Coronavirus all staff FAQs
FAQs updated at 3pm on Tuesday 15 December 2020
To help you find answers to your questions more easily, we've grouped our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) by topic areas. Please check back regularly for our latest updates.
- Returning to the workplace
- Face coverings
- Maximising sick pay and attendance
- Disciplinary and appeals procedures
- Homeworking / flexible working
- Pay and contract
- Annual leave provisions
1.1 What conversations will I have with my line manager before I return to work?
Your line manager will contact you to let you know that you are being recalled to work, and agree a mutually convenient time to complete a return to work discussion. The key focus for the return to work discussion is health, safety and wellbeing. Your line manager will discuss any concerns you have and complete a return to work form.
Your line manager may arrange further meetings to continue discussions and to work through any concerns before your return to work. It is important that you are honest with your line manager about how you are feeling so they can best support you during these challenging times.
1.2 How much notice will I be given when I am required to return to work?
Glasgow Life will provide as much notice as possible to help you make arrangements and we will work with you to talk through any concerns you may have. It is important that your line manager has up-to-date contact details for you and that you remain contactable, and available for work. If you are away from home, or not available for work, you should request annual leave for that period.
1.3 I have been advised I fall under the shielding category, should I be working?
There is no longer separate advice for people on the shielding list and you can follow the same guidance as the rest of Scotland. To stay safe, you should strictly follow physical distancing and hygiene measures. If you are concerned about being at work, you should speak to your manager who will discuss reasonable adjustments and offer to complete an occupational risk assessment with you.
1.4 I feel very anxious about returning to work, do I need to return at this time?
Returning to the workplace after lockdown or during stricter government restrictions can seem daunting, especially if you have been shielding or have an underlying health condition and it is understandable to feel anxious or have questions about what your new working environment will look like. Your line manager will discuss your concerns during the return to work meeting and will discuss the option of completing an occupational risk assessment. This will help your line manager understand any new or additional risks that Covid-19 poses if you were to contract the virus.
1.5 What is an occupational risk assessment?
The occupational risk assessment uses factors such as age, ethnicity and BMI, in addition to any underlying health conditions, to understand the risk Covid-19 poses to you if you were to contract the virus. If you do not feel comfortable disclosing personal characteristics with your line manager, a constructive conversation can still take place as part of the return to work discussion.
The Scottish Government has produced a template and guidelines for completing the occupational risk assessment, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-individual-risk-assessment-for-the-workplace/
1.6 I am scared to return to work in case I catch coronavirus. What safeguards will be put in place?
Glasgow Life is committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of all its employees. Risk assessments will be undertaken in consultation with Trade Union representatives. You will be invited to attend a workplace orientation session prior your return to work, to familiarise yourself with changes to your work area and practices to mitigate the transmission of Covid-19. Our employee assistance provider, Workplace Options, is available to support employees at any time on 0800 247 1100. Services can also be accessed at www.workplaceoptions.com with the user name GCC and the password Employee.
1.7 I’m pregnant, should I be working?
Everyone’s health and wellbeing is a priority at this time and it is important that you let your line manager know if you are pregnant to discuss any workplace adjustments that may be required. A pregnancy risk assessment will be carried out and any necessary workplace adjustments will be made.
1.8 If we are staggering start and finish times to minimise the number of staff arriving/leaving together, will this involve making contractual changes to working hours?
It’s important that we consider all options that would help our employees feel as safe as possible, either on their journey into/from work and in the workplace. Our start and finish times will be driven by ensuring that the latest public health and government guidance around existing restrictions and physical distancing is adhered to. This may mean that shift times need to be amended on a temporary basis.
1.9 Will I return to my previous role and venue?
As part of the returning to work process, we may discuss with you working at a different venue or different start and finish times as we continue to reopen our venues on a phased basis. We also need to ensure we are working within all current guidelines.
1.10 Will I be asked to do different duties?
Coronavirus has changed the way we all live and will have an impact not only on the way that we work, but on the work that needs to be done. For example, we will need to put additional cleaning routines in place to ensure that high-touch areas are cleaned frequently. Any variation in duties will be discussed with you.
1.11 If staff will be responsible for cleaning, what training will be given?
Employees who are required to undertake cleaning duties as part of their role will be provided with the appropriate training upon their return to work.
1.12 My working pattern is changing, how much notice will I be given?
If we need to make a change to your working pattern, you will be given at least two weeks’ notice of this change, however your manager may seek your agreement to change your pattern with less notice.
1.13 I have been asked to return to work, however I don’t have childcare in place. What should I do?
You should discuss any concerns you have with your line manager, and they will look at options to support you. A change in work pattern, annual leave or a period of unpaid leave can be granted to support you.
1.14 I don’t have enough work to do at home and would like to return to the office for a day or two, is this allowed?
Employees who have not been asked by their line manager to return to an office should not come into the workplace. We will continually review the government position on this and keep our staff and managers up-to-date with any changes.
1.15 I rely on public transport and do not feel this is safe at the moment, what should I do?
If you cannot work from home then you can still travel to work, provided you’re not showing coronavirus symptoms, a member of your household is not symptomatic, and you haven’t been asked by NHS Test and Protect to self-isolate. This is consistent with advice from the Chief Medical Officer. Employees who feel anxious about their journey to work should discuss any concerns with their line manager and follow existing guidelines including wearing a face mask and physically distancing.
1.16 Will I receive a coronavirus test prior to returning to work to ensure I (and the colleagues I’ll be working with) receive the all-clear?
