does seem to be returning in fits and starts, on 24 May we will give a very warm welcome to the first cruise ship call of the 2021 summer season. It is so important that we support our tourism sector. The full summer cruise schedule is due out next week.
Within the organisation, we will continue our ‘Culture Change’ journey. On 4 May, an All Managers virtual briefing was held with Mel Creighton, Jo Twist, Karen Lewis and Julie Jackson. If you missed it, the recording will be available shortly.
Later in the month, we will be hosting our third All Staff Q&A, this time you will hear from our Chief Executive Tony and our new Mayor. We want these events to be a regular feature and a real ‘appointment to view’ for us all. Thanks to those of you who have tuned in or submitted questions.
It may not be feeling particularly Spring-like today, but as the days get longer and brighter, many of us start thinking about picking up the exercise regime, or improving our diets. If you feel you could do with some tips or motivation, then please look out for our Wellbeing Session on nutrition and diet that Joshua Carrington will be facilitating.
Our Learning and Development, Streetscene and Legal Services teams have all booked in ‘Let’s Chat’ slots with Chief Exec Tony for this month. If you fancy taking part in a session, please email internal communications and they will arrange a convenient time.
I hope you enjoyed this summary. If you have any comments, or suggestions, please feel free to contact me directly.
Best wishes, Camilla
Let's Celebrate - staff in our in-house care hubs
Friday 30 April, 2021, 11.40am
As Covid cases continue to fall across Liverpool, we want to do a big shout out to the amazing staff supporting our in-house care hubs, for their sterling work during the pandemic and for their high take-up rate of the Covid vaccine.
While many staff were sent to work from home last March, colleagues in Granby, Sedgemoor and Townsend hubs were turning into work every day, alongside staff redeployed to provide additional workforce support.
That’s because some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, young and old, needed them.
The hubs support up to 100 residents who are receiving a mix of short-term recuperation and reablement due to a period of significant ill-health.
While visitors were banned, it was up to our colleagues to provide the warmth, love and friendship which the residents were missing from their own families - and they gave it out in spades, providing entertainment, sing-alongs and shoulders to cry on for those struggling. We should all be tremendously proud of them for their dedication to their service users.
At the start of the year front line staff in the hubs were offered a Covid vaccine, to help protect themselves and service users from the serious effects of coronavirus. And while take-up rates of the vaccine vary across the care home sector nationally, we’re really proud to say the take-up rate amongst hub staff is very good – standing at around 93% when you average out the three hubs.
As well as getting the vaccine themselves, colleagues are also helping to spread the word to service users and families, and their own loved ones, of the importance of getting vaccinated in order to protect Liverpool’s communities from the loss and suffering already experienced at the hands of Covid.
Director of Adult Services and Health, Martin Farran said: “I think it’s important to remember that at the start of the pandemic, we were in unchartered territory and there was so much uncertainty around Covid. In spite of this, and putting aside their own personal worries, staff continued to ensure our residents in care did not suffer and that they received the same quality of care day-in-day-out. Their resilience and commitment to service users was outstanding and they have carried this commitment right the way through, with the vast majority now vaccinated, adding that extra layer of protection around our most vulnerable. I’m immensely proud of staff and thank them for their continued hard work.”
Staff Q&A on culture change - play the session back
Wednesday 28 April, 2021, 4.40pm
We recorded the session so you can listen to it back when you have the time.
This morning we hosted our second virtual All Staff Q&A. This time focused on culture change.
The session was led by Chief Executive, Tony Reeves who was joined by Director of Finance and Resources, Mel Creighton and Director of People and Talent, Jo Twist.
In the facilitator's hot seat was the council's Director of Communications, Camilla Mankabady who ran staff through the results of our recent Investors in People re-accreditation and who took charge of putting questions, submitted live by staff, to our panel.
We understand that not all staff will have had the availability to join us. However if you'd like to listen back to the session it's available below, just click play.
(Note, the subtitles are auto-generated and may not be accurate in parts).
Investors in People say: We are improving
Wednesday 28 April
Not only have we retained our Investors in People status, we have also made significant improvements. Find out what’s good, what needs work and for the FIRST TIME EVER – read the full report.
As you may have heard in our All Staff Q&A, an Investors in People assessment of our whole organisation recently took place, involving confidential discussions with a cross-section of staff, a staff survey and interviews of senior managers.
The results are in and we’re pleased to say we’ve retained the IIP ‘standard’. In fact, we’ve improved to such an extent, we only narrowly missed the next award up, the Silver IIP.
Even more pleasingly, the report is packed with positives on how we’ve changed over the last few years.
This is what the report says we should all be proud of:
- Our ambition to improve Liverpool, together with our partners – summed up in our City Plan. It’s described as ‘a leading approach in the UK’.
- Our staff feel LCC is a better place to work than it was three years ago
- Communication has improved
- We’re better at leading, managing and developing our staff
- Trust and confidence in our senior leadership team has strengthened – ‘transparency and openness is valued’ says the IIP lead assessor
- Our approach to recognising YOUR achievements and contributions has improved – there’s more to do, but we’ve made great strides
- Teams are working and collaborating better together
- There’s praise for our more proactive approach to learning and development
- And our approach to equality, diversity and inclusivity has also improved.
The report sets out what to work on, including:
- Making sure all staff understand the City Plan and what it means for them
- Improving communications to frontline staff
- Setting out what we expect from all managers, so we have a consistent approach across the council
- Improving how we develop and support our managers
- Developing better ways of managing staff performance
- Ensuring our values and behaviours run through everything we do
- Improving how we reward and recognise staff
- Offering more support for new starters and new managers
- Making sure the improvements we’ve seen throughout the pandemic – better communication, more information sharing, more flexibility - aren’t lost when we go back into our workplaces.
This is just a flavour of what the report says, but to be open and transparent with staff, for the first time ever, we are making the whole report available for you to read.
Now the report is out, and our senior leadership team has met with the IIP lead assessor, work begins on tackling areas for improvement which will also feed into our new culture change programme. Watch this space.
We’ll also be holding a virtual managers’ briefing on Tuesday 4 May, between 12-1pm, to discuss the IIP report and culture change in more detail. More details will be shared shortly.
It’s part of us all working together to learn from the past, change our future, and make the council the best it can be, with a workforce who feel happy, safe, confident, proud to work for us, supported and valued.
Chief Executive, Tony Reeves said:
“The IIP report is good news for Liverpool City Council and a welcome boost for staff. Although many of us felt disappointed, hurt and let down by the findings of the ‘Best Value’ inspection, it is heartening to hear that colleagues feel the council is a better place to work than it was three years ago.
