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Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Latest Information

Coronavirus - Latest Information

Reopening our venues and preparing for your return to work

Our Returning to Work Guide aims to give an overview of the changes we're introducing to support safe working in our buildings and venues during Covid-19. While some of the changes may differ according to where you work, the general principles apply in all our venues. To view a list of which venues we have prioritised for reopening, visit the Covid-19 latest information page of our website. 

All staff returning to their workplace will need to complete Glasgow Life’s mandatory ‘Coronavirus Awareness’ training course on GOLD. You can click on this link for instructions on how to access GOLD from home. Your line manager will contact you to arrange a suitable date and time for a phone call to discuss your return. These documents may be helpful to read through in advance of this:

Heads of Service will inform managers as to when they should begin scheduling these conversations with their teams. In the meantime, if you have any questions please raise them with your line manager.

Interim Homeworking Guidance and Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment

To support public health and reduce the spread of Covid-19, Glasgow Life is continuing to follow the Scottish Government’s guidance on homeworking. The government’s current position 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 have created new Interim Homeworking Guidance, which sets out our approach to continued homeworking as well as responsibilities for everyone.

This should be read in conjunction with Glasgow Life’s Homeworking Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment, which must now be completed by all members of staff who are working from home, with support from their line manager.

Managers are reminded that individual DSE Assessments for all staff who are working from home must be completed by no later than Monday 30 November. Managers should keep a copy of each assessment on file and staff members should also retain a copy. Please familiarise yourself with these documents and discuss any queries you have with your line manager in the first instance.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) and health and wellbeing support

Thank you to everyone across Glasgow Life for your continued commitment and hard work throughout this challenging situation. We know you have many questions about the impact of Covid-19 on Glasgow Life's services and your role, so we've created a list of frequently asked questions. And if you feel that you need some support with any aspect of your mental health, we've put together a variety of resources on our health and wellbeing page. 

Internal and External Vacancies

View and apply for internal vacancies. This link will take you to a list of Glasgow Life and wider Council Family vacancies on My Job Scotland for internal fulfillment. It’s specifically for Glasgow Life staff and should not be shared more widely as not all Glasgow Life vacancies shown here will be available externally.

To view Glasgow Life vacancies that are being advertised externally, or to share them with anyone not currently employed by Glasgow Life, see external vacancies on My Job Scotland. You will need a My Job Scotland account to be able to apply for any opportunities.

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 25 November

Payroll schedule amendment for December:

Managers/all staff should note that the payroll deadlines for December 2020 have been revised.

The deadline for informing CBS of any claims/changes to be processed as part of January’s pay has been brought forward to Monday 14 December. Pay dates remain unchanged.

SAP Period

Period Start

Period End

Deadline for claims / changes passed to CBS for input

Portal Users Deadline Date (must be input and authorised)

Pay Date

 

Sunday

Saturday

Monday

Sunday

Tuesday

11

20/12/2020

16/01/2021

14/12/2020

03/01/2021

12/01/2021

Glasgow Life’s full payroll schedule until the end of the financial year is as follows:

SAP Period

Period Start

Period End

Deadline for claims / changes passed to CBS for input

Portal Users Deadline Date (must be input and authorised)

Pay Date

10

22/11/2020

19/12/2020

27/11/2020

04/12/2020

15/12/2020

11

20/12/2020

16/01/2021

14/12/2020

03/01/2021

12/01/2021

12

17/01/2021

13/02/2021

22/01/2021

29/01/2021

09/02/2021

13

14/02/2021

13/03/2021

19/02/2021

26/02/2021

09/03/2021

Any pay queries should be directed to your line manager in the first instance. Managers can raise pay queries on behalf of their teams by emailing CBSServiceHR@glasgow.gov.uk.

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 24 November

Level four restrictions – guidance for all Glasgow Life staff:

As the First Minister stated in her weekly Covid-19 review earlier this afternoon, Glasgow’s position has not changed and the city is expected to remain under level four restrictions until at least Friday 11 December.

It’s important that everyone understands these enhanced restrictions and what they mean for you and for Glasgow Life. Crucially, level four is not a full ‘lockdown’ of the kind we experienced in March. While some of our venues have had to close again temporarily to the public, others will remain open to support activity that is permitted by the Government within level four.   

Your line manager will have discussed your individual circumstances and the needs of your service area with you and whether you will be required to work during this period. The following guidance is aimed at further clarifying Glasgow Life’s response to level four measures:

  1. Shielding

If you were shielding previously, you can still come to work on the basis that your workplace provides adequate protection. The Scottish Government’s individual risk assessment guidance should be used to discuss specific measures to offer protection in your workplace. The Government’s advice under level four restrictions is that if you are shielding you should not use public transport and should only attend work if you can travel independently or with the support of someone in your household or bubble. Please talk to your line manager about any concerns you may have.

If you are shielding and cannot attend work safely or travel independently, you should remain at home. In this case the period of absence will be counted as Covid-19 related absence (not sickness absence), and will not contribute to any absence triggers.

  1. Travel

Under level four, you should reduce any non-essential travel and not travel outside of your local council area. You can, however, still travel for work purposes and use public transport to travel to work, unless you are shielding. You should avoid car sharing and there is no need to carry any identification to travel to work.

  1. Contact

If you are not working during this period, you are not required to contact your line manager. However, you must remain contactable and respond to any calls or messages from your line manager. Line managers will continue to keep in close contact with their teams and all corporate updates will be added to our staff web portal. You should bookmark this web-link on your work or personal device: https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/emergency-information.

  1. Annual leave

You should continue to use your annual leave during this period, including if you have been placed on furlough, and any leave that you have already booked in will stand. In line with previous annual leave guidance, you should ensure that all of your annual leave entitlement is booked and taken by the end of January 2021.

  1. Self-isolating

You should not come to work if you have Covid-19 symptoms, have tested positive for coronavirus or have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS’ Test and Protect service. If you have Covid-19 symptoms you should visit www.nhsinform.scot to book a test. If you cannot get online you can call 0800 028 2816. You should self-isolate straight away if you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, or if someone in your support bubble/extended household has symptoms or has tested positive.