Current NHS guidelines state that testing is only proven to be effective when someone has symptoms, therefore testing cannot be carried out on anyone who is not symptomatic. For more information, visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/self-help-guides/self-help-guide-access-to-testing-for-coronavirus
1.17 I’m currently on furlough, do I have to come back before furlough ends?
Yes, your line manager will provide a return to work date as soon as there is a requirement for you to do so. As Glasgow Life continues to reopen and restart its venues and services, you will be kept informed and we will provide as much notice as possible of your return to work to allow you to make arrangements. A minimum of 24 hours’ notice will be given to end your period of furlough.
1.18 Will I receive any training before returning to work?
Yes, all staff will be asked to complete a coronavirus e-learning module as well as attend a re-familiarisation session before returning to the workplace. You may also be asked to attend job specific training such as lifeguarding or first aid. All training will have been appropriately risk assessed and your line manager will discuss any requirements with you.
1.19 Why is my venue not on the list to reopen?
As venues have been closed for several months, we have to plan venue reopening’s in-line with Scottish Government guidance. Adapting our venues to meet social distancing requirements will take time and we have a responsibility to get it right. We will consider the individual requirements of each venue and will create a new set of operating practices which prioritise the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers.
This means that we cannot just simply reopen all of our doors: we must conduct risk assessments, test key building systems, install public sanitizer stations and screens where appropriate, deliver revised hygiene and safety training to our staff, implement new booking systems, and engage with our trade unions.
1.20 Why are some venues reopening for service delivery but not to the public?
Some of our venues play an integral role in local communities, e.g. community centres hosting childcare services, or local tenants providing food distribution services. It’s important we’re able to open these venues for essential service delivery purposes in order to best support local communities and Glasgow City Council’s Education department (in terms of providing ongoing support for pupils who have returned to school).
1.21 When will you be reopening the rest of the venues/facilities?
Glasgow Life continues to work with Glasgow City Council to review and prioritise when and where more venues and services can restart. We have been clear about the unprecedented financial losses Glasgow Life is now facing as a result of Covid-19, with our current financial analysis projecting a year-end shortfall of £25.5m.
The impact of these losses, combined with the increased cost of reopening facilities while ensuring government guidance and ongoing restrictions are met, means a phased reopening of Glasgow Life venues is the only option available to us. Our phased reopening also takes into account a range of factors which includes:
- The safety of both Glasgow Life staff and every individual who visits a site.
- The Scottish Government’s route map through Coronavirus, including emerging, changing and specific guidance.
- The requirement to modify sites to comply with this guidance.
- The geographical spread of venues to be reopened in order to maintain as balanced a service as possible.
- The ability of venues and the organisations which use our venues to accommodate physical distancing protocols.
- The ability of venues to capture Test and Trace information to comply with current legislation.
- The capacity to provide increased staff numbers in venues to deliver more frequent cleaning in between use and ensure social distancing by users.
- The training of staff and, where required, the logistics of relocating them to different sites.
There is no question how valued and needed Glasgow Life’s services are and we are continuing to make the case for support at a national level. We’ll continue to keep in touch with our staff as and when any further decisions are made.
1.22 What will happen at the end of the furlough scheme?
We anticipate that we will have reopened 61 venues by the end of October, and many venues/facilities will require additional staff to support our new ways of working, so even if your venue or facility hasn’t re-opened you may have been asked to work at an alternative location. If you have not been recalled into work at the end of furlough, your line manager will contact you to advise if you should return to work, or remain at home until further venues/ facilities re-open.
1.23 I’m worried about this situation, where can I get support?
It’s a challenging time for everyone and it’s understandable that you’re worried. You should speak with your line manager or trade union representative about any concerns you have. You and your family members can also access our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options, 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0800 247 1100. You can also access services at www.workplaceoptions.com with the user name GCC and the password Employee or watch their webinar ‘Keep calm and carry on maintaining your composure during the coronavirus outbreak’. The national Covid-19 helpline is also available on 0800 028 2816.
2.1 What is a face covering?
A face covering can be a covering of any type, except a face shield, that covers the mouth and nose. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind your head, or if you usually wear a religious covering that is also suitable.
The Scottish Government advises against using a surgical mask or high grade personal protective equipment as simple face coverings are sufficient for people in their day-to-day activities, and they want to ensure there is enough stock available for professionals such as frontline health and care workers who need them.
2.2 Where can I get a face covering from?
Glasgow Life has provided all of its customer facing employees with a washable face covering. If you have your own face covering then you can wear this as long as it’s appropriate. If you forget your washable face covering we will have a limited supply of single use disposable face coverings available for use.
2.3 When is it mandatory to wear a face covering?
The Scottish Government is continually reviewing guidance in relation to face coverings. It is now mandatory to wear a face covering when using public transport or shopping, and within public buildings, for example museums, libraries and sports centres. It is also mandatory to wear a face covering within communal areas of indoor workplaces (such as receptions, corridors, kitchens, admin and staff café hubs). This includes all Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life buildings.
Some employees may be exempt from wearing a face covering. Your line manager will discuss your individual requirements. More information on exceptions can be found on the Scottish Government’s website: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/pages/face-coverings
2.4 How do I use a face covering safely?
There are some things you should do to wear a face covering safely:
- Make sure you wash your hands before putting your mask on and taking it off.
- Make sure your mouth and nose are covered by your face covering, but you are still able to breath.
- When wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face. Don't take the covering on and off to talk to other people.
- To remove it, make sure you remove it from behind. Do not touch the front, and clean your hands afterwards with soap and water.
- Be sure to keep used face coverings in a plastic bag until they can be washed or disposed of.