It tells me we are on the right path to improvement, even though we have some way to go. The feedback from IIP gives us solid ground on which to continue our journey – we know what needs to change and we will be working tirelessly to make it happen.”
You’ll start to see, hear and experience improvements within the next six months – in fact, we’re already underway, with changes to our recruitment practices, new equality and diversity training, a new workplace campaign in the pipeline.
Finally, a big thank you to everyone who took part in the process – from our internal reviewers, to staff who were interviewed, from Learning and Development colleagues for overseeing the process, to all those who filled in the IIP survey.
What do you think of the IIP report?
Let us know. Email email@example.com
All Staff Q&A on culture change - link
Wednesday 28 April, 2021, 9.50am
Find out how we're going to change our organisation for the better. Tune into the All Staff Q&A today 10.30-11.30am. Read on to find out how to tune using the dedicated Microsoft Teams link...
Tony Reeves is hosting the virtual session with all colleagues via Microsoft Teams.
He will be joined by Director of Finance and Resources, Mel Creighton, and our new Director of People and Talent, Jo Twist.
The session will be facilitated by Director of Communications, Camilla Mankabady.
They will discuss our plans to change the organisation's culture for the better, following the ‘Best Value’ report.
The recent outcome of our Investors in People (IIP) re-accreditation, including the findings of the IIP assessment which took place at the beginning of this year, will provide a handy backdrop to the chat.
This is an opportunity for you to hear from our senior leaders as we embark on our culture change journey and how we are working hard to be a more open, transparent and kind organisation, which puts its workforce at its heart. There will be plenty of time for you to ask questions during the session.
How to join the session
Please click on the following Microsoft Teams link to access the session:
Change is coming
Monday 26 April
This week, let’s really start the conversation on how we’re going to change the council for the better.
Let's start with a run-through of some of the changes you can expect to see, hear and experience over the coming months.
Watch Tony’s staff video where he talks more about this.
Then, this Wednesday we are hosting a virtual All Staff Q&A on culture change. Please be there between from 10.30-11.30am.
If you can’t make it, we’ll be recording and releasing it afterwards, as we know it’s important for as many staff as possible to hear it.
Chief Executive Tony Reeves will lead the session, with support from our Director of Finance and Resources, Mel Creighton, our new Director of People and Talent, Jo Twist and our Director of Communications, Camilla Mankabady.
It will focus on what we’re doing to move forward after the ‘Best Value’ inspection and the results of the recent Investors in People assessment. Find out more about the positive changes in the pipeline and how YOU can shape them.
We all want LCC to be a happy, kind, safe, welcoming organisation, where our staff feel supported, respected, valued, listened to and able to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
To start making this a reality, here’s some of what’s in store:
Let’s Talk - our new approach to managers and staff one-to-ones
You will start to have regular catch-ups with your managers (at least once every eight weeks) to discuss not only your performance, but your wellbeing too.
A senior management restructure
Once our new Mayor is in place, we’ll be able to share with you our Chief Executive’s plans for the top team, which are currently under development.
New workplace campaign celebrating our diverse workforce
We’ll be transforming some of our buildings with inspirational artwork and staff stories which celebrates the talents and diversity of our staff.
An improved wellbeing offer
We’ll continue to put wellbeing centre stage with continued support for your mental and physical health – from videos to live events, blogs to new initiatives.
Reviewing our values
We’ll be looking at changing our values to reflect who we are and how we all should behave in work. You will be at the heart of this conversation.
Improvements to how we communicate, reward and celebrate staff
You can expect clearer communication on changes to policies, the City Plan and the improvement plan. You will also see we’re holding more ‘Let’s Talk’ sessions between Tony and teams, more virtual manager briefings and more ‘Let’s Call’ as unsung heroes in our workforce get a surprise shout out from Tony.
Training for members
We’re reviewing the training and support we give to members to ensure they are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills to carry out their essential roles.
And all this is just for starters.
We’ll also be sharing over the coming weeks how we’ll be working from 21 June onwards, when our buildings reopen to more staff. We’re looking at a ‘hybrid’ model, to ensure there’s flexibility and a good home/life balance for those staff who can and want to work in this way. We will be talking to you and your unions more about this shortly.
Feedback? Queries? Please don’t hold back. Share your thoughts and questions with firstname.lastname@example.org
A ringing endorsement for Lee
Tuesday 20 April 2021, 11am
Last week, Chief Executive Tony Reeves launched a new recognition scheme for staff, called ‘Let’s Call’.
Every month Tony will be making a surprise phone call to an unsuspecting member of staff, to praise them for their work and to talk about how important they, and their skills, are to the council.
His first call was to Lee McLoughlin, Youth Worker in Targeted Services. Lee had received a ‘Shine’ from his manager, Joanne Hoban-McGlynn, recently, in which she recognised the outstanding work he had done with a service user.
Lee had helped to support a young person whose life was severely affected by a range of health conditions including ADHD, epilepsy and high anxiety. They had also needed to shield during Covid.
Despite these challenges, Lee was able to slowly bring our service user out of his shell, introducing him to animal therapy, through a local horse and pony sanctuary.
In feedback from the service user and their family, the young man’s father told our colleagues that it was the first time they had seen their child with a genuine smile on their face in over 10 years.
I think we would all agree that Lee was really deserving of a call from Tony to recognise his work. The two were able to spend time chatting about the importance of Lee’s role. They discussed the City Plan, and how it’s about empowering young people to take control of their lives. And it wasn’t all work talk, as mutual rugby fans, the conversation took a sporty steer too.
Lee McLoughlin said: “It was a pleasant surprise to receive a phone call from the Chief Executive, I appreciate that Tony took the time out of his day to recognise my work. I enjoyed the call as we talked about what my role involves within the Targeted Support team, and we discussed the values for transforming the lives of our young people within the city. As well as this, Tony took the time to ask about myself as a person which I felt was a really nice gesture. Within our service, I believe myself and my colleagues are in a fantastic position to make a really positive difference in the lives of young people on behalf of LCC, and its lovely to know that this work is recognised.”
Lee’s manager, Joanne Hoban-McGlynn, Senior Practitioner for Targeted Support said: “I am absolutely delighted for Lee that he was the first recipient of a Let’s Call from Tony. He completely deserves this recognition for his hard work and commitment to young people in our city. His energy, passion for his job and his natural way with young people is evident every day. As a youth worker Lee enables young people to believe in themselves and overcome barriers so that they can live more fulfilling lives and ultimately reach their potential. He does it all with so much patience, care and humour and will always go that extra mile. Well done Lee.”
If you know of someone deserving of a call from Tony then get in touch with Internal Communications and put ‘Let’s Call suggestion’ in the subject line.