If you are able to and you are not unwell, your line manager may ask you to work from home while you are self-isolating. Glasgow Life will not ask you to come into your workplace before your period of isolation is complete. Once you have finished the advised period of self-isolation, you should contact your line manger to discuss your return to work plan.

If you are unfit to attend work because you have Covid-19 symptoms, or if you’re unable to work from home while you are self-isolating, your line manager should record this using Glasgow Life’s Covid-19 record of absence spreadsheet (version 3) and this should be returned to our HR team at ERGL@glasgowlife.org.uk after your self-isolation period has ended. This will not be recorded as sickness absence and you will still be paid as normal. For more information on self-isolating visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect/covid-19-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-infection.

  1. Returning to work

This is a temporary pause and we will reopen our venues in line with the Scottish Government’s guidance. We will aim to give you as much notice as possible (and a minimum of 48 hours) of the date you should return to work. This will depend, however, on the notice given by the Government in terms of Glasgow returning to level three. There may be a requirement to recall some staff during the period that Glasgow remains in level four to support permitted activity. Working patterns will remain in place during this time and you should be available for work in line with your current working pattern.  

  1. Employee assistance

Glasgow Life’s employee assistance service, Workplace Options, provides confidential advice and support on a wide range of issues including mental health and wellbeing; relationships; family and childcare matters; finance and debt management; and consumer rights. You can contact them for free on 0800 247 1100 and at assistance@workplaceoptions.com or log-in to www.workplaceoptions.com with the user name GCC and the password Employee.

It’s vital that we all play our part to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 by minimising social contact as much as possible. Please continue to follow the rules, including all signage and guidance within our venues, maintain two-metre physical distancing, wear a face covering as required and practice good hand hygiene, to keep yourself and your colleagues safe. Should you have any questions, please discuss these with your line manager.

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 24 November

REMINDER: Please complete your Homeworking Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment by Monday 30 November:

If you are currently working from home, then you need to complete Glasgow Life’s Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment.

If you have not already done so, please ensure that you complete the assessment document with your line manager by Monday (30 November). Both you and your manager should retain a copy and agree a future review date.

You may find it helpful to review Glasgow Life’s Interim Homeworking Guidance as well as the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Awareness e-learning course on GOLD, before completing your Assessment. You can login to GOLD from home on any device.

You can also click this link for answers to some frequently asked questions about homeworking and flexible working. Please discuss any queries you might have with your line manager in the first instance.

Coronavirus update – Friday 20 November

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues,

From close of play today, many of the venues that we have reopened over the past four months will close again until at least Friday 11 December, in line with the Scottish Government’s level four restrictions.

However, as I said in my update on Tuesday, some of our venues will remain open to support activity that is permitted by the Government within level four and more information on this, including a table showing which venues are open or closed, can be found on our website. We must also continue to meet our statutory responsibilities, which includes ongoing maintenance and security checks, over the next three weeks.

As we prepare for another round of tough, but necessary, measures, I want to thank all of our staff who will be working to maintain our operational readiness during this period, so that we are able to reopen as quickly as possible when we return to level three of the Government’s framework for managing Covid-19.

As a result of moving to level four, we will look to place some staff on furlough and we will continue to pay furloughed staff 100% of their salary.

Your line manager will have discussed your individual circumstances with you this week and whether you will be required to work during this temporary pause. Line managers will keep in close contact with their teams over the next three weeks and all corporate updates will be added to our staff web portal. Should you have any questions, please discuss these with your line manager in the first instance.

And most importantly, please continue to follow the rules and keep yourself safe, particularly in social settings, to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. It’s through our collective and sustained effort that we can hopefully help the city reach a point where restrictions can safely be eased in time for the festive period.

Workforce planning – review of grade 8+ management structures

You will remember that I emailed you in September with the first of what I said would become a series of regular ‘people’ updates over the coming months focussed on workforce planning.

Glasgow Life has faced the toughest period in its history this year and our priority is on working with Glasgow City Council to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organisation post Covid-19. This will include thinking differently about what we do and how we prioritise the range of highly-valued culture, sport, physical activity and learning services that we provide for Glasgow’s citizens and visitors.

On that basis, the Senior Management Team has been working to identify options for how we might re-shape our workforce and adapt our service provision to ensure that Glasgow Life remains fit for purpose in the years ahead.

Our initial phase of activity will begin with a review of our grade eight and above management structures, which will help to identify savings that can be made by reducing our headcount at a senior level. Colleagues at grade 8+ have been informed today of the next steps in this process.  

We are committed to redesigning Glasgow Life’s organisational structure and streamlining our workforce in a transparent way; through open communication and engagement with all staff and our trade unions about the impact this will have as well as the opportunities it might bring.

Beyond this initial phase focussed on grade 8+ colleagues, further work is being undertaken to consider wider service reform and changes across all of our service areas and more details will be shared in the coming weeks and months as this is progressed.

Help keep Glasgow’s children warm this winter: donate winter coats, jackets and hoodies

Glasgow City Council in partnership with The Herald have launched ‘Keeping Warm in Glasgow’, a citywide appeal for winter coats, jackets and hoodies to keep Glasgow’s children and young people warm this winter.

Current Government guidelines to suppress Covid-19 mean that schools have had to increase ventilation in classrooms and are encouraging more outdoor lessons. As the winter approaches, it’s crucial to help children stay warm at school so they can concentrate on their learning.

A number of families are struggling as a result of the pandemic. By donating your unused winter clothing you can help support them at this difficult time.

You can drop your donations off at a number of our community centres, where volunteer staff from Glasgow Life and the council’s Education Services will help sort them and organise distribution to schools across the city over the next few weeks. More information is available here.

Christmas lights switched on in George Square

As part of our #LoveGlasgowThisChristmas campaign, the city’s Christmas lights were switched-on in George Square on Wednesday night. As you might expect, the festive season in the city is going to be different this year because of Covid-19, but thanks to the hard work of our events and marketing communications teams, for the first time ever, you could watch this magical moment online from the comfort and safety of your own home.

