Coronavirus all staff FAQs
FAQs updated at 1pm on Tuesday 31 March
New guidance will be identified in our rolling FAQs below, so please check back regularly for the latest updates.
New Q: I have a staff bank contract, will I receive any pay?
Glasgow Life will protect the average earnings of bank staff who have no contracted hours. Average hours will be calculated from the three pay periods, 11, 12 and 13 which preceded our closure.
Payroll are currently working through calculations for average weekly hours, and we will confirm as soon as possible when the first payment will be made. 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.
New Q: I work additional hours on a regular basis, will I receive payment in recognition of this?
We are aware that some employees work regular additional hours whilst others work additional hours on an ad-hoc basis. In conjunction with Glasgow City Council, we will be reviewing where additional hours have been worked on a regular basis and will work with the service areas and trade unions to seek feedback on any arrangements that may be put in place. Further information will be made available in due course.
New Q: 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 the HR 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. Unfortunately, there is no option to send a paper version to you. Should you have any queries about your pay, you should speak to your line manager.
Q: 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 over the coming weeks. 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. Please click here for step-by-step guidance on accessing and navigating the GOLD portal from home.
Q: Do I still need to attend pre-booked Glasgow Life training courses?
No. All Glasgow Life corporate training courses have now been cancelled until the end of May. If you have any training related questions or concerns please email email@example.com
Q: What support will there be for parents/guardians during school closures?
The Scottish Government recently announced school and nursery closures. Glasgow Life is putting in place interim special leave of five days for all employees to help with childcare planning.
From Monday 23 March, if you require to take leave because of childcare commitments and because you cannot make alternative arrangements or work from home, then you can use this new special leave of up to five days on full pay. This leave will be pro-rota’d for part time employees and can be taken as a full week or as separate days.
If you are taking special leave then you need to contact your manger as soon as you know that you can’t make childcare plans. You should also keep in regularly contact with your manager so that we can continue to update you.
These are initial contingency plans; longer-term arrangements are being developed and will be communicated as soon as possible to support families.
Q: I am pregnant and have been sent home, am I now on maternity leave?
If you are pregnant and have been sent home you will not automatically be placed on maternity leave. You will move on to maternity leave at any point you choose, up to 11 weeks before your baby is due. You should continue to keep in contact with your manager and notify them when you wish to commence your maternity leave.
Q: I live with a vulnerable person, should I be staying at home?
If you are concerned about transmitting the virus to others, you should speak to your line manager to discuss any alternative arrangements that can be put in place for you. Further Government guidance for people living with a vulnerable person can be found here.
Q: 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. In line with government guidance, the majority of Glasgow Life staff are currently working from home.
Q: How long do I need to self-isolate for?
The maximum incubation period is 14 days and starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. If you live with others and you are the first in your household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days.
If anyone else in your household starts displaying symptoms then they should stay at home from 7 days from the day their symptoms appeared and regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.
Household members who remain well should still stay in self-isolation for a full 14 days, calculated from day one of the first symptomatic person in your household.
Q: 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 for you to self-isolate only if you are experiencing Covid-19 related symptoms, or a member of your household is.
Q: What is happening to bank staff who can’t work just now and won’t be paid?
We have been exploring how best to support those employees who have recently been providing regular work for Glasgow Life in the staff bank and we anticipate that further information will be available this week.
Q: If I am social distancing (over 70, pregnant or have an underlying health condition) and am working from home, how can I ensure my laptop is connected to the network at least every 4 weeks?
You should make arrangements with your line manager to come into a suitable venue to connect to the network.
Q: Is there any employee assistance support?
Our current Employee Assistance provider can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on (freephone) 0800 247 1100. You can also access services at www.workplaceoptions.com with the user name GCC and the password Employee. The Covid-19 helpline is also available on 0800 028 2816.
Q: My partner is pregnant and I wish to reduce the risk of contracting the virus?
To reduce the spread of the coronavirus, Government advice is for everyone to reduce social contact, avoid public transport and to work from home where possible. You should speak to your line manager and discuss alternative working arrangements that could be put in place for you.
Q: Should I be social-distancing (aged over 70, pregnant or have significant underlying health conditions)?
If you are over 70, pregnant or have significant underlying health conditions, please discuss this with your manager to ensure you are following government guidance to minimise risk. Please note social-distancing is not the same as self-isolating.
Social-distancing is to minimise unnecessary social contact. If you have the capability to work from home, we may ask you to do so. Should you develop symptoms while social distancing, please tell your line manager who will record you as self-isolating.
Q: What are the high risk groups and what constitutes a significant underlying health condition?
The government has released the following list of high risk groups and underlying health conditions that may place someone at higher risk. This list may not be exhaustive.
• Those who are pregnant
• Aged over 70 (regardless of medical conditions)
• Under 70 with an underlying health condition (i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds) such as:
- chronic (long term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- Chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- Problems with your spleen – for example sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- A weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- Being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
- People who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
- People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
- People with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
It is important for staff to highlight any underlying health conditions to their line manager.