It could be for long service, a charity endeavour, an excellent piece of work, for pushing themselves out their comfort zone or for simply being the glue that holds a team together. If you think they’re an unsung hero, we want to know about them!
Volunteers wanted for weight management pilot
Tuesday 20 April 2021, 11am
Now closed for expressions of interest due to high demand! Thanks to everyone who emailed in, we will be in touch with you shortly.
Friday 16 April 2021, 11.15am
A new weight management pilot programme is about to start. If you struggle to lose weight, and want to adopt a healthier lifestyle, this could be of interest…
We are looking for eight employees to take part in the scheme, who want to improve their lifestyle and adopt a ‘healthier relationship’ with food.
Health and Wellbeing Tutor in Adult Learning Service, Jayne Russell, will host the 12-week programme from Wednesday 21 April, with a weekly Wednesday virtual group session taking place at either 12:30pm - 13:30pm, or 13:30pm - 14:30pm.
Each week, plenty of information will be provided on how to make positive food choices and how to track your progress.
This programme is FREE for staff to attend, however, prior approval from your line manager is required to ensure you can attend every one of the weekly time slots for the 12 week period.
Jayne, who is also one of our Mental health and Wellbeing Champions, has a wealth of experience and expertise in weight management having run the NHS’ programme for 12 years.
The pilot is a health intervention for those who want to make lifestyle changes and is aimed at those who struggle to lose weight and feel they need some assistance and support.
If you’d like any further information or would like to register your interest please email email@example.com.
Workplace protocols updated
Wednesday 14 April 2021, 2.30pm
Protocols are in place to make sure our workplaces stay Covid-safe. However with the easing of restrictions and the roll-out of the vaccination programme, we have made some recent adjustments.
Liverpool City Council’s Workplace Covid-19 Protocols have been reviewed recently and some amends have been made.
- Microwaves can now be used as long as staff clean them before and after preparing food
- Fridges can now be used but staff must take care to ensure their foodstuff does not come into contact with anyone else's. Only milk and essential welfare (such a medicine) may be kept in the fridge overnight
- Seating areas in kitchen may now be used as long as social distancing is observed. If you do not have dining facilities in your kitchen you can continue to eat at your desk. Please clean your workstation and dispose of waste as soon as you've finished eating.
The protocols also clarify that all staff and building users are strongly advised to wear a face covering in all communal areas, unless medically exempt.
These changes have been agreed by trade unions and came into effect on Monday 12 April 2021
Easter appeal leads to ‘egg-ceptional’ outcome
Wednesday 31 March 2021, 12.30pm
A massive well done to staff who have helped to ensure some of Liverpool’s most vulnerable children get a chocolate surprise this Easter.
Colleagues have ‘scrambled’ together to make sure the council’s annual Easter Egg Appeal could still go ahead, despite most staff currently working from home.
And thanks to your generosity, Wavertree Children’s Centre was absolutely inundated with deliveries.
Now we’re delighted to announce that the Easter bunny is sinking under the weight of almost 500 eggs!
It’s all down to you - our workforce - who have clubbed together, or gone it alone to buy a set of eggs via a special Amazon wish list.
While others have driven over to Wavertree in person to hand-deliver their donations.
Whichever way you contributed, we know the chocolate eggs will be gratefully received by families who are struggling and in need of help.
After a difficult week for Liverpool City Council we should all be proud of this small achievement and the difference we will make to youngsters this weekend.
Here’s a lovely clip from Doreen Newby at Wavertree Children’s Centre, with a special message for staff:
It’s no yolk…there’s more
If that isn’t enough, our friend and colleague Julie Cashin, Children’s Rights and Participation Manager, has been able to provide an additional 2,200 eggs to family support teams and school teams who work with children on the edge of care…all courtesy of a donation from a family friend.
With the remaining funds in the pot, Julie has bought £1,870 worth of Morrison’s vouchers, which she has donated to the Children’s Centres. Vouchers will be prioritised for families most in need, and for those without a Morrisons supermarket nearby, staff are buying the food online themselves to make up food parcels.
This support will help to transform the Easter weekend for many families. Well done to everyone involved.
Happy Easter all.
All Staff Q&A
Monday, 29 March, 6.30pm
Missed the All Staff Q&A on the Best Value inspection?
You can watch a recording of the virtual event below.
All Staff Q&A
Thursday 25 March, 6pm
Following the publication of the Best Value Inspection report, Chief Executive Tony Reeves and Acting Mayor Wendy Simon are holding a virtual All Staff Q&A on Monday.
Wednesday was a painful day for each and every one of us and we know staff will still be reeling from what they’re read and heard.
In recognition of that, our Chief Executive Tony Reeves and Acting Mayor Wendy Simon are inviting all staff to attend a virtual Q&A session on Monday, from 1-2pm.
Tony and Wendy will talk about what happens next, as we start the real hard work on rebuilding trust in the council. They’ll explain the positive improvements we’ve already made and how the future for Liverpool is still bright, if we all pull together, support one another, and make real change happen.
But the focus of the session will really be on YOU. Tony and Wendy will be taking as many of YOUR questions in the time we’ve got.
We want every member of staff to feel fully informed and involved, every step of the way, so please make every effort to attend.
You can send questions beforehand to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can submit them, during the event, via a message function. All questions will be pre-moderated.
The All Staff Q&A will be the council’s first ever ‘Microsoft Teams Live’ event.
All you need to do to attend is to log on via a PC or your phone, via the link we’ll share on the day. The only difference you should notice is that you’ll only see and hear from Tony and Wendy, you won’t be able to see or hear from any colleagues in the audience.
We appreciate that it’s the first day of the Easter school holidays, so some of you may be on leave. We plan to record the session and release it afterwards, and we’re also asking managers to attend so they can brief any staff who are off.
Finally, this event marks the start of a new way of communicating with you. You’ll see lots more improvements and changes in the coming weeks and months – all designed to make Liverpool City Council a much more transparent, open, kind and listening organisation.
Summary of Best Value findings
Wednesday 24 March 2021, 5pm
It's been an extremely challenging day for Liverpool City Council and we know there has been a lot of information for colleagues to take in.
We know the headlines today, and in the days ahead, will make for painful reading.
If you don't have time to read the full report, we have pulled together a summary of the key findings for you.
If you have any questions or comments about the inspection or subsequent report, please email email@example.com.
If you are affected by the details of the report please remember there is support available if you wish to talk to someone. There are more details on the extranet. Or alternatively, if you have questions about the wellbeing offer we provide you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
READ: LCC's statement on the Best Value inspection report
Wednesday 24 March 2021, 4pm
Liverpool City Council takes the findings of a report from Government inspector, Max Caller CBE, into its Highways, Regeneration and Property Management functions extremely seriously.