Radio Clyde presenter, George Bowie, and the city’s Lord Provost, Councillor Philip Braat, joined council key-worker Theresa Glasgow for the switch-on in the City Chambers. If you missed it, you can watch it here.

As always, have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 18 November

Learning and Development update: Webinar schedule:

Please find below the Learning and Development webinar schedule until the end of December.

NEW: Visualising to engage

Many of us are quite adept when it comes to using MS PowerPoint and there is training on GOLD to allow us to learn the technical aspects of this presentation and training tool. But using it effectively to maximise your audience engagement and retention is crucial, especially when presenting digitally where we may have a shorter time frame to make an impact. This 90-minute masterclass is open to all colleagues and introduces the key concepts of how to design slides which maximise that impact whether you are delivering online or offline content. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 24 November, 1.30pm – 2.50pm
  • Thursday 3 December, 10am – 11.20am
  • Wednesday 9 December, 10am – 11.20am
  • Thursday 17 December, 1.30pm – 2.50pm

The virtual leader

More of us are now leading our teams virtually. We are having to think differently about how we connect with our teams and optimise performance. This webinar is aimed at people managers and will give you the time to explore how you are using your leadership style to get the best from your team and will share insights to support you with that challenge. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Thursday 3 December, 10am – 11.30am
  • Tuesday 22 December, 10am – 11.30am

Rediscovering our resilience

Building and supporting our personal and professional resilience is more important than ever right now. In this 60-minute session you will explore what resilience is; discover how you can learn to become more resilient; and learn practical tools to help produce your own resilience plan. Sessions are for any colleagues across the company who feel they might benefit and are available on the following dates:

  • Monday 23 November, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Wednesday 2 December, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Tuesday 15 December, 10am – 11am

Design and deliver great online events

This 90-minute session is for anyone who is getting to grips with the basics of using any video conferencing platforms. The event will help you set-up, design and deliver great online events. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Thursday 26 November, 1.30pm 3pm
  • Tuesday 15 December, 10am – 11.30am

Online safeguarding guidelines

New guidance has been developed to assist colleagues across Glasgow Life to plan and deliver our services in the digital world in a safe and appropriate way. This is an interim policy in response to Covid-19 and will be reviewed when government restrictions and advice in relation to social distancing etc. changes. This 90-minute webinar is for anyone responsible for organising or developing online activities and introduces the policy and aims to support its implementation. Sessions will run on:

  • Tuesday 1 December, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Wednesday 16 December, 10am – 11.30am

Running online meetings with impact

This 80-minute session is for anyone responsible for running meetings and will give you the skills and knowledge to evaluate and improve your online meetings. You will learn how to create an effective agenda and be given guidelines and rules on running productive online meetings. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Thursday 26 November, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Monday 14 December, 1.30pm – 3pm 

Coming soon … look out for dates

Working through change

Covid-19 has imposed change on us all personally and professionally. By understanding how we are affected by change and the natural way we deal with change, we are able to build coping strategies that help us adapt and thrive. This 90-minute session is for Glasgow Life colleagues who feel they might benefit from this learning.

Leading change

Covid-19 has brought about much change across Glasgow Life and we need to continue to review and develop new ways of delivering to the people of Glasgow. This event is for those who are responsible for leading and managing change and will define practical ways to lead and manage people through the transition and to be better equipped for the challenges and opportunities presented by our changing world.

How to book

To reserve your place, please email the Learning and Development Team at: glLandDenquiries@glasgowlife.org.uk with the name, date and time of the session you would like to attend. There is a maximum of 12 participants for each session and spaces will be provided on a first-come basis. If there is high demand, the Learning and Development team may be able to run additional sessions. 

Support with WebEx

WebEx video-conferencing technology is relatively new to most of us. The Learning and Development team will be online 30 minutes before each training session begins to help you navigate the basic tools you will need to get started. They will not be able to fix any technical issues once the session has started, so if you would like some support please be sure to arrive early.

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 17 November

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues,

As you will now be aware, from 6pm on Friday (20 November) until at least Friday 11 December, Glasgow will move into level four of the Scottish Government’s strategic framework for managing Covid-19.

Giving an update to the Scottish Parliament earlier this afternoon, the First Minister said that virus cases remain “stubbornly high” and have not been reducing sufficiently enough in Glasgow and other local authorities across the Central Belt under level three restrictions.

Nicola Sturgeon said that introducing “short and sharp” level four measures in Glasgow, and 10 other local authorities across Scotland, over the next three weeks were needed now to drive down the spread of the virus and ease pressure on hospitals and other critical NHS services this winter. In doing so, she said that this could help to support some limited easing of restrictions over Christmas.

What this means for Glasgow Life

As it has been throughout this pandemic, the health and wellbeing of all Glasgow Life staff remains our priority. We will continue to follow the Government’s guidance and ensure that safety is at the heart of how we all work in the current environment.

Our Senior Management Team is today finalising arrangements for the temporary closure of our museums, libraries, gyms and Tramway to the public from close of play on Friday 20 November. We will contact affected tenants to discuss access during this period and prioritise messaging to alert customers through our social media and other relevant channels.  

However, some of our venues will remain open to support activity that is permitted by the Government within level four. This includes community centres delivering essential childcare, venues supporting tenants who deliver permitted activities, and some non-contact outdoor sport facilities as well as those that accommodate professional sport clubs and organisations.

We will also need to continue to meet our statutory responsibilities, including regular maintenance checks and security monitoring, as well as maintain a process of operational readiness to ensure that we are able to reopen as quickly as possible when we are allowed to do so.

Under level four, you should reduce any non-essential travel and not travel outside of your local council area. However, you can still travel for work purposes and use public transport to travel to work, unless you are in the shielding category. Remember to avoid car sharing where you can. You do not need to carry any identification to travel to work.

Your line manager will work closely with you over the coming days to provide clarification on any permitted work you will be required to undertake during this temporary pause and I will keep you updated as regularly as possible. All corporate communications will continue to be added to our staff web portal.