If you have a washable face covering, you should wash it at the end of the day. You can put it in with your laundry and use normal detergent. If you are not able to wash the covering straight away after wearing it, store it in a plastic bag until you have time. If you have a single use disposable face covering, you should dispose of it after every use by bagging it and placing it in the bin.
2.6 Does wearing a face covering mean I can get closer to other people?
Wearing a face covering does not replace advice on physical distancing, you should still remain two metres away from people. You should also continue to wash your hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water and dry them thoroughly.
2.7 What if I don’t want to wear a face covering?
It’s important we all do everything we can to limit the spread of Covid-19 and to protect ourselves and others from the virus. Face coverings are mandatory and Scottish Government guidance states you must by law wear a face covering in most indoor public places and workplaces; this includes all Glasgow Life venues.
There are exemptions, and if you think one may apply to you, you should discuss this with your line manager. Your manager may refer you to occupational health to understand the medical reasons for your exemption and to ensure we are able to support you with any adjustments that you may require. Where an exemption doesn’t apply, it's reasonable for us to request that you wear a mask. If you continue to refuse, you may be subject to formal disciplinary proceedings.
3.1 What do I have to do if I have symptoms of coronavirus?
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 must self-isolate and get a coronavirus test as soon as possible. You should also inform your line manager that you are self-isolating and let them know the result of your test as soon as you have it.
3.2 What happens if I return to work and I’m diagnosed as having Covid-19?
If you are tested and diagnosed as having Covid-19 you must not attend work and must inform your line manager immediately. We will not count any Covid-19 related absence as part of our absence management procedures. You should follow the latest Scottish Government guidance: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19
3.3 Can my manager ask me to continue working while self-isolating?
If you are able to and you are not unwell, your employer can ask you to work from home while you are self-isolating. We will not ask you to come into your workplace before your period of isolation is complete.
3.4 Do I have to return to work after my period of self-isolation?
If you have finished the advised period of self-isolation, you should contact your line manger to discuss your return to work plan.
3.5 NHS Test and Protect has contacted me and told me that I need to self-isolate, will I need to provide proof?
Yes. Employees who are required to self-isolate must obtain a self-isolation note and provide this to their line manager if requested. You can request a self-isolation note here https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/. Managers may check the validity of isolation notes using the checking service https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/check.
3.6 How long do I need to self-isolate for?
The period of self-isolation will vary depending on the reasons for having to self-isolate, where you live and the results of being tested for Covid-19. See the Scottish Government’s guidance for the most up-to-date information regarding self-isolation: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-test-and-protect/pages/who-needs-to-self-isolate/
3.7 Do I need to self-isolate if I have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed as having Covid-19?
The current guidance is you need to self–isolate 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 have tested positive for coronavirus. This means you have coronavirus.
- You live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive.
- Someone in your support bubble/extended household has symptoms or has tested positive.
- You are told by NHS Test and Protect that you've been in close contact with a person with coronavirus.
You therefore do not need to self-isolate because someone you work with is symptomatic or tests positive unless you become symptomatic or the NHS Test and Protect service contacts you and advises you to do so. You should, however, take extra care to follow social distancing, including washing your hands regularly.
3.8 Can I still go out if I have been told to self-isolate?
Self-isolation means you should remain at home and shouldn’t go to work, school, public areas or use public transport. You shouldn’t go out to buy food or other essentials. You must stay at home.
3.9 Do I need to self-isolate if someone in my household has been told by NHS Test and Protect to self-isolate?
The requirement for an entire household to self-isolate will depend on the latest government guidance, which may vary depending on where you live. If someone in your household has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Protect, you should check the government website to ensure that you follow the correct guidance: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-local-measures/
3.10 If staff work in fixed groups/pods and one of them tests positive for Covid-19, will the rest of the group have to self-isolate?
Not necessarily. Only people deemed to have been in close contact will be required to self-isolate. Everyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be put in touch with their local contact tracing team so that close contacts can be identified. If they have been identified by NHS contact tracers as having been in close contact with a person with a confirmed case they will be asked to self-isolate. Glasgow Life is following the Scottish Government’s guidance in relation to physical distancing in the workplace to mitigate close contact between staff and service users: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-test-and-protect/pages/who-needs-to-self-isolate/
3.11 I have contracted Covid-19, will I get sick pay?
Yes. The priority is your health and wellbeing and you will receive your full contractual pay. We will not count any Covid-19 related absence as part of our absence management procedures or towards full or half sick pay entitlements. You should keep in contact with your manager to update them on your situation.
3.12 I am self-isolating, will I get sick pay?
Yes. The priority is your health and wellbeing and you will receive your full contractual pay. We will not count any COVID-19 related absence as part of our absence management procedures or towards full or half sick pay entitlements. You should keep in contact with your manager to update them on your situation.
3.13 I am absent due to illness which isn’t Covid-19 related, how will this be handled?
Our normal maximising attendance and sick leave provisions will apply in these circumstances for both new non-Covid-19 absences and absences which started before Covid-19.
3.14 How do I report my absence?
If you are unable to attend work because you are self-isolating, ill due to Covid-19 or ill due to other reasons please report this to your line manager in the usual way. Managers should record and send Covid-19 related absence updates on the Covid-19 record of absence spreadsheet (version 3) for their area to the HR team at ERGL@glasgowlife.org.uk. All other absences should be recorded on SAP as normal.
3.15 What is Test and Protect?
Test and Protect is the approach to implementing Scotland’s 'test, trace, isolate and support' public health strategy. It will help the Scottish Government and public health authorities to gradually change the restrictions that help to suppress the virus, and instead to contain it, so that society and the economy can avoid a return to lockdown and adapt to a new normal.