The inspector has found failings in relation to land disposal, governance and the relationship between elected members and officers, and makes a series of recommendations to tackle them.
This includes sending commissioners to work alongside officers and councillors, a reduction in councillors and a move to all-out elections every four years.
Crucially, Max Caller has made it clear that he believes the organisation has already taken steps to address the issues, since the arrival of Chief Executive Tony Reeves in 2018.
The council has pledged to address all of the concerns raised and continue its journey of improvement.
The full report can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/liverpool-city-council-best-value-inspection-report
The council’s improvement plan will be published after the local elections.
Acting Mayor, Cllr Wendy Simon and Chief Executive Tony Reeves, said: “This is a difficult day for our organisation and we take the report findings extremely seriously.
“The inspector’s report has highlighted several failings, but there is a collective commitment from both councillors and officers to learn from these mistakes.
“We would like to reassure all residents and businesses that we will take action to address all of the issues highlighted. We know we need to rebuild your trust.
“It is reassuring that the inspector believes we have made progress in starting to deliver the wholesale changes needed.
“A detailed improvement plan is being drawn up and will be implemented in full.
“We will be open and transparent about the progress we are making on each of the recommendations.
“This includes restructuring the organisation to strengthen our governance and ensure our work is aligned with our pandemic Recovery Pledges and the City Plan.
“At the same time, we will ensure we keep delivering essential services and offering a helping hand to the people of our city.”
WATCH: "We're going to use this to strengthen our position and move forward"
Wednesday 24 March 2021, 3pm
Chief Executive, Tony Reeves, has an important message for staff following the release of the 'Best Value' report.
Please take the time to watch this short, subtitled clip from Tony.
Update on Director of Regeneration and Economy
Monday 22 March 2021, 7pm
A message from Chief Executive, Tony Reeves, to all staff.
I want to let you know that Nick Kavanagh is no longer employed by Liverpool City Council.
It has been an extremely challenging time for many.
I would like to acknowledge the efforts that Regeneration colleagues have made to remain resilient throughout this time.
In recent weeks, there has been a separate Best Value inspection of planning, highways, regeneration and property management functions carried out by Max Caller CBE, on behalf of the government.
We are expecting to receive the report into the inspection over the coming days.
New Covid testing pilot available for eligible staff
Wednesday 3 March 2021, 4.20pm
Staff in Adults, Children’s and LSSL are being invited to take part in a Liverpool Covid testing pilot, which will allow them to safely avoid having to isolate if they come into contact with a positive case outside their household or bubble.
Currently if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, or through other means, to alert you to self-isolate, you are required to isolate for 10 days.
However, staff in both Adults, Children’s and LSSL will now be eligible for the pilot if they:
- Are a key worker / or need to attend the workplace
- Live or work in Liverpool
- Have been identified as a close contact of someone with Covid outside their household or bubble
Through the pilot, staff will be asked to:
- Take a daily lateral flow (fast results) Covid test at one of Liverpool’s community testing centres or in the workplace (where available)
- Continue to be tested daily up to the seventh day following their contact with the positive case
- Continue to participate in activities permitted by national guidance, including work, for the 24 hours in between each negative test
- Report their daily result to our pilot co-ordinator
- Take a PCR test following any positive results and at the end of the seven days for evaluation purposes
At the end of the seven days, if your result is negative again, you will be released from the pilot.
Who is running the pilot?
The pilot is a nationally authorised programme being led by the council’s Public Health team, and co-ordinated by colleagues in HR.
It is voluntary and even if you participate, you must continue to follow good practice for Covid including:
- Social distancing
- Wearing a mask in public indoor settings or outdoors where you can’t keep a safe distance
- Continue with good hand hygiene
- Wear PPE where appropriate
Why take part?
Although visiting a community test site to receive a daily Covid test may require some re-organisation of your diary or working day, your participation will:
- Allow you to continue to do your job supporting vulnerable residents and providing essential services to our community,
- Carry on with activities permitted by national guidance such as visiting the supermarket or enjoying daily exercise
- Identify when you may have contracted Covid-19 and must isolate
- Support colleagues in Public Health and the university to gather valuable data about the effectiveness of the SMART release programme
How to sign up
If you have reason to believe you have been exposed to Covid-19 outside of your home or social bubble or if receive a notification or phone call asking you to self-isolate, please:
- Alert your line manager in the first instance and let them know you want to volunteer as part of the pilot
- If you work for Adults or Children’s email the council’s pilot co-ordinator at email@example.com
- Or, if you work for LSSL contact your pilot co-ordinator at HR@lssl.liverpool.gov.uk, with your details and
- You will be contacted with more information about next steps
Please make sure you contact the pilot co-ordinator as soon as possible after your exposure to Covid-19, so testing can get underway quickly.
Remember, the positive case must be outside your household or support bubble. If the case is within your household or bubble you must isolate immediately and request a PCR test if you display any symptoms.
Relaxation of core hours
Monday 15 February 2021, 11am
We recognise that this remains a difficult time for all our employees, especially those who are trying to combine working with home schooling. We are all having to show greater flexibility in our working lives while lockdown continues and it’s clear that standard working hours are not appropriate for everyone at the moment.
In order to support our employees, we are advising all managers to relax the requirement for employees to work within the council’s standard Core Hours of 9.30 am to 3.30 pm, where it is appropriate for them to do so*. This is already happening in some teams and so we want to make clear that we are encouraging all managers to do this where they can.
This will mean that employees in jobs and teams that are not bound by customer opening hours can, by agreement with their manager, work hours which suit their current situations. This can include:
- Starting earlier than normal, e.g. before 7am
- Starting later, e.g. after lunch
- Splitting the day, e.g. by starting early and working a few hours, then starting work again later in the day or evening
*To clarify, when we say ‘where it is appropriate’, this means that the nature and duties of the employee’s job mean that the work can be done at any time during the day, as long as it gets done. We recognise that this will not apply to some jobs where customer interaction is involved. We are, however, encouraging managers to be as flexible as possible in their approach, as long as there is no significant impact on service operations.
NEW Parenting Support Group launches next week
Wednesday 3 February
Parenting during lockdown is tough! Help is at hand with a new group to support staff juggling childcare and home schooling. Here’s how to get involved.
As part of our commitment to our employees’ wellbeing, Human Resources is offering staff with childcare responsibilities the opportunity to get together.
We know how hard it can be juggling the demands of work with caring for children and home schooling. That’s why a new parenting support group, called ‘Parenting Together’, will launch from next week, open to any council employee who is a parent/carer. This includes colleagues in same sex relationships, couples who may have used a surrogate and foster parents.
The first session is on Wednesday 10 February, from 12-12.45pm, via Microsoft Teams.