In the meantime, please continue to follow the rules to keep yourself and your colleagues safe.

That means wearing a mask or face covering, unless you’re exempt from doing so, maintaining two-metre physical distancing and practicing good hygiene; in particular, washing your hands thoroughly and regularly.

It also means following the signage and guidance that’s in place at each of our venues that are open, paying particular attention to how you enter, exit and move around the building as well as new rules on the use of face coverings in communal spaces, such as corridors, kitchens, receptions, meeting rooms and admin hubs.  

We all want to think about some kind of normality for Christmas and into 2021, so it’s absolutely vital that we do everything we can to prevent Glasgow from being under level four restrictions for any longer than we need to be. Check the Scottish Government's factsheet on level four restrictions for the latest rules if you are in any doubt and thank you for your continued commitment to Glasgow Life.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 17 November

Have your say in helping to shape Glasgow City Council’s Covid-19 renewal plans for the city:

Life has been very different for most of us during Covid-19. The impact of the pandemic has resulted in some council family services either being reduced or stopped altogether, with some staff being asked to work differently, such as from home or in a different role to their normal one.

Glasgow City Council has created a short council family staff survey, which is aimed at helping the council to understand more about how these changes have affected you personally and at work, as well as understanding the levels of confidence you have in using council services, going out in the city and in returning to your workplace in some capacity. Some of the questions will mean you’ll need to think about life without some of the current restrictions in place.

Although we’re still very much in the midst of dealing with this crisis on a day-to-day basis, the council wants to plan for the time when restrictions are gradually being eased and its focus can shift to how we recover, reintroduce services and adapt, based on our learning and experience gained during Covid, as well as how the people of Glasgow can benefit.

The council’s renewal programme has been developed to bring together its current operational situation, challenges, opportunities and aspirations to support this transition to a new normal and longer-term plan. 

Take the survey

All council family staff are being asked to complete this survey, which will take around 10 minutes. The survey is anonymous and the closing date for responses is Friday 18 December.

Sharing the findings

The main findings from the survey will be reported back to the council’s City Renewal Working Group in January, which is planning Glasgow's route back to some kind of normality. The findings will help to inform any decisions that may be taken moving forward and the council will share these and any action plans with all council family staff.

More information

For more information about this survey or if would like to receive it in an alternative format or community language, please contact consultationqueries@glasgow.gov.uk. The council is required to process personal information in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  More information about this can be found here.

Coronavirus update – Friday 13 November

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues,

You will be aware that earlier this week Glasgow remained within level three restrictions following the first of the Scottish Government’s new weekly Covid-19 reviews.

The First Minister said that Scotland’s compliance with the current tough measures has undoubtedly had an effect in slowing transmission in recent weeks. However, she also said that while virus cases have stabilised in Glasgow they remain at a “stubbornly high level” and so there is still a risk that the city, and other local authorities in the Central Belt, could be placed into a second lockdown.

As we await the outcome of the Government’s next review on Tuesday, I want to thank you all for your collective efforts in continuing to support the city’s #Fight4Glasgow and to encourage you to remain vigilant in the coming days to ensure we each do all that we can to keep Glasgow out of level four.

Venue closures over Christmas and New Year

Last week, I outlined our office festive closure dates and this week I want to make you aware of our plans for closing venues over Christmas and New Year.

For the most part, the venues that we have reopened during the pandemic will close from Thursday 24 December and reopen w/c Monday 4 January. However, there will be service-specific exceptions to this and some venues will close earlier than 24 December. Additionally, some of our sport facilities as well as Kelvingrove and Riverside Museums will remain open on certain dates between Christmas and New Year, while some sport venues will reopen on Sunday 3 January. All of these dates may be subject to change should Glasgow be moved into level four lockdown restrictions at any time.

Local arrangements are being finalised within each service area and staff will be informed of the festive closure and reopening dates for their venue by their line manager next week. Our marketing communications team will regularly share this information with our customers through our social media and other relevant channels over the coming weeks.

Transforming Pollok Country Park

You may have seen coverage in the press this week reporting the city’s plans to reduce vehicle traffic and improve access for pedestrians and cyclists to Pollok Country Park.

An Active Travel Management Plan for the park was approved at a meeting of Glasgow City Council’s Planning Committee last Friday. This milestone follows an extensive engagement process carried out with local residents and key stakeholders. The plan will improve access to and within the park by promoting public transport and pedestrian links, modifying car access and vehicle routes, and improving connectivity to local areas.

The initiative forms part of a wider Transforming Pollok Country Park project being progressed by the city council and Glasgow Life, which is focussed on supporting the reopening of the Burrell Collection and promoting the park as a world-class attraction for visitors and local people.

People Make Glasgow recognised at global city branding exhibition

Since the city’s People Make Glasgow brand was launched in 2013 it has been recognised around the world as an example of branding and design best practice. That’s again the case this month, as PMG will be on show throughout November at Madrid Gráfica; a prestigious annual international branding, graphic design and cultural event organised by The Madrid Designers’ Association (DIMAD) and Madrid City Council.

This year’s exhibition features 25 examples of leading city brands and is connected to a tribute to the designer Milton Glaser, who is famous for creating New York’s iconic ‘I love NY’ brand. The organisers approached Glasgow Life for permission to include People Make Glasgow and our city is being displayed proudly alongside the likes of New York, Paris, Sydney, Berlin and Montreal.

Scotland qualify for next summer’s UEFA EURO 2020 finals

Finally, and for the football fans among us, it would be remiss of me not to mention Scotland’s dramatic and historic victory over Serbia last night, which will see our nation compete at an international football tournament for the first time in 23 years. Scotland’s qualification for the UEFA EURO 2020 finals next summer is a huge boost for the country and for Glasgow, with the added excitement that the team will now play Croatia and the Czech Republic at Hampden as part of the city’s hosting of four matches during the tournament.

As always, have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life  

New Scottish Child Payment opens for applications – Monday 9 November

The Scottish Child Payment (SCP) is a new payment for families on tax credits or certain benefits to help towards the costs of looking after a child. It offers parents £40 every four weeks for each child under the age of six.