Q: How long should I be social-distancing for?
The period of time will be continually reviewed in line with government guidance. If you are social distancing, please contact your line manager at least once a week and more often should you feel the need to.
Q: Can I work from home?
Government guidance to reduce the spread of the virus is for anyone who can work from home to do so. Please discuss this with your line manager. Line managers should refer to our ‘Urgent Briefing for Managers: Coronavirus - home working actions’ sent on Wednesday 18 March.
Q: Will I need to change how I work?
This is a national public health emergency and we all need to be flexible. Glasgow City Council is working at speed to create resilience around the city’s essential services. We will inform you of any updates about the services Glasgow provides and you may be asked to support these. Additionally each service and ALEO is considering its own Business Continuity Plan. While we intend to be consistent about how we respond to this, there will clearly be some local circumstances which need to be dealt with.
Q: How can equipment be shared to enable home working?
We have a finite number of laptops and mobile devices. Managers are currently 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.
Q: Do I still have to carry equipment home with me each night if I am not working at home?
If you have a mobile device such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone then please carry it to and from your work every day and make sure that it is regularly connected to the network at your place of work. You may be required to work from home at short notice. Please regularly refresh passwords on laptops.
Q: How do I report my absence?
If you are unable to attend work because you are self-isolating or ill due to COVID-19, please report this to your line manager in the usual way. Managers should send a daily update to the HR team for their area – to ERGL@glasgowlife.org.uk.
Q: How will managers record my absence?
The absence management portal will be updated this week to include COVID-19:
• If the employee is a myportal user, the manager will update accordingly
• If the employee is a non-portal user, the manager should state on the weekly absence return if someone has COVID-19 or is self-isolating
• Clarification will be given on how to record an employee who is social distancing as soon as possible
Q: Will I still be paid if my absence is COVID-19 related?
If you fall into one of the categories set out on the government’s website of high risk groups and have been advised by your manager to stay at home, have contracted COVID-19, or are self-isolating, you will be paid.
Your absence will not:
• Be counted against your sick leave entitlement
• Be used in connection with any absence management process
Q: There is someone in my household who has underlying health conditions, and I am concerned that I may come into contact with the virus and pass it on, do I need to continue to attend work?
If you, and the people you share a household with do not have any symptoms, there is no requirement to self-isolate. We do however understand concerns, and you should speak with your line manager and discuss leave options such as annual leave.
Q: My family member’s carer is self-isolating and I now need to take over caring?
Please speak to your line manager to discuss support or specific arrangements which can be put in place.
Q: What if one of my colleagues is unwell, with a cough and/or high fever and refuses to go home?
Government guidance is that anyone with a new cough and/or fever should stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days, regardless of how mild the symptoms are. It is very important to stop the spread of the virus. If this continues you should speak to HR.
Q: If I’m on annual leave and become unwell and need to self-isolate, will I get my annual leave back?
Yes, as with our current Maximising Attendance Policy, if you become unwell while on annual leave you should notify your manager and you will be recorded as self-isolating.
Q: Is there anything I should be doing to make the work place as safe as possible?
Public health authorities have published general principles organisations and individuals can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, and support targeted measures:
- Ensure that all members of the organisation are aware of the requirement to self-isolate if they develop symptoms and support them in doing this
- Consider staggering start and finish times to reduce commutes at high volume travel times
- Recommend routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces (eg telephones, keyboards, door handles, desks and tables).
- Promote hand hygiene by making sure that staff, contractors, service users and visitors have access to hand washing facilities.
- Ensure any crockery and cutlery in shared kitchen areas is cleaned with warm general purpose detergent and dried thoroughly before being stored for re-use.
Q: I have annual leave booked, am I able to cancel this?
It is important for the business and for you during this challenging time to make sure a proportionate amount of leave is taken. Managers should clarify that existing and approved holidays should remain in place. We recognise however there may be exceptions and these should be discussed with your line manager.
Q: Do Employees need to provide a Fit Note when absent because of the COVID-19 situation?
Under Glasgow Life’s Maximising Attendance Policy, you are able to self-certificate for the first 7 days of your absence, and are required to provide a fit note from day 8.
Anyone who is following official guidance to self-isolate may be unable to obtain a fit note, therefore Glasgow Life will extend the period of self-certification beyond the 7 days and for as long as the period of self-isolation lasts.
No fit note will be required for social-distancing although any unexplained or unauthorised absence may be considered under the company’s discipline and appeals procedure.
If you are absent, you are still required to maintain contact with your manager, on days 1, 4, 7 and every 7 days thereafter.
If you are absent through a reason other than COVID-19, normal absence reporting procedures apply, and from day 8 you should seek to provide a sick note. Due to current demand on the NHS however, a GP may not be able to provide you with a fit note, and Glasgow Life will consider extending the period of self-certification, as well as accepting fit notes retrospectively.