It will be hosted by colleagues from HR and Early Help, who will be discussing parenting during the pandemic, offering tips and advice. They will signpost staff to useful resources, and also encouraging you to share your own experiences in a safe, informal environment.
Don’t worry if you can’t make this time as the session will be recorded. You can also join the Teams Chat at any time. Simply click on the meeting invite on the intranet, or if you don't have intranet access, please ask your manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it to you.
It’s not been decided yet how frequently the sessions will run, as we want to gauge the level of interest first.
REMINDER | Testing for those with and without symptoms
Thursday 28 January 2021
We understand that this is a worrying and confusing time for staff. Not only do we need you to understand the latest Covid guidance but we also need you to have the confidence to communicate this guidance to family, friends, service users and residents at every opportunity. You may find the following summary useful.
No symptoms and staying at home?
Until recently we have been encouraging everyone in the city to get tested for Covid, whether you have symptoms or not, at one of our SMART (no symptoms) test centres.
With England remaining in national lockdown and the vast majority of us staying at home, it is not necessary for everyone to get tested regularly as interactions with other people will be much lower than they were previously. Instead we are prioritising testing for those people who need to leave the house on a regular basis (see below).
No symptoms but leaving house regularly for work?
Around one third of people who have Covid will not display any symptoms which is why we are encouraging anyone who can’t work from home and who needs to leave the house to work to go and get tested at one of our SMART test centres for people without symptoms.
If you fall into this category you can turn up at a SMART test centre without an appointment and you will have a Lateral Flow test. This is a swab test which will be evaluated on site. You will be sent your result by email or text within 30 minutes of taking the test.
If your test is positive you must isolate yourself and your household immediately for the following 10 days.
Find out where to go for SMART no-symptoms test here: https://www.liverpool.gov.uk/communities-and-safety/emergency-planning/coronavirus/how-to-get-tested/symptom-free-testing-for-frontline-workers/
If you have any Covid symptoms – a new and continuous cough, a high temperature, a loss, or change to your sense of smell or taste – you should book to attend one of the city’s Covid Symptoms testing centres via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. You must only leave your house to attend a test centre and go straight back home to isolate.
Your household does not need to get tested with you, unless they are also displaying symptoms.
At the Covid Symptoms test centre you will have something called a PCR test. This is the most reliable Covid test you can get. Your swab will be sent to a laboratory to be analysed and you will get the results within 48 hours.
While you wait for the result you must stay at home with your household.
If your result is positive, you and your household must isolate for 10 days counting from the day after you started showing symptoms.
You must not under any circumstances go to a SMART (no symptoms) test centre for your test and nor should any member of your household as they must self-isolate with you.
If you’ve got symptoms of Covid you can book your test here: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Liverpool City Council COVID Isolation Advice line
People may need help when they have been told to self-isolate because of COVID. If you need help with:
- Money: Some people self-isolating may qualify for financial help if they have lost income or are in hardship
- Worries about work, including support from your employer to isolate
- Shopping or accessing emergency help from a foodbank
- Debt and Housing problems
- Feeling low and need advice on who to talk to
- Collecting prescriptions
Call the Liverpool City Council Advice Line: 0151 233 3066 8am-6pm Mon-Fri, or via https://liverpool.gov.uk/communities-and-safety/emergency-planning/coronavirus/help-for-people-and-communities/
UPDATED - Covid vaccinations: bookings now OPEN for eligible staff
Wednesday 20 January 2021
UPDATE: Bookings NOW OPEN for eligible frontline social care staff and staff in our Covid-19 testing centres.
The council is supporting Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to ensure our frontline social care staff receive their Covid-19 vaccinations as soon as possible.
Frontline social care staff are in the second priority group for receiving a Covid-19 vaccination, after care home residents and staff - as decided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which advises national government.
APPOINTMENTS FOR VACCINATIONS FOR THE FOLLOWING ELIGIBLE STAFF ARE NOW AVAILABLE.
- Staff working in our Covid-19 smart testing centres
- Social care staff working in a frontline job who, in normal pre-Covid circumstances have frequent face-to-face contact with service users who are:
Aged over 70
Clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV)of ANY AGE (including children, and anyone with a learning disability or Special Educational Needs).
This could include staff working in people’s homes, day centres, supported living settings, supported housing, services for homeless people and transport, as well as social work.
As well as this, frontline social care staff who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable themselves (those who have had letters from their GP/the Department of Health to inform them they are CEV) or have been categorised as 'very high risk' through the council's own risk assessment process, should also book now, whether they are having face-to-face contact with service users at the moment or not.
And frontline social care staff who are from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background should book too - whether they are having face-to-face contact with service users at the moment or not.
Finally, any social care staff in priority group one, working in care homes, who missed out on the opportunity to receive their vaccinations recently, can also book now.
Roles that are not included are social care management and ‘back office’ positions where there is no frequent face-to-face contact with service users.
If you do not meet this criteria, it is VERY important that you do not book. Please support us to get the right people vaccinated first
Please do not use the booking links if you are not in the above categories. Please do not share the links with any colleagues, family or friends. If you do, you could be depriving one of your colleagues of that vaccination and risk wasting vaccine.
Legally, our colleagues in health cannot administer the vaccine to anyone who is not in the JCVI priority groups.
Your co-operation and support is appreciated.
If you are eligible, please access the booking links on the intranet. If you don't have intranet access, please ask your line manager. Line managers of eligible teams should shortly receive an email with the booking links and a briefing note, with a request to forward them on to eligible staff.
How to book
Check you meet the eligibility criteria above. If you are not sure, please ask your line manager. If your line manager is not sure, he/she should contact email@example.com or contact their HR Business Partner.
Have your ten digit NHS number to hand. You can get this by downloading the NHS app on your smartphone or find it on any letter or document that you have received from the NHS, including prescriptions, test results, hospital referrals or appointment letters. Please avoid contacting your GP surgery to ask for your NHS number as they are dealing with high volumes of calls.
Select the booking link for the hospital hub nearest/most convenient to you and follow their process to make your appointment. >With your line manager’s agreement, you can have reasonable time off work to attend your appointment if you are unable to book an appointment outside of work time.
You should receive a confirmation of your booking appointment.
- Need to cancel? Staff should use the ‘cancel’ option in the Simply Book system as soon as they are aware that they cannot make their appointment. This will help to avoid wasting vaccines /appointment slots.
ON THE DAY OF YOUR APPOINTMENT
Please take a face covering with you (unless you are exempt) and valid employee ID (your ID badge) which will be checked.
If you don’t take ID, you won’t be vaccinated.
If you are eligible, you should also receive an email from your manager which we recommend you print off/share at your appointment, as further proof, if requested.