The scheme starts on Monday 15 February 2021, but applications are open now. To apply, you need to be in receipt of one or more of the following qualifying benefits: Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA); and your child needs to be under six on 15 February 2021.

Scottish Child Payment will not be taken into account for UK benefit and tax credit assessments and there is no cap on the amount of children this payment can support. For more information or to make an application, call Social Security Scotland for free on 0800 182 2222 or visit www.mygov.scot/scottish-child-payment.

Coronavirus update – Friday 6 November

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues,

You will no doubt have seen or heard messaging from Glasgow City Council this week urging you to help keep the city out of a second lockdown. As you know, Glasgow is currently subject to tier three restrictions of the Scottish Government’s national framework for managing Covid-19, but in all honesty the city is closer to tier four than tier two.

The need to follow the rules now is greater than ever before if we are to slow the rate of new infections in the city, ease pressure on our NHS and, ultimately, avoid Glasgow being placed under the country’s strictest measures.

I’m sure you would agree the impact on the city at tier three is tough enough and the council has estimated that around 12,000 jobs have been affected through business closures and ongoing restrictions.

At tier four, however, the council believes more than 75,000 jobs could be at risk, particularly across the hospitality sector, not to mention the immeasurable and devastating knock-on effect this would have on the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Such severe restrictions would mean that many people will face increased isolation during the long winter months and struggle to see family and friends who they rely on for support.

The council’s Fight4Glasgow campaign requires all of us to play our part. Yesterday, the Scottish Government said the increased restrictions that have been in place in recent weeks are starting to have an effect, but the position across the Central Belt remains fragile. We must all fight for Glasgow, and encourage those around us to do the same.

In doing so, we give ourselves the best chance of avoiding tier four, protecting the city’s economy and the health of our loved ones, and moving to tier two and a greater degree of normality all the sooner.

Please continue to follow the government’s guidance and new workplace rules on staying safe to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. That means wearing a mask or face covering unless you’re exempt from doing so, maintaining two-metre physical distancing and practicing good hygiene; in particular, washing your hands thoroughly and regularly.

As I said last week, if you don’t see the rules being followed in our venues then you should tell us. Talk to your line manager and say if it’s not okay.

If you can, download and use the Protect Scotland app. And finally, but perhaps most importantly, if you have Covid-19 symptoms you must self-isolate and book a test right away. No one should come to work with symptoms or if they have been told to isolate by the NHS Test and Protect service. It won’t be recorded as sickness and you will still be paid as normal.

Love Glasgow this Christmas

As you might expect, the festive season in the city is going to be different this year because of Covid-19.

Our annual Glasgow Loves Christmas campaign will support the city’s Fight4Glasgow campaign and is asking you to Love Glasgow this Christmas by following the public health guidance and showing your support for businesses in the city.

Love Glasgow this Christmas will focus on what’s available to celebrate a great Christmas in the city as well as some innovative festive moments.

George Square will still have the Christmas tree, lights and crib and every evening in December until January 2 2021, there will be a new festive lighting installation at Glasgow City Chambers, which will see the iconic building illuminated with a beautiful colour wash, Christmas lights and lasers beamed from the roof.

Follow Glasgow Loves Christmas and #LoveGlasgowThisChristmas on social media for the latest Glasgow gift ideas and some exclusive festive content you can enjoy over the next seven weeks. 

Office closures over Christmas and New Year

Throughout the pandemic, Glasgow Life has continued to highlight the need for all staff to use their annual leave. It’s important that we all take a break from work on a regular basis to support our health and wellbeing. As is the case every year, our offices will close over the festive period. If you would normally be based in Albion St or any of our other office locations, you should ensure that you have retained up to three days of your annual leave for this.

Offices will close at the end of the day on Thursday 24 December and reopen on Tuesday 5 January for a small number of essential staff who are supporting business-critical operations. If you are currently working from home then you should continue to do so after the festive break. Our office festive closure dates are:

Friday 25 December 2020

Public holiday

Monday 28 December 2020

Public holiday

Tuesday 29 December 2020

Office closure – annual leave required

Wednesday 30 December 2020

Office closure – annual leave required

Thursday 31 December 2020

Office closure – annual leave required for half day (AM)

Thursday 31 December 2020

Public holiday – half day (PM)

Friday 1 January 2021

Public holiday

Monday 4 January 2021

Public holiday

Tuesday 5 January 2021

Staff return to work

Please be aware that this is for staff who are normally office based and does not apply in respect of the venues that we have reopened to the public. More information regarding the closure of venues over the festive period and what this means for venue-based staff and our customers will be shared next week.  

As always, have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Friday 6 November

Self-isolating if you have Covid-19 symptoms:

Test and Protect is Scotland’s approach to implementing a nationwide 'test, trace, isolate and support' strategy; a public health measure designed to break chains of transmission of Covid-19 in communities.

As part of this, anyone who has symptoms of Covid-19, or has tested positive for it, will be asked to self-isolate at home for 10 days. If you still have symptoms after 10 days you should continue to self-isolate until you are symptom free.

If you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you will be asked by the NHS Test and Protect service to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

Self-isolation is different from the physical distancing measures everyone in Scotland has been following. It means not leaving the house at all, even to get food and medicine or to exercise.

As Glasgow Life continues to support staff affected by Covid-19, it’s important that we offer the right support based on individual needs and circumstances. To help us do this, we need to capture details of and record staff absences correctly as this will help us determine the best course of action in each instance.

I have received a notification from Test and Protect to self-isolate, do I need to let my line manager know?

Yes. If you have been instructed to self-isolate you must not attend your workplace and should inform your line manager immediately. You will also need to share a copy of the notification from Test and Protect or a self-isolation note from the NHS.

This is not required when you first get in touch with your line manager to let them know that you are self-isolating, but please be aware that you should send a copy to your line manager as soon as you are able to do so. This is a similar process to how we supported our shielding staff earlier in the year.