This approach is designed to help interrupt chains of transmission in the community by identifying cases of Covid-19, tracing the people who may have become infected by spending time in close contact with them, and then supporting those close contacts to self-isolate, so that if they have the disease they are less likely transmit to it to others.
3.16 My essential medical surgery has been delayed due to Covid-19, if I am off work due to this how will this impact my occupational sick pay entitlements?
Throughout our approach to Covid-19 we have attempted to meet the Fair Work aspiration of “no detriment”. We will also take this approach in these circumstances and to support your return to work we will amend our occupational sick pay scheme for this situation only to:
- Full sick pay entitlement, until exhausted.
- Half sick pay entitlement, until exhausted.
- Additional unpaid leave of absence granted for a period of three months.
We will remain in contact with you during this period. If after exhausting the amended entitlement you're still unable to return work we will consider individual circumstances on a case by case basis.
3.17 My child has been informed by Test and Protect that they have to self-isolate, do I get time off work as they can’t be left on their own?
We appreciate how worrying this situation will be for you, and you should discuss this with your line manager as soon as possible. We would ask that you do everything you can to allow you to attend work in some capacity, whether that’s through sharing your childcare responsibility with partners or other family members where possible or, if you’re able to, working from home during this period. There may be times where a period of Covid-19 Self-Isolation Leave will be granted, in these circumstances we will need you to provide a copy of the Self-Isolation Notification. You and your line manager will discuss and agree the best option depending on your individual circumstances.
4.1 Are Glasgow Life’s disciplinary procedures still valid during this time?
Disciplinary action is always a last resort for us. Our procedures are designed to ensure that we treat every employee in a fair and consistent way and allow us to deal with unsatisfactory standards of performance and behaviour. Our procedures will still be valid during this time, and while it is unlikely that we will be able to meet any recommended timescales, we will do all that we can as quickly as we can to bring things to a conclusion. You should speak with your line manager or your trade union representative should you have any concerns.
4.2 I am involved in an ongoing disciplinary case which started before Covid-19, what will happen with this?
Unfortunately, progression of all casework has been delayed. Depending on the stage of the procedure, the investigating, disciplinary or appeal hearing officer will be in touch with you in the coming weeks to provide and update. You should speak with them or your trade union representative if you have any concerns.
5.1 I have been asked to work from home, what does this mean?
To support public health and reduce the spread of the virus, Glasgow Life is continuing to follow the Scottish Government’s guidance on homeworking. The government’s position throughout its route map out of Covid-19, including to the end of phase four, is for employers to maximise homeworking where feasible.
As we continue to reopen venues and restart services, we expect that working from home, for those staff who can do so, will remain our default position.
We are asking staff to be adaptable, as there may be a need, or opportunity, for greater flexibility in any new work patterns introduced during this temporary period; for example, balancing attending your workplace on a rotational basis or working more often at home.
Your line manager will ensure decisions are discussed with you and, wherever possible, take account of your individual circumstances. This will include agreeing your working arrangements with you and the work plan you’re able to carry out at home. We continue to welcome your ideas and input about new ways of working and encourage you to share these with your line manager.
Line managers will review all temporary homeworking arrangements within their teams regularly. If you’re unsure as to what you should be doing, you should speak to your line manager to clarify this. Glasgow Life will consider any long-term or permanent requirement for home or flexible working at the appropriate time, in consultation with our Trade Unions.
5.2 Can I work from home?
Current Scottish Government guidance states that where people can continue to work from home they should. If it is not possible to carry out your role from home and you are required for duty, you should report to work ensuring that you practice safe physical distancing and comply with all other health and safety requirements appropriate to your workplace.
5.3 I have a disability with adjustments in the workplace and have been advised to work from home, what support is available?
Your health and wellbeing is the priority at this time. You should have discussed this with your line manager and agreed if you’re able to work from home as well as how we can support you to make this happen, taking into account your individual circumstances. If this has not happened then you should speak to your line manager immediately to clarify this.
This guidance from disability charity SCOPE on homeworking might be of interest. Our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options, can also provide support and guidance.
5.4 Is there a homeworking policy or guidance I can read?
A copy of Glasgow Life’s interim homeworking guidance, which sets out our temporary approach, arrangements, responsibilities and expectations for continued homeworking during the pandemic, will be emailed to all staff this month (October) and made available on our staff web portal.
It should be read in conjunction with Glasgow Life’s Homeworking Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment, which must be completed by all members of staff who are working from home during this interim period, with support from their line manager. The assessment template will also be available on our staff web portal.
Line managers should be aware that individual DSE Assessments for all team members who are working from home must be completed by no later than Monday 30 November. Managers should keep a copy of each DSE Assessment on file and staff members should also retain a copy.
5.5 Can I access GOLD and other training materials whilst I am at home?
Yes. There are some great online resources available to keep everyone learning during the pandemic. Whether you’re at home or work, on a Glasgow Life device or your own personal tablet or smart phone, learning is accessible from most devices.
We've put together step-by-step guidance on accessing and navigating the GOLD portal from home. There is also a Coronavirus Awareness course which should be completed by employees before returning to the workplace.
5.6 If I’m working from home, how can I ensure my laptop is connected to the network at least every 4 weeks?
Password resets are currently not required on laptops. This removes the need for users to connect to the network to update Windows passwords. Currently there is no technical requirement for users to return to any Glasgow Life site to do this or to connect their device to receive security updates. The risks around this are being assessed regularly by the Information Security Board.
5.7 How can equipment be shared to enable homeworking?
We have a finite number of laptops and mobile devices. Managers are continually reviewing how these are allocated across the organisation to prioritise essential services, such as payroll. We may ask you to give up a laptop or phone. Please be flexible if you are asked to hand over any equipment.