Can I choose which vaccine I receive?
The CCG has informed us that you cannot choose which vaccine you receive (Pfizer or Oxford-AstraZeneca) - you will be given whichever vaccines the hospital hub is administering on any given day.
The only exception to this is if you have a history of a significant allergic reaction to a vaccine, medicine, or food or have been advised to carry an adrenaline autoinjector. The Pfizer/BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine is not recommended for people with a clinical history of anaphylaxis.
Clinicians will double check your medical history with you before you receive your
vaccination and will at that point make a decision.
WHAT ABOUT VACCINATING EVERYONE ELSE?
Vaccinations are not available for the wider care workforce at this stage. We will provide further updates on vaccination schedules for the wider social care workforce as the programme progresses.
Unfortunately, at this stage, we do not know when other ‘frontline’ staff groups – for example teachers/school staff - will receive their vaccine, as it is yet to be decided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which advises national and local government. When we know more, we will of course let staff know via the intranet, Staff Extranet and Staff Facebook.
We are asking everyone to please be patient. Everyone else will eventually receive a vaccination – the government has pledged to vaccinate all adults by September.
It is vital that all of our frontline social care staff get vaccinated as quickly as possible. There are enough resources to do this by mid-February, as long as the system is not abused. To reiterate, please do not book a vaccination or share the booking link unless you are eligible – we all have a duty to comply with this and your support is much appreciated.
New Samaritans ‘call back’ service launches for staff
Wednesday 13 January 2021
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new service today (Wednesday 13 January) to support the mental health and wellbeing of council employees.
The council has teamed up with The Samaritans in Liverpool and Merseyside to offer a 24 hour ‘call back service’ – a brand new initiative, the first of its kind in the UK, which is designed to help any member of staff who needs to talk to someone if they are struggling mentally.
You can get in touch with Samaritans about anything that’s troubling you. It doesn’t matter how big or small the issue.
To access the service, all you need to do is complete their confidential online referral form giving your first name, a contact number, and the date/time (within a two hour window) you would prefer a call back, plus a short description of your concerns.
Your form is sent directly to the Samaritans and at no point shared with anyone in the council. The Samaritans do keep a record of calls but don’t identify/keep individual’s details.
Managers/employees can also complete the form and refer a colleague on their behalf for a call back. Please make sure you have your colleague’s permission to do this.
There is no time limit on the call back you receive – you can take as long as you need to with a trained Samaritans listener. You can also ask for ongoing support, by way of a daily or weekly scheduled call, if you need it.
Anyone who needs URGENT support from the Samaritans should not use the call back service, but instead call the national helpline on 116 123.
The service was successfully piloted in Careline and the Contact Centre before Christmas and is now being rolled out across the whole organisation.
Director of Public Health Matt Ashton said: “I’m proud of how council staff have coped with the Covid pandemic, supporting our vulnerable residents and doing their best for the city over the past ten months. But I understand how stressful and hard it’s been at times – I have felt it too. That’s why I’m delighted we can offer this service to staff through The Samaritans, showing just how much we value and care about the health and wellbeing of our staff. For anyone who is finding life tough at the moment, at home or in work, please don’t hesitate to use this service.”
Rachel Howley, Development Manager for Samaritans of Liverpool and Merseyside said: “The Samaritans is a Listening Service: there is no judgement, no pressure and the aim is to help the caller work through whatever is on their mind. Samaritans are not there to tell the caller what to do. Council staff can ask for a callback on anything – from relationships, sexuality, anxiety, bereavement, workplace worries, painful physical conditions, loneliness or isolation. We’re ready to listen and ready to support.”
Staff are also reminded that they can also contact one of the council’s mental health and wellbeing champions, speak to your line manager or a trusted colleague, or one of the many national/local mental health support services. Please see the Live Your Life Well website and a list of mental health charities on the NHS website. There are also a wealth of free health and wellbeing courses available through the LearningHUB.
Don't let this pass you by - IIP online survey
Monday 11 January
The final assessment year launched on Tuesday 6 January with all staff being invited by email from Investors in People to complete a short online survey.
So far over 700 responses have been received. A big thank you to those of you who have shared your views.
For those who have not yet completed the survey please have your say and be open and honest. Your opinions matter - and will help us improve as an organisation.
All staff are encouraged to participate.
The survey is completely confidential. It is hosted by IIP outside of the council and results are only viewed by external assessors.
Don't delay, respond today. The survey closes on Tuesday 19 January.
Managers of offline staff
If you manage staff that don’t have access to a work device, please ensure they also get involved with the IIP assessment.
To enable offline staff to take part in the survey managers are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an open access link which you can send out to each member of staff. Please note, you will need to request one link per member of staff as it can only be used once.
Lockdown: update for staff
Thursday 7 January 2021
Now that a national lockdown is in place for England, and everyone is being asked to stay at home and only leave when necessary, this is our advice to staff.
Working from home
Our working from home position remains unchanged from November. All staff who can work from home effectively, should work from home.
However, staff in frontline roles and anyone who cannot work effectively from home, or wishes to attend one of our workplaces for personal reasons, can attend the workplace as normal, as our workplaces are Covid-secure. Please make sure you continue to comply with our protocols on safe working, and carry your council ID badge when you leave home/return, in case you are asked to produce it.
A reminder that each of our workplaces has a building risk assessment which can you read online.
The default position on meetings and interviews is that these should be carried out virtually wherever possible. In the event that a virtual meeting or interview is not possible or practical, normal safe working protocols, including social distancing, must be observed.
This advice will be kept under review but is expected to be in place until at least mid-February.
Clinically extremely vulnerable staff/very high risk
Shielding is being brought back by the Government, and letters will be sent to those affected shortly. Advice for extremely vulnerable people is on our website.
For any staff who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, or very high risk following a risk assessment, we would advise you to discuss your working arrangements with your line manager, but in general, the advice is you should not attend the workplace until further notice.
Managers should revisit the Covid age risk assessments, downloadable from the intranet, for any staff who fall into this category, and discuss any required changes to duties/roles during this period. If managers need any advice, they should email email@example.com or raise it with their HR Business Partner in the first instance.
Working parents/home schooling
During the period of national lockdown, schools, alternative provision, special schools, and colleges will remain open to vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers only. All other children and students will learn remotely until February half-term.
If you are not sure whether you classify as a critical worker, please ask your line manager.
Please discuss your working arrangements with your line manager if you have childcare responsibilities.
Managers are asked to be as flexible as possible around working hours for parents/carers juggling working, home schooling and caring for their children.
Mental health and wellbeing
If you are struggling with your mental health during this period, please do reach out for support. You can contact one of the council’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Champions, speak to your line manager or a trusted colleague, or contact one of the many national/local mental health support services. Please see the Live Your Life Well website and a list of mental health charities on the NHS website.