There are three types of self-isolation notifications that you could receive and need to share with your line manager. They are:

  1. You are symptomatic, take a Covid-19 test and test positive. You should self-isolate as soon as you display any Covid-19 symptoms, don’t wait until you have your test results. If you test positive, please then share your result. If your test result is negative, you can end your period of self-isolation.
  2. You have been informed by an NHS contact tracer that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Please share the text/letter issued by the contact tracer.
  3. You live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive. Please share the NHS self-isolation note.

You can request a self-isolation note here. Managers can also check the validity of isolation notes using the NHS’ checking service here.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Glasgow Life’s priority continues to be the health and wellbeing of its workforce.

If you have contracted Covid-19 or are self-isolating, you will receive your full contractual pay and Glasgow Life will not count any Covid-19 related absence as part of our absence management procedures or towards full or half sick pay entitlements.

I have been instructed to self-isolate by Test and Protect how does that impact my 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.

Glasgow Life recognises 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.

When to self-isolate

Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms should visit www.nhsinform.scot to book a test. If you cannot get online, you can call 0800 028 2816. Remember, you should self-isolate straight away if:

  • You have any Covid-19 symptoms (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.
  • 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 or advised through the Protect Scotland app that you've been in close contact with a person with Covid-19.
  • You have been abroad and need to quarantine.

Please don’t go for one last shop, use public transport, leave your house or wait for a test result to decide. If you don’t have help nearby, you can call the freephone National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000.

Self-isolation and working from home / returning to work

If you are able to and you are not unwell, your line manager may ask you to work from home while you are self-isolating. Glasgow Life will not ask you to come into your workplace before your period of isolation is complete. Once you have finished the advised period of self-isolation, you should contact your line manger to discuss your return to work plan.

If you are unfit to attend work because you have Covid-19 symptoms, or if you’re unable to work from home while you are self-isolating, your line manager should record this using Glasgow Life’s Covid-19 record of absence spreadsheet (version 3) and this should be returned to our HR team at ERGL@glasgowlife.org.uk after your self-isolation period has ended.

All other non-Covid-19 absences should be recorded in the usual way and our normal maximising attendance and sick leave provisions will apply in these circumstances.

For more detailed information on self-isolating visit:

Coronavirus update – Thursday 5 November

Information Security Essentials Course 2020/21:

Each year, all staff across the council family are required to complete Glasgow City Council’s Information Security Essentials Course. Information security is a fundamental part of the Council Family Information Management Strategy.

It is vital that you understand and know how to keep the information and IT equipment you use safe and secure as well as what to do if it is accidentally lost or shared with the wrong person. This helps to protect our data, systems, buildings, colleagues, customers and citizens as well as our reputation.

This is a mandatory course for all council family staff and it must be taken each year to comply with Glasgow City Council’s core IT policies.

How to complete this course:

With many Glasgow Life staff working in different ways and in different locations just now, the easiest and quickest way to complete this refresher course is on GOLD, our online e-learning platform. GOLD can be accessed from both Glasgow Life and personal devices. If you take the course on GOLD, it will automatically record that you have completed it and it will be listed in your learning and development log.

Logging into GOLD:

You will need your SAP number and login details. If you are logging into GOLD for the first time, this is your SAP number with zeroes at the start until it makes up 8 digits. Your password will be your surname.

  • To log into GOLD from a work device, use this link
  • To log into GOLD from a non-work device, such as your personal smart phone, tablet or laptop, use this link (which is user friendly on smartphones and tablets).
  • Once logged in, click on the ‘Your ALEO or Service’ tab.
  • Then scroll down and open the ‘Glasgow Life’ tab, which will provide access to the Information Security Essentials 2020/21 course.

If you are unable to access GOLD on a work or personal device:

Please speak to your line manager about accessing the paper version of this course and confirm to your line manager that you have read and understood the content of the paper version. Your line manager will then record that you have completed it.

All Glasgow Life staff must complete this learning by no later than Thursday 21 January 2020.

Should you have any questions, please raise these with your line manager in the first instance.

Coronavirus update – Friday 30 October

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

As you will be aware, Glasgow has been placed in tier three of the Scottish Government’s new strategic framework for managing Covid-19.

The First Minister was clear that Covid cases are continuing to rise in Scotland and these new rules, which come into force from 6am on Monday, are crucial in the Government’s efforts to manage the spread of the virus and avoid a future national lockdown.

However, Nicola Sturgeon also said that she could not rule out a need for nationwide restrictions in the coming weeks or moving local authorities into tier four if necessary. And she stressed again just how important it is that we protect ourselves and work together to keep each other safe.

I’m sure you’ll all be making yourself familiar with these new measures in preparation for Monday. You may have read that there should not be any non-essential travel out of your council area under level three restrictions.

To be clear, this does not include travelling for work purposes and you should continue to come to work on Monday as usual, even if you live in another council area, although you should avoid car sharing wherever possible. If you are working from home then you should continue to do so.

I also want to emphasise the importance of self-isolating and getting tested if you experience Covid-19 symptoms. You should not come to work if you have symptoms or have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Protect service. This will not be recorded as sickness and you will still be paid as normal.  

Glasgow remains at risk of being placed in level four if infection rates in the city don’t begin to fall. This would not only bring in tougher measures that would significantly impact on our economy and our road to recovery, but it would have a serious effect on those people who are already missing the support of friends, family and normal routines.

Please continue to follow the rules to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. It’s through our collective and sustained effort that we can help the city reach a point where restrictions can safely be eased. And if you don’t see the rules being followed in our venues, please tell your line manager in the first instance. Say if it’s not okay.

Continued impact on Glasgow Club

As has been the case in recent weeks, in line with these new measures all Glasgow Club indoor fitness classes are suspended until at least Tuesday 10 November. Affected classes on our online system and the Glasgow Club app have been cancelled. Similarly, contact sport for over 18s remains suspended and pitch bookings will only be available for under 18s.

All Glasgow Club gyms which are currently open will remain open and fitness classes are available from home by visiting glasgowclub.online/ or tapping the Glasgow Club Online button in our app. Our sport team is working to add additional online and outdoor classes during this period.