5.8 I want to work from home but don’t have access to my work emails, can I use my personal email account instead?
For security reasons personal email accounts must not be used to share any sensitive or confidential business information. You should discuss and agree any homeworking arrangements with your line manager before undertaking any work.
5.9 Will I receive any money to cover the additional cost of working from home, e.g. bills?
It is expected that the majority of staff working from home will be making cost savings by not having to travel to work, which should offset any additional costs incurred by working from home. Employees who are required to work from home may be eligible to claim tax relief towards their expenses. You can find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home
6.1 Will I be paid during Covid-19?
Yes. We aim to continue to pay employees in line with their contractual arrangements on the normal pay dates. This includes payments for contractual overtime, non-standard working pattern and working context and demand payments.
6.2 I work additional hours on a regular basis, will I receive payment in recognition of this?
Where employees had been working regular additional core hours for at least the 12 weeks before the operational impact of Covid-19 and this covered an established, constant and long-term business requirement (and there was an expectation of this continuing) then appropriate remuneration has been sustained as an interim arrangement. This interim arrangement will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and is subject to change.
6.3 I am currently receiving a responsibility payment, will this continue?
If you are continuing to do this work then this payment will continue in line with what has been agreed. If you are unsure, you should speak to your line manager to clarify this.
6.4 I am a bank/casual/sessional worker, what will I get paid during this time?
As your hours vary, we will pay you your average salary based on your earnings during the previous 12 weeks. Payments will be made on the basis that you remain available to work should Glasgow life require you for business-critical activities. For this purpose, it is essential you provide your contact details to your line manager.
Appropriate remuneration has been sustained as an interim arrangement. This interim arrangement will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and is subject to change. If you have any questions you should speak to your line manager in the first instance.
If we determine that your post is eligible for the furlough scheme then two additional average earnings calculations will be applied. These are:
- 52 week average
- The average hours worked in the last pay period (P13) of 2018
If your best financial position is to remain on a 12 week average pay then there will be no change made to your payments. If your post is eligible for the furlough scheme and moving to either a 52 week or P13 of 2018 average provides a higher payment to you, then this has been applied.
6.5 Can I cancel/carry forward my purchased annual leave?
If you purchased annual leave you can now cancel this arrangement and get a refund or carry forward this leave, if you want to. This new arrangement recognises the fact that your circumstances may have changed due to the pandemic.
If you have not used any of your purchased annual leave then you can request for the full balance to be cancelled. If you have already used some of your purchased annual leave then you can only cancel what’s left and the cost of your remaining purchased leave will be refunded.
CBS will arrange for the refund via your salary payment and this will be visible on your payslip. This may take up to four weeks to process. All refunds will be based on the original value you purchased at the time your request was processed.
You also have the option to extend the balance on your purchased annual leave. If you choose this option CBS will continue with the deduction of your payments and will amend your leave quota to show that this leave can be used by 31 December 2021.
Send your request to your line manager for approval, including your name and employee (SAP) number, (if you do not have your employee number please include your national insurance number), and what change you wish to make: either refund, extension or purchase of annual leave.
6.6 I have a deduction coming off my salary for childcare vouchers, can I cancel this?
You can manage the amount you’re sacrificing from your salary or cancel your vouchers through your online account at www.kiddivouchers.co.uk. This would be processed in your next pay and full details will be advised through your Kiddivoucher account. Due to government changes in childcare vouchers rules, if you cancel your account you will not be able to start it again. If you will continue to need your vouchers after Covid-19, you should reduce the amount you sacrifice and not cancel your account.
6.7 I have a query about my pay, what should I do?
Pay queries should be directed to your line manager in the first instance. If your usual line manager cannot be contacted at the moment you should have an agreed alternative point of contact you can speak to.
6.8 I am a portal user, and view my payslip on line. Will a paper copy be sent to me whilst I am not able to access the portal?
If you normally receive a paper copy of your payslip to your home address you will continue to receive this. If you normally use My Portal to view your payslip you should continue to do so. If you don’t currently have access to My Portal from a council device then you will be able to view backdated pay slips when you do get access. The CBS payroll team are working to develop a solution for employees who don’t currently have access to My Portal and we will keep you informed of any progress. If you have any queries about your pay, you should speak to your line manager.
7.1 I have leave booked which was approved before Covid-19, does this still stand?
Your holiday plans may have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but you should still make full use of your annual leave entitlement for this year, including any pre-booked leave. This applies to everyone either currently leaving home to go to work, working at home, and those who are furloughed or not able to undertake work at this time, unless you are on sick leave or maternity leave where normal arrangements apply. In the rare circumstance where your annual leave will need to be cancelled or amended, this will be in discussion with your line manager.
7.2 Am I able to make leave requests during this time?
Updated UK legislation and UK Government guidance requires employers to do everything reasonably practicable to ensure staff are able to take as much of their leave as possible in the year to which it relates. To make sure that we are meeting this requirement, your line manager will offer you appropriate annual leave for this year, and will make all reasonable efforts to match your preferences with availability, in line with the needs of your service area.
7.3 Can I carry my leave forward to next year?
As many Glasgow Life staff are currently in roles where the demands of your job don’t affect your ability to take annual leave, it is anticipated that there will not be a need for many staff to carry forward annual leave into 2021.
If you’re offered the opportunity to take annual leave in 2020 and decide not to accept this, then this leave will not be carried forward to the 2021 holiday year. Availability of annual leave will be explicitly communicated to you by your line manager and all reasonable efforts will be made to match individual preferences with availability, but as ever this will be in line with the needs of your service area.