You are not alone and it is ok, to not be ok.
Thank you to all our staff for their continued hard work and commitment during these trying times.
Staff survey for IIP assessment
Monday 4 January 2021
An Investors in People Staff Survey will land in colleagues' inboxes on Tuesday (5 January) - as part of our final year assessment. Find out more...
The final Investors in People (IIP) review is underway and over the next eight weeks, assessment activities will include a staff survey, interviews with a selection of staff from across the organisation, observations and leadership discussions.
The IIP staff survey launched on Tuesday 5 January and all staff with a Liverpool City Council email address will have been sent a link to complete the survey online. You are all encouraged to respond and have your say.
For staff using VDI, please check your ‘other’ rather than ‘focussed’ mailbox to locate the email. Read advice on how to do this.
For those staff that don’t have access to a work email/device, managers will be provided with details that can be shared so offline staff can get involved and the details will also be shared on the extranet.
You may also be invited to an IIP interview or focus group to support the IIP assessment.
These will be hosted mainly online either by Teams or Zoom. Staff are randomly selected by IIP so please do your best to take part - managers are encouraged to support staff to participate.
Please be open and honest in answering questions to help us work to improve what we do. There are no right or wrong answers and our internal reviewers will do their best to ask questions in a way you will understand. The interviews will take no more than an hour and will be completely confidential.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
If you have any questions or queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Investors in People: Final assessment year
Tuesday 22 December 2020
The final IIP assessment year kick-starts in January 2021 and your involvement in the process will be key. Read on to find out more....
Liverpool City Council has proudly held the Investors in People Standard (IIP) since 2003. We were last formally accredited in October 2017 and we have continued to take part in smaller annual reviews as part of a three-year rolling assessment, resulting in maintaining our ‘accredited’ status.
The assessment this year will consist of a staff survey launching early January 2021, interviews and focus groups (carried out virtually by teams or zoom) with a selection of staff from across the organisation, observations and leadership discussions. A team of council staff have been trained as Internal Reviewers and they will conduct interviews and focus groups under the guidance of the IIP Lead Assessor.
Updates will be shared over the coming weeks, in the meantime, if you are invited to complete the staff survey and take part in an interview or focus group, please make sure you participate and provide honest feedback. Managers are encouraged to provide support, so staff can participate in the IIP assessment.
The outcomes (expected in February 2021) will help us to continue to focus on areas we need to improve, as well as helping us to transform the council and our workforce, as part of delivering the City Plan.
Chief Executive, Tony Reeves, said: "We have made the decision to proceed with the final year assessment, as we are committed to our workforce and developing our staff. This is the final year of the assessment in which have invested time providing evidence and we want to continue to use the opportunity to gain impartial feedback on what we need to do to improve as an organisation to ensure we are doing the best for our staff.
"The outcome of the assessment will enable us to hold the IIP accreditation for a further three years. Going forward, we will explore other suitable accreditations and alternatives to review what’s current and appropriate, to enable us to demonstrate that we are a great employer, we engage with workforce and we have your best interests at heart."
What is Investors in People?
The IIP standard sets out the criteria for high performance through people management and was first introduced by the UK Government in 1991. It consists of a simple framework to benchmark the effectiveness of leadership and management practices within organisations. Successful accreditation demonstrates the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to sustainability.
IIP measures an organisation against three performance themes: Leading, Supporting and Improving which are assessed as part of the accreditation process. Find out more about the standard and themes here.
For further information please contact email@example.com.
Return to work update
Tuesday 1 December 2020, 11am
While Liverpool’s rate of Covid infections has dropped, and the city enters Tier 2 restrictions on Wednesday, our position on staff working from the office/home remains unchanged.
Back in September we announced we were pausing the return of office-based staff to the workplace, in light of the rise in Covid infections across the city.
The pause put a halt to our plans to bring back 50% of our workforce in September. It applied to all council workplaces and was agreed by the trade unions.
Although the rate of infection since then has dropped significantly, our ‘pause’ remains in place. The advice to staff therefore remains the same as before:
- If you / your team has not yet returned to the office, please continue to work from home until we advise otherwise.
- If your team has already returned to the workplace, you can carry on with this arrangement only if you are working on a rota basis and numbers in the workplace will remain the same week on week. If you are planning to bring more colleagues back in, these plans need to pause.
- If you would like to return to working from home and your job allows you to do so, please discuss this in the first instance with your line manager.
- As a general principle, we are not insisting that anyone attends the workplace at the moment if you can do your job as effectively from home and this is agreed with your line manager.
- If you have returned to the workplace and would like to continue to do so for personal reasons, you can carry on attending as normal, as our workplaces are Covid-safe spaces.
Normal duties are unaffected by this change as long as they are carried out in line with our protocols on safe working, and this includes visits and meetings where required.
This advice will be kept under review.
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) employees
Update: Monday 9 November
Important advice for employees who are clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid-19, or have been categorised as 'very high risk' through the council's risk assessment process
Liverpool residents who are classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) to Covid-19 will be receiving a letter from the NHS giving advice about what they should and should not do during the national lockdown, which is in place until Wednesday 2 December.
If you receive a CEV letter, you must share this with your line manager.
For any of our employees who are classed as CEV, you are advised not to attend the workplace.
You should stay at home as much as possible but are encouraged to go outdoors for exercise and to attend health appointments. You can meet up with one other person from outside your household or support bubble for the purpose of outdoor exercise, but you should always observe social distancing.
You should not go shopping or to a pharmacy. Please register with gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support to:
get access to priority supermarket deliveries
ask for someone to contact you about the local support that is available
update your details - for example, your address.
If you need to register your needs by phone, or have an urgent need, and do please call the council's emergency support line on 0151 233 3066. Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. There is further advice on what CEV individuals should and shouldn't do on our website.
If you are not a Liverpool resident, please contact your local council who will have similar support lines in operation. You can also continue to access support from local charities and organisations, as well as NHS Volunteer Responders.
As well as helping with shopping and medicines delivery, NHS Volunteer Responders can help with a regular, friendly phone call, and transport to and from medical appointments. Call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm to arrange support or visit the NHS Volunteer Responders website.
If you are able to work from home, you should do so. If adjustments to duties may be required, you should discuss these with your line manager.
If you are able to do your job from home, but currently don’t have the necessary equipment to do so, you should contact your line manager about this in the first instance.
Managers are expected to assess what IT/other equipment they have available and if necessary, prioritise the allocation of equipment based on need.
If your job cannot be done from home, regardless of any adjustments that could be made or equipment provided, you should remain at home and not attend work.