Furlough

With the UK Government’s furlough scheme coming to an end tomorrow (Saturday 31 October), staff who are currently furloughed have been contacted by their line manager this week to inform them of our next steps and to provide reassurance that they will continue to be paid as normal.

The UK Government has established a replacement Job Support Scheme and we are waiting for the UK Treasury to publish the full details of this to establish whether Glasgow Life can access the scheme. We will continue to talk to staff and our trade unions about this.

Celtic Connections 2021

You may have seen coverage in the media yesterday that Celtic Connections will be staging an innovative digital-first festival from 15 January until 2 February.

The very best of traditional, folk and roots music has always been at the core of Celtic Connections; uniting cultures and musical talent from across the world.

We hope that this will support the city’s creative industries as well as help to protect and continue to promote Scotland’s rich musical and cultural legacy during these challenging times. The full programme will be announced in December and you can find more information at www.celticconnections.com

Reopening of the Mitchell Library

There was more positive news this week with the much-loved Mitchell Library opening its doors on Tuesday for the first time since March.

Customers can once again borrow books from the Granville Street area of the library, with research visits to Special Collections, Archives, General Services and the Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) available through free, pre-booked appointments. PC access and study space is also available to book in advance, free of charge.

The Mitchell is the 11th library we have now reopened to the public and alongside the building based services that our libraries offer, our digital library has been growing steadily over the past seven months.

Our eLibrary is home to a huge range of digital content. You can access more than 12,000 eBooks and audiobooks, 100 popular magazine titles and 15 million songs; all of which is free and available to download to your phone, PC or tablet. There’s also a variety of eResources to help boost your knowledge, business, study and research. More than 5,000 new members have joined Glasgow Libraries online since the beginning of spring.

Thank you to everyone involved in making it possible for the Mitchell Library to reopen safely and for making sure that our visitors can once again enjoy this iconic library at the heart of our city.

As always, have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life 

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 28 October

Webinar schedule and CLEAR Value of the Month:

Our CLEAR Value message for November is ‘Learning’ and sets out to promote the range of webinars currently being run by our Learning and Development team.

Managers are asked to share the schedule of webinar dates below with any colleagues who are unable to access the staff portal and to display the attached poster in back of house areas of our venues that are open.

To date, there have been over 1,000 attendances at these webinars and they have received fantastic feedback.

Webinar schedule until the end of December 2020

NEW: Visualising to engage

Many of us are quite adept when it comes to using MS PowerPoint and there is training on GOLD to allow us to learn the technical aspects of this presentation and training tool.

But using it effectively to maximise your audience engagement and retention is crucial, especially when presenting digitally where we may have a shorter time frame to make an impact. This 90-minute masterclass is open to all colleagues and introduces the key concepts of how to design slides which maximise that impact whether you are delivering online or offline content. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 10 November, 1.30pm – 2.50pm
  • Thursday 19 November, 10am – 11.20am
  • Tuesday 24 November, 1.30pm – 2.50pm
  • Thursday 3 December, 10am – 11.20am
  • Wednesday 9 December, 10am – 11.20am
  • Thursday 17 December, 1.30pm – 2.50pm

The virtual leader

More of us are now leading our teams virtually. We are having to think differently about how we connect with our teams and optimise performance. This webinar is aimed at people managers and will give you the time to explore how you are using your leadership style to get the best from your team and will share insights to support you with that challenge. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 11 November, 10am – 11.30am
  • Thursday 3 December, 10am – 11.30am
  • Tuesday 22 December, 10am – 11.30am

Rediscovering our resilience

Building and supporting our personal and professional resilience is more important than ever right now. In this 60-minute session you will explore what resilience is; discover how you can learn to become more resilient; and learn practical tools to help produce your own resilience plan. Sessions are for any colleagues across the company who feel they might benefit and are available on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 3 November, 10am – 11am
  • Thursday 12 November, 10am – 11am
  • Monday 23 November, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Wednesday 2 December, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Tuesday 15 December, 10am – 11am

Design and deliver great online events

This 90-minute session is for anyone who is getting to grips with the basics of using any video conferencing platforms. The event will help you set-up, design and deliver great online events. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 3 November, 10am – 11.30am
  • Thursday 26 November, 1.30pm - 3pm
  • Tuesday 15 December, 10am – 11.30am

Online safeguarding guidelines

New guidance has been developed to assist colleagues across Glasgow Life to plan and deliver our services in the digital world in a safe and appropriate way. This is an interim policy in response to Covid-19 and will be reviewed when government restrictions and advice in relation to social distancing etc. changes. This 90-minute webinar is for anyone responsible for organising or developing online activities and introduces the policy and aims to support its implementation. Sessions will run on:

  • Thursday 5 November, 10am – 11.30am
  • Monday 16 November, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Tuesday 1 December, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Wednesday 16 December, 10am – 11.30am

Running online meetings with impact

This 80-minute session is for anyone responsible for running meetings and will give you the skills and knowledge to evaluate and improve your online meetings. You will learn how to create an effective agenda and be given guidelines and rules on running productive online meetings. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Thursday 26 November, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Monday 14 December, 1.30pm – 3pm 

 Coming soon … look out for dates

Working through change

Covid-19 has imposed change on us all personally and professionally. By understanding how we are affected by change and the natural way we deal with change, we are able to build coping strategies that help us adapt and thrive. This 90-minute session is for Glasgow Life colleagues who feel they might benefit from this learning.

Leading change

Covid-19 has brought about much change across Glasgow Life and we need to continue to review and develop new ways of delivering to the people of Glasgow. This event is for those who are responsible for leading and managing change and will define practical ways to lead and manage people through the transition and to be better equipped for the challenges and opportunities presented by our changing world.

How to book

To reserve your place at any of these webinars, please email the Learning and Development Team at: glLandDenquiries@glasgowlife.org.uk with the name, date and time of the session you would like to attend. There is a maximum of 12 participants for each session and spaces will be provided on a first-come basis. If there is high demand, the Learning and Development team may be able to run additional sessions.