However, if your line manager does ask you to agree to carry over annual leave due to the pandemic, then you will be offered the option to carry forward up to 20 days (or pro-rata equivalent) to the next two year leave periods. Your line manager will speak to you individually about this if this applies to you.
7.4 I’m due to go on holiday but I’m worried about the quarantine rules. What will happen if I am required to quarantine upon my return?
If you’re required to quarantine, it’s essential that you follow all necessary quarantine measures on your return home. The date you booked your holiday will determine the leave arrangements in the event that you are required to quarantine upon your return:
- Pre-booked holidays up until 22 May 2020: If your holiday was booked prior to the quarantine measures coming into force, you would have been unaware of self-isolation requirements on re-entering the UK. Therefore, if you cannot work from home, all other options have been exhausted and a solution to cover the 14-day quarantine period cannot be agreed, in these circumstances, you will not suffer any detriment and a period of authorised absence will be approved where necessary.
- Holidays booked after 22 May 2020: You will have been aware of the quarantine requirements on re-entering the UK when booking holidays abroad and should have discussed this at the time with your line manager. Therefore, if you cannot work from home and all other workable options, including the needs of the service, have been exhausted or a solution to cover the 10-day quarantine period cannot be agreed, in these circumstances, you will be required to take additional leave (paid or unpaid) to cover the 10-day period.
7.5 I’m not going on holiday, but I have an essential reason to travel to another country. What will happen if I am required to quarantine upon my return?
If you’re required to quarantine, it’s essential that you follow all necessary quarantine measures on your return home. If you have an essential reason to travel to a country that is impacted by the current 10-day quarantine measures you must discuss this with your line manager as soon as possible. You should work with your line manger to find a way to cover the quarantine period such as working from home, working the time back through the remainder of the holiday year or some other mutually agreed approach.
7.6 I have been instructed to self-isolate by Test and Protect, how does that impact my annual leave?
If you have been instructed by Test and Protect to self-isolate, you may find that you are prevented from taking your pre-booked annual leave. We recognise that in these circumstances you will be unable to enjoy any aspect of your leave as you will be confined to your home, to meet the rules of self-isolation.
Therefore, in these circumstances it has been agreed that you can cancel your pre-booked annual leave if you have been advised by a contact tracer from Test and Protect that you need to self-isolate. You will need to share a copy of your notification from Test and Protect, which instructs you to self-isolate, with your line manager in order to cancel your leave.
However, while we continue to demonstrate our support to making sure that you can cancel pre-booked annual leave we are unable to support the same arrangement for public holidays, which will not be given back.
8.1 Why have I been furloughed?
The UK Government introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) as part of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme is designed to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus to retain their employees and protect the UK economy. The scheme is open to all UK employers with employees on a PAYE scheme. Employers can furlough certain members of staff and apply for a grant that covers a proportion of the employee’s usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month.
Where employers receive public funding for staff costs, and that funding is continuing, HMRC expects employers to use that money to continue to pay staff in the usual fashion and correspondingly not furlough them. As £73 million of our funding for staff costs comes directly from Glasgow City Council, and that funding is continuing, we cannot under the terms of the scheme, furlough staff whose salary is paid from that funding.
The remaining amount of funding comes through income generated by Glasgow Life, which is directed back into the charity. This amounts annually to £38m. Therefore, Glasgow Life considers that all staff who have their salary funded by the income generated as well as those whose salary is funded by external income through non-public sector bodies can be furloughed. The decision to furlough some staff is a temporary measure to protect the organisation and its employees, and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
8.2 Can I be furloughed?
The current furlough scheme closed to new entrants at the end of June 2020, so if you weren’t furloughed before this date for three consecutive weeks then you are not eligible for furlough under the original scheme scheme. The UK Government has recently announced an extension to the furlough scheme which may allow new entrants of employees not furloughed previously. If you are identified as being eligible for furlough under the furlough extension, your line manager will be in touch with you.
8.3 How long will I be furloughed for?
Furlough begins from the first day you ceased to carry out any work for Glasgow Life and will last for a minimum period of 7 days. Currently, employees may be furloughed from 1 March 2020 at the earliest until 31 March 2021 at the latest. We will keep this under review as Glasgow Life services resume and in line with Government guidance, as the period of furlough may need to be shortened or extended.
8.4 Can my line manager ask me to work part-time and remain furloughed for the other part of my contractual hours?
Yes, this is known as flexible furlough. From 1 July it has been possible for employers to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis. Glasgow Life has the flexibility to decide the hours and shift patterns of its employees with the government continuing to pay a proportion of the salaries for the hours not worked. Employees must be furloughed for at least 7 consecutive calendar days.
8.5 How does furlough affect my terms and conditions?
Although your employment status will change for the period of furlough, terms and conditions remain the same and Glasgow Life will top up the government’s furlough grant to ensure that employees receive their normal salary. Being furloughed means an agreed temporary period of absence from work, during which time the furloughed employee must cease all work for their employer and staff remain employees. Employment law principles continue to apply and employees who have been furloughed have the same rights as they did previously. Glasgow Life’s code of conduct will continue to apply to anyone on furlough.
8.6 Will being on furlough affect my pay?
No. Glasgow Life will top up the amount it can claim from HMRC to ensure that employees receive 100% of their normal pay.
8.7 Will I still be paid non-standard working hours and/or working context demands payments?
Yes. Non-standard working hours will still be paid under the scheme.
8.8 What about employees who receive retrospective non-standard working payments?
Glasgow Life is currently working through the details of how retrospective non-standard working payments will be paid.
