Renfrewshire Council

Take 5 Staff News - 4 February 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...

In this week's issue:

View the PDF version of this week's Take 5 [1MB]


Your weekly coronavirus update

The Scottish Government has announced the continuation of current restrictions with the First Minister stating that she is 'cautiously optimistic' we will begin to see an easing of restrictions in March if transmission rates of the virus continue to fall.

From 22 February children in early learning and childcare and primaries 1-3 are scheduled to make a full return to nurseries and schools. In addition, very limited numbers of pupils in S4-6 can attend school to complete work essential for national qualifications on a part-time basis from the same date.

This will be reviewed in two weeks' time.

To support the safe return to education, educational staff and senior returning pupils will be offered home testing twice a week. This will be extended to the wider childcare sector in the weeks ahead.

Plans to extend testing among health care workers in hospices and addiction services are also underway and the government intends to introduce routine testing in industries with higher transmissions rates as well as targeted community testing.

Further details on this and what it may mean for you in your job will be made available as soon as we have it.

For the latest information visit the Scottish Government website.


Working safely at Council venues

Since the start of the pandemic all our decisions have been informed by the latest public health, health and safety and government guidance and made in consultation with Trade Unions.

Health and safety measures are in place at all our facilities, depots and bases and everyone working at, or visiting a council building must follow the guidelines in place, which include:

  • Wear a face covering at all times, unless you're sitting at a physically distanced desk, workspace or canteen
  • Keep 2m (6ft apart) wherever possible, this is particularly important during your break and lunch times          

Please make sure you and any visitors follow these guidelines at all times and keep an eye on the posters and signage at all our venues advising of the current safety measures at a particular workplace.

More information about the safety measures in place including enhanced cleaning regimes and what to do if you start to feel unwell at work is available in the working safely during coronavirus section of our website.


Supporting your development and wellbeing

Learning new skills can help us respond to the additional challenges we face right now, both at work and in our personal lives and can also help up us take care of our health and wellbeing.

To support you during this time, the HR&OD team has developed a new range of courses linked to topics like wellbeing, health and safety, digital skills, employee essentials and people management essentials. 

Our new, flexible approach to people development involves online workshops that complement learning activities so you can access and complete training when you need it most at a time convenient for you

You can view the full range of courses available in the People Development section on our intranet or by downloading a copy of our course guide [682KB]

If you have any additional training requirements, or want to discuss alternative delivery formats, please contact us using our online form.


Time to Talk Day - the power of small

Today (Thursday 4 February) is Time to Talk day and as part of our wellbeing campaign, we'd like to encourage all of you to take part.

Time to Talk Day is an annual mental health awareness event organised by Time to Change. The theme this year is the power of small - a reminder that even the smallest of gestures can have a big impact.

By simply opening up and talking to our colleagues about mental health we can make a big difference. Whether that's a quick 'how's it going' message, a virtual coffee break, or a socially distanced walk and talk - we can all play our part and support one another.

Need to talk?

Please reach out to someone and don't be afraid to ask for help.

The Taking care of our health and wellbeing page on our website has lots of useful advice and supports including our employee counselling helpline Time for Talking.


Tackling period poverty - free sanitary products

We're expanding our free period products initiative to help reduce the impact of period poverty.

In 2019 we made free products available in all Renfrewshire Leisure run Town Halls, libraries, sports and leisure centres. Because of the pandemic, these premises are shut, so we had to find a safe way to get sanitary products out to those who need them.

Anyone who is struggling to afford sanitary products can now order a three-month supply of free products online or by telephone and have them delivered directly to their home.

Free period products are also available from some community groups. However, given current restrictions, some of these groups may not be operating as normal, so access to supplies may also be restricted.

Visit the webpage to find out more.


Our Wellbeing

The Taking care of our wellbeing page is there to provide you with information and contacts to help keep you well during this time.


Got a story?

We'd love to hear from you! If you have a story to tell or something interesting to share, email us at internal.communications@renfrewshire.gov.uk