Renfrewshire Council

Take 5 Staff News - 15 January 2021

Welcome to this week's Take 5, our weekly staff update, designed to bring you our latest news items in a five minute read...

View the PDF version of this week's Take 5 [4MB]

Your weekly coronavirus update

The Scottish Government has this week announced further restrictions to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

The new restrictions will take effect from 00.01 on Saturday 16 January and have been introduced to help tackle the recent increase in the number of cases and to relieve pressure on the NHS and save lives.

Key changes include:

  • Limited availability and operation of Click and Collect retail services, with only essential items being allowed. Staggered appointments to be offered for customers
  • Restrictions to takeaway services with customers banned from going inside premises
  • It will be against the law in all level 4 areas to drink alcohol in public places
  • Update to regulations requiring people to stay at home, making it clear people must not leave or remain outside of the home unless for an essential purpose. When you do leave home, only for essential purposes, you should only meet one person from a different household in a group no bigger than two.

These new restrictions are in addition to the Covid-19: Stay at Home guidance issued by Scottish Government last week, which outlined that if your role allows you to work from home then you should continue to do so.

The working from home section of our website has information to support you with this and includes advice and guidance on how to set up your work environment as well as looking after your health and wellbeing at home.

If you are delivering or supporting delivery of one of our essential services, and this requires you to attend work in-person, we want to reassure you that all necessary precautions are in place to ensure your safety and you should continue to attend work.

If you have concerns at any time when carrying out your role, please speak to your line manager who will work with you to resolve them.

You can read more about the new guidance on the Scottish Government website.

Buying additional annual leave

The Buying Additional Annual Leave (BAAL) scheme is now open for 2021.  

This means you can ask to buy up to a maximum of 6 weeks additional leave. Though the number of weeks approved will depend on the operational requirements within each service. 

Requests for BAAL should be submitted via Business World ERP by Monday 25 January 2021. 

This is open to all council staff except for teachers and those on term-time contracts.

Full details and guidance on how to apply, including a guide for managers, is available on our How to apply for BAAL 2021 webpage.

There's snow stopping us!

As the snow settled across Renfrewshire early on Thursday morning, staff members across our Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) weren't put off by the additional challenges they faced in getting to work that morning.

While battling the early morning conditions they ensured that every site was open, with some staff even setting off on foot instead of driving and walking considerable distances to make sure their site could open for the public.

Waste operations manager, Lindsey Hepburn said, "I'm so proud of all our teams who continue to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that our frontline services continue to operate.

"They're ensuring that recycling centres can remain open, bins can still be collected and it's fantastic to see their dedication at a time when it's so easy to become disheartened.

"Thanks once again to all those who are out on the frontline."

HMRC Working from home payment

If you have been working from home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, you can claim tax relief via HMRC on the expenses incurred for additional household costs. 

You can claim relief on £6 per week from 6 April 2020. The amount of relief you are entitled to will depend on the rate of tax you currently pay. For example, if you pay the 20% basic tax rate, you will receive 20% relief on £6 per week.

If you haven't already, you will be asked to create a Government Gateway ID. This shouldn't take more than ten minutes. You will need to have your National Insurance number handy along with a recent payslip, P60 or valid passport.

The full process is very quick and easy to do. Just follow the straightforward, step-by-step web form on the HMRC website.

Our Wellbeing

Our Staff Wellbeing webpage is there to provide you with information and contacts to help keep you well during this time.

Got a story?

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