8.9 As a worker on the staff bank, what can I expect to be paid whilst on furlough?
Glasgow Life has already agreed and implemented a process with Glasgow City Council to make payment to bank staff, based on a 12 week reference period. HMRC’s furlough guidance gives a different reference period for staff who can be furloughed, therefore, to avoid putting any staff into detriment, we will furlough only those who would benefit from the HMRC furlough guidance. Furloughed bank staff will therefore receive whichever the greater is of:
- An average of the 2019-2020 calendar year, or;
- The last pay period (P13) of 2018
Payments will be made on the basis that you remain available to work should Glasgow life require you for business-critical activities. For this purpose, it is essential you provide your contact details to your manager. If you have any questions you should speak to your line manager.
8.10 How will furlough status affect the allocation of childcare vouchers?
There will be no change to allocation of childcare vouchers during furlough. If you want to make changes to your allocation of childcare vouchers you can manage the amount you’re sacrificing from your salary or cancel your vouchers through your online account at www.kiddivouchers.co.uk. This would be processed in your next pay. Full details can be obtained through your Kiddivoucher account.
Due to government changes in childcare voucher rules, if you cancel your account you will not be able to start it again. If you will continue to need your vouchers after Covid-19 you should reduce the amount you sacrifice and not cancel your account.
8.11 I’ve heard that the government is reducing the amount employers can claim for furloughed employees through the job retention scheme from August. If this happens, will Glasgow Life still pay me 100% of my salary?
Yes. Glasgow Life will pay 100% of an employee’s normal pay regardless of the amount that can be claimed through the Job Retention Scheme.
8.12 Will being furloughed affect my continuous service?
No. Being furloughed means a temporary period of absence during which staff remain employed, but cease all work for their employer. It will not affect their length of service.
8.13 Will I return to my substantive role after furlough?
Yes. Furlough is a temporary period of leave/absence where employees cease to undertake any work, but remain employed and are paid their normal salary. At the end of furlough, employees will recommence their duties at their contracted hours and pay, although it may be at a different location depending on the venues that have reopened.
8.14 How much notice will be given when I am required to return to work?
Glasgow Life will provide at least 1 days’ notice of your return from furlough. It’s important that your line manager has up-to-date contact details for you and that you remain contactable throughout the period of furlough so that we can keep you up-to-date on how we plan to reopen services, in line with ongoing government advice. As Glasgow Life pulls together its plan for services reopening, you will be kept informed and we will provide as much notice as possible of your return to work arrangements.
8.15 Do I need to give my permission to be furloughed?
We have engaged with the trade unions throughout this process. To be eligible for the grant, employers must confirm in writing to their employees that they have been furloughed, therefore you are not required to give your permission to be furloughed.
8.16 What if I am on sick leave?
Employees who are self-isolating or sick will only be placed on furlough once their period of sickness has ended. Employees who were on long term sick prior to 28 February will only be placed on furlough once they are fit to work.
8.17 What if I become sick whilst on furlough?
If an employee becomes sick whilst on furlough, they will remain on furlough and will not be recorded as being sick.
8.18 Will I continue to accrue annual leave whilst on furlough and can I take it?
Yes, annual leave will continue to be accrued during the period of furlough as your contract of employment will continue. During your period of furlough you will be expected to take proportionate leave.
8.19 I am on maternity leave, can I be furloughed?
Yes, you can be furloughed, however, you are only entitled to your statutory or occupational maternity pay during your maternity leave as there is no entitlement to normal remuneration during maternity leave.
8.21 Can I return from maternity leave early whilst on furlough?
Employees who wish to end their maternity leave early may apply to return giving 28 days' notice. You should bear in mind that the furlough scheme could end at any time and if you have returned to work or given notice to end your maternity leave, you cannot go back onto maternity leave.
8.22 Will being on furlough affect pension contributions?
No. Employee and employer contributions will be paid as normal during the period of furlough.
8.22 My work anniversary falls during my period of furlough, will I still receive my incremental pay increase?
Yes. Glasgow Life will make up the difference so that you receive a salary in line with your new salary on the pay scale.
8.23 Can I do volunteer work?
Yes, so long as doing so doesn't provide services or generate revenue for, or on behalf of, Glasgow Life or a linked or associated organisation. This means that furloughed employees cannot volunteer within the council family, but may volunteer for other organisations. If you have already volunteered within the council family, you will not be furloughed in order that you can continue to undertake your volunteering role.
8.24 I am self-employed but PAYE for tax purposes, can I be furloughed?
HMRC has confirmed that individuals who are self-employed but on payroll as PAYE for tax purposes are eligible under the Job Retention Scheme, however only certain roles within Glasgow Life may be eligible to be included, therefore we will notify you of any decision to furlough.
8.25 I have multiple contracts at Glasgow Life, can I be furloughed from one but work in the other?
Yes. Since the introduction of flexible furlough from 1 July, it’s now possible to be furloughed in one post but continue to work in the other. Prior to 1 July, however, furloughed employees had to cease all work within Glasgow Life or any linked organisation and were unable to undertake any work within the council family whilst furloughed.
8.26 I am a Trade Union rep, can I continue to carry out my TU duties whilst on furlough?
Yes, provided you do not provide services or generate revenue for, or on behalf of, Glasgow Life or any linked or associated organisation.
8.27 Can I take on a job with another employer during my period of furlough?
We understand that employees who are unable to work during coronavirus may wish to take on additional jobs. Employees must ensure that they are able to work their full contracted hours with Glasgow Life as soon as they are required to return to duties, and should not take an additional job during the hours they would normally work for Glasgow Life.