We will be actively seeking to provide alternative work for you in areas where we have an urgent need, which may involve working in a different team or service. If you have a permanent or fixed term contract with the council, you will continue to be paid your normal pay during the time you are away from the workplace.
If you are classed as CEV, but your job requires to attend the workplace and you wish to continue attending the workplace, your manager must carry out a Covid Risk Assessment with you. The purpose of this is to assess whether we can provide a safe working environment for you. If the outcome is that the risk is too great, you will be instructed to remain at home and we will actively seek to provide alternative work for you.
The restrictions outlined above do not apply to you if you do not have a CEV letter or a categorisation of Very High Risk. You should therefore follow the advice for any other employee during the lockdown and work from home where possible or attend the workplace if your job requires it.
If you are attending work, you should follow our Workplace Protocols at all times in the workplace and try to minimise close contact with the CEV person while at home.
Employees who are Very High Risk but do not have a CEV letter
If you have not received a CEV letter, but you have been categorised as Very High Risk in a Covid Risk Assessment, you should follow the advice above for employees who do have a CEV letter.
All employees who are attending the workplace
All employees who are attending the workplace should have been subject to a Covid Risk Assessment by now. If any remain outstanding, managers should take immediate steps to carry these out.
If you are attending the workplace and are asked by the Police why you are travelling, you simply need to show your LCC ID card and advise that you are travelling to work. Travelling to work is a legitimate reason and all of our employees who are attending work during the lockdown are classed as key workers.
All our Covid workplace safety measures, as set out in our Protocols, remain in place and should be observed at all times.
IMPORTANT: Staff asked to work from home where possible
From Thursday 5 November staff should return to home working if you can do your job at home effectively.
The Government has announced that England will return to a full national lockdown from 00.01am on Thursday 5 November.
As part of the lockdown, people are being advised to work from home if they can do so effectively.
Where possible you should return to home working from Thursday if you can do your job at home effectively.
If however you have personal reasons why you want to carry on coming into the office, you can continue to do so, with the approval of your line manager, as our buildings remain a Covid-safe space. You will not, however, be forced to attend the workplace during lockdown if you can do your job from home.
If you cannot work from home you must continue to attend the workplace as normal as long as you have not been classed as at high-risk from Covid. You should already have had a Covid Risk Assessment with your manager which will have indicated your level of risk if you contracted coronavirus. If you have not had an assessment, or your health circumstances have changed since your last one, please speak to your line manager as soon as possible.
People who are classed as being extremely clinically vulnerable, and who received a letter from the NHS at the start of lockdown in the Spring, will shortly receive a new letter from Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) advising them to take additional care and to remain at home where possible. If you are in this group and can carry out your role at home, please continue to do so. If the nature of your job means that you have to attend the workplace, your manager will need to carry out a Covid Risk Assessment, if one has not been done already, to assess the level of risk and take appropriate actions. In some cases, this will mean people cannot do their jobs and must stay at home. In those cases, we will be actively looking for alternative work for people to do while at home, wherever possible.
We will be following up this message with additional detail over the next couple of days.
We appreciate the coming weeks are offering us more uncertainty and restrictions.
The announcement of mass testing for the city is a positive step towards us lowering the number of cases in our communities. We would encourage you, as either a resident of Liverpool, or someone who travels into work in Liverpool, to get a test from Friday and urge your family and friends from the city to do the same.
Please remember that we are here for you if you are feeling worried or anxious about what the next few weeks hold. We have Mental Health and Wellbeing Champions who you can talk to, and who will signpost you to further support networks if you need it. We also run a clinic every Friday, led by our Occupational Health Nurse, where you can seek advice in a confidential environment. If you would prefer to seek help outside of work, we understand. Please visit Kind to your Mind for further advice.
Our mailboxes are on the move…
ICT is in the process of migrating everyone’s mailboxes to the ‘cloud’, as part of the roll-out of Microsoft 365. This is what YOU need to do…
ICT is moving everyone’s mailboxes from the old platform – Microsoft Exchange – to Microsoft 365’s Exchange Online Service.
Once done, you’ll have a much bigger mailbox with 100GB of storage, as well as other benefits like being able to access your emails at anytime, from anywhere, on any device with an internet connection. You’ll also be able to arrange Microsoft Teams Meetings directly from your calendar.
The move is already underway, and being done in service area groups of about 200-300 mailboxes each day.
The day before your mailbox is moved, you should receive an email from ICT telling you what to do.
Please make sure you follow the instructions carefully. We’ve summarised them below here:
• Make sure you’re registered with Microsoft’s Multi-Factor Authentication.
• Log out of Outlook by 6pm on the day your mailbox is due to be moved.
• The next working day, open up Outlook in the usual manner on your device/PC. Everything should look the same, your emails and personal folders should still be there.
• Follow the User Guide on moving the contents of your personal email folders - which you must do if you want to keep them.
• You’ve got one week to move the contents of your personal folders to your upgraded mailbox - unless you are a Direct Access tablet/laptop user, in which case you’ll need to do it next time you’re in the office.
• If you have a work mobile phone, you need to set up Microsoft 365 mail on your phone too – simply follow the instructions in the O365 Email Setup on Mobile User Guide.
If you have any issues whatsoever, our colleagues in ICT will be more than happy to help. Please contact them via the Userhub.
Thanks for your co-operation as we improve your ICT systems, to help us all work in smarter, more agile ways.
When and how to self-isolate
Tuesday 13 October
Please help protect our city and each other - follow the rules on when and how to self-isolate.
Figures from SAGE (the government’s scientific advisory group for emergencies) show that less than 20% of people in England fully self-isolate when asked to do so. If we want to protect our city and each other, it is VITAL we do the right thing and self-isolate when necessary.
Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus (COVID-19). This helps stop the virus spreading to other people.
It's actually a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive or are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. You could be fined if you do not self-isolate.
You MUST self-isolate immediately if:
- you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- you've tested positive for coronavirus
- you live with someone who has symptoms or tested positive
- someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
- you're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app
- you arrive in the UK from a country with a high coronavirus risk.
You MUST NOT leave your home while self-isolating.
- Don't go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can. Please discuss your working situation with your line manager. Managers - please check you've read the most recent Covid guidance we've issued.
- Don't go on public transport or use taxis.
- Don't go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home.
- Don't have visitors in your home - except for people providing essential care.
- Don't go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one.
- Don't walk your dog - if your dog cannot exercise at home, you should ask someone outside of your household or support bubble to walk your dog for you. See the Government's Covid advice for people in England with animals.
Test and Trace Support Payments
Got family or friends worrying about how to make ends meet, if they are told to self-isolate? Please make sure they know they may be entitled to financial support.
Find out more about Test and Trace support payments on our website.