8.28 Can I do training whilst on furlough, including GOLD?
You may undertake training provided that it does not involve the generation of any revenue for Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council or another arms-length organisation (ALEO) of Glasgow City Council and that it meets any criteria set out in the Job Retention Scheme.
8.29 Can employees on temporary/fixed term contracts be furloughed?
Yes, however, it’s important to note that employees can’t be furloughed after their fixed term contract has come to an end.
8.30 Can my temporary/fixed term contract be extended whilst I’m on furlough?
Yes, provided there is a justifiable business reason for doing so and subject to the normal Leadership Team approvals process. It’s important that this is extended before the original contract end date to ensure that you still meet the HMRC eligibility criteria for furlough.
8.31 Where groups of employees work in the same role, can some employees be furloughed and not others?
Furlough can apply to groups of staff or individuals. The decision to furlough will depend on whether the post meets the HMRC eligibility criteria for furlough. Where it has been necessary to furlough some staff and not others, employees have been selected as fairly as possible under the current circumstances.
8.32 I am a worker from a recruitment agency. Can I furloughed?
As the employment contract is with the agency it would be the agency's decision to furlough their workers. If you have any questions regarding this you should contact your agency. However, if you have not already been furloughed prior to 30 June for a minimum of 3 consecutive weeks, it is no longer possible for you to be furloughed by your agency.
8.33 Can staff request to remain furloughed even though we have identified work for them to undertake?
No. Employees have been selected for furlough on the basis that we are unable to provide them with meaningful work due to Covid-19 and that the funding of their post meets HMRC’s eligibility criteria. Employees who are able to carry out work in line with government guidance should do so if requested.
8.34 Can I postpone maternity/paternity leave until after my period of furlough?
Maternity leave must start no later than the day the child is born and cannot be postponed. Employees on maternity leave can be furloughed, however they are still only entitled to statutory or occupational maternity pay during their maternity leave. Employees who wish to end their maternity leave early may apply to return giving 28 days' notice, but should bear in mind that the furlough scheme could end at any time and if they have returned to work or given notice to end their maternity leave, they cannot go back onto maternity leave. By law, employees must take at least 2 weeks of maternity leave.
Paternity leave can be taken any time from the date of birth and can be delayed provided it ends no later than 56 days after the child is born, as per Glasgow Life policy. This also applies to all employees including those who are furloughed.
8.35 I am ready to return to work after being on long term sick, can I now be furloughed?
The UK Government has recently announced an extension to the furlough scheme which may allow new entrants of employees not furloughed previously. If you are identified as being eligible for furlough under the furlough extension, your line manager will be in touch with you.
8.36 Am I expected to keep in touch with my manager every 4/7 days whilst on furlough?
Employees aren’t required to report into their manager at specified intervals, but we do expect employees to keep themselves up-to-date by regularly checking the Glasgow Life staff portal at https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/emergency-information. We expect line managers to keep their employees informed of any developments regarding services reopening and employees have been asked to ensure that their manager has up-to-date contact details and remain contactable throughout their period of furlough. Employees will be given at least 1 days’ notice of their requirement to return to work.
8.37 Can I assist with work related matters whilst on furlough?
No, as this may be deemed as continuing to provide services for Glasgow Life and could jeopardise Glasgow Life’s ability to claim salary costs through the Job Retention Scheme. If it becomes necessary to contact you about a work related matter, it is possible to end furlough for the period your assistance is required, and then furlough you again. An employer’s duty of care for employees continues during furlough so your line manager should maintain contact with you to discuss any personal matters, including your health and wellbeing, and to allow you to ask any questions or raise concerns.
8.38 What support will my manager provide while I’m furloughed?
An employer’s duty of care for employees continues during furlough so your line manager should maintain contact with you to discuss any personal matters, including your health and wellbeing, and to allow you to ask any questions or raise concerns. Your manager should keep you informed of any developments regarding services reopening and you should ensure that your manager has up-to-date contact details and you remain contactable throughout your period of furlough. You will be given at least 1 days’ notice of your requirement to return to work.
8.39 I’ve heard that some employees could be brought back off furlough as and when required. How does this work?
Furlough must last for a minimum period of 7 consecutive days (from 1 July 2020), however furlough can be rotated between employees every 7 days, so you could be furloughed multiple times provided it’s operationally viable to do so. You will be given at least 1 days’ notice of your requirement to return to work.
8.40 Is there a deadline for adding additional employees to furlough?
Yes, the Job Retention Scheme closed to new entrants on 30 June, which means that the minimum three week period of furlough must have been completed by 30 June. The UK Government has recently announced an extension to the furlough scheme which may allow new entrants of employees not furloughed previously.
8.41 What will happen to furloughed employees once Glasgow Life services start reopening?
As we continue to move through the Scottish Government’s route-map out of Covid-19, your line manager will keep you informed of any workplace recovery plans and how this affects you.
8.42 If I’m on furlough, does this mean that my job is less secure than my colleagues who are back at work?
No. The furlough scheme is designed to help employers retain employees, protect organisations and protect the UK economy. In the event that Glasgow Life has to reduce employee headcount though workforce planning, an employee’s furlough status will not be a relevant factor in any decision-making.
8.43 What will happen at the end of the furlough scheme?
Many venues/facilities will require additional staff to support our new ways of working, so even if your venue or facility hasn’t re-opened you may have been asked to work at an alternative location. If you have not been recalled into work at the end of furlough, your line manager will contact you to advise if you should return to work or remain at home until further venues/ facilities re-open. Furloughed employees should be reassured that they will continue to receive salary payments after the furlough scheme has ended, even if they have not been recalled to work.