Support with WebEx

WebEx video-conferencing technology is relatively new to most of us. The Learning and Development team will be online 30 minutes before each training session begins to help you navigate the basic tools you will need to get started. They will not be able to fix any technical issues once the session has started, so if you would like some support please be sure to arrive early.

Coronavirus update – Thursday 22 October

A message from our Chief Executive:

Interim Homeworking Guidance and Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment

Dear colleagues

To support public health and reduce the spread of Covid-19, Glasgow Life is continuing to follow the Scottish Government’s guidance on homeworking. The government’s position throughout its route map out of the pandemic, 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 have created new Interim Homeworking Guidance, which sets out our approach to continued homeworking as well as responsibilities for everyone.

This should be read in conjunction with Glasgow Life’s Homeworking Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment, which must now be completed by all members of staff who are working from home, with support from their line manager.

We are asking staff to be adaptable in the weeks ahead, 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 the workplace on a rotational basis or working more often at home.

Homeworking DSE Assessment explained

Glasgow Life has the same health and safety responsibilities for home workers as for any of our venue-based staff.

During this temporary period, Glasgow City Council’s Health and Safety team has developed a Display Screen Equipment Assessment for use across the council family. It has been designed to help managers and staff assess existing arrangements and identify any actions which can be taken to support continued homeworking.

Your line manager will agree a suitable date and time with you to complete the assessment, which will check that your home set-up is working well for you and that you have the equipment and ICT connectivity you need.

Staff who are working from home may find it helpful to review the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Awareness e-learning course on GOLD, before completing their Assessment. You can login to GOLD from home on any device.

This portal also contains answers to some frequently asked questions about homeworking and flexible working.

Managers are reminded that individual DSE Assessments for all staff who are working from home must be completed by no later than Monday 30 November. Managers should keep a copy of each assessment on file and staff members should also retain a copy.

Please familiarise yourself with the attached documents and discuss any queries you might have with your line manager in the first instance.

Reopening of Tramway 

Tramway will reopen to the public this Saturday 24 October with the first exhibition in the UK by multi-disciplinary artist Rajni Perera, titled Traveller.

Sri Lanka-born, Toronto-based artist Perera’s bold and intricately crafted paintings, sculptures, textile works, and installations invite viewers into a world where ancestral history, mythology and contemporary social and environmental issues are intertwined.

Rajni Perera: Traveller is in Tramway’s front gallery until 14 February 2021. Entry is free but visitors will need to book tickets in advance as capacity will be limited.

Thank you to everyone involved in making it possible for Tramway to reopen safely and for making sure that our visitors can once again enjoy contemporary art in this much-loved Southside venue.

As always, have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life 

Coronavirus update – Friday 16 October

A Message from our Chief Executive:

Protecting yourself and your colleagues in the workplace

Dear colleagues,

It’s a sobering thought, after everything we have endured over the past seven months, that some of our most difficult days in the fight against coronavirus may yet lie ahead.

More people are now in hospital across Scotland than in March, and rising cases, particularly in Glasgow, have meant the introduction of much tougher restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of the virus at a time when our health services are under the most pressure. 

None of this is easy. So I know that, when we think of our colleagues, we will all take the time to remember that their experience hasn’t necessarily been the same as our own. They may have struggled with things that we adjusted to more quickly. Or they may have found ways of coping with aspects of work and life that we have not.

Most obviously, some of us will have become unwell, or experienced the worry of a close family member or friend suffering ill health. Some of us will even have lost someone important in our lives.

Even if we have not had direct experience of Covid, I’m sure we have all found the stop-start disruption to our daily lives extremely challenging. And these are things we should remember – and can learn from – as we take forward what is now likely to be a much longer recovery process than was first anticipated.

However, as we think about what the future holds, we must remember that coronavirus is not yet part of the past. And at this critical time, we all have the same collective and personal responsibilities. To protect ourselves and to keep each other safe, especially in our workplaces.

That means wearing a mask or face covering, unless you’re exempt from doing so, maintaining two-metre physical distancing – with colleagues and customers – and practicing good hygiene; in particular, washing your hands thoroughly and regularly.

It also means following the signage and guidance that’s in place at each of the venues we have reopened, paying particular attention to how you enter, exit and move around the building as well as new rules on the use of face coverings in communal spaces, such as corridors, kitchens, receptions, meeting rooms and admin hubs.  

The health and safety of our workforce throughout this pandemic is crucial in our phased approach to reopening and restarting our venues and services, in line with the Scottish Government’s route-map out of lockdown.

You can find more information on the changes we have introduced to support safe working in our venues within our Returning to Work Guide. While some of the changes may differ according to where you work, the general principles apply in all our venues.

We have also, today, updated the Frequently Asked Questions section of our staff web portal.

Acceptable use of social media

For the vast majority of us, social media is a part of everyday life. However, I would like to take this opportunity to remind all staff that while use of personal social media is permitted in the workplace, it is authorised at the discretion of management and should only take place during your own time.

All Glasgow Life staff are expected to use their personal social media responsibly and such use should not bring the company into disrepute or hinder our operations.

Reopening of the Emirates Arena

Reflecting on this week, we reached another important milestone with the reopening of our Glasgow Club at the Emirates Arena on Tuesday. While many sporting activities face tightened government restrictions at the moment, the reopening of the gym at one of our most popular fitness facilities will be a welcome boost to members in the east of the city.

As is the case with reopening any of our venues safely in this difficult environment, this required a lot of work from teams across Glasgow Life and I would like to thank everyone involved.

Our collective contribution to Glasgow’s recovery is and will remain vital. Thank you again for everything you have done so far.

Have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life 

Active Staff autumn walking challenge – Friday 9 October

Sign up for this year’s Active Staff autumn walking challenge:

Glasgow Life staff are being encouraged to join colleagues from across the council family for this year’s Active Staff autumn walking challenge. Organised for the public sector by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGCC), the annual four week challenge begins on Monday (12 October).

Teams of up to five members of staff are invited to take part in this active event, which will see you cover 1010 kilometres across a virtual route that’s the equivalent of walking from Salamanca to Grenada in Spain.

It’s easy to get involved, just form or join a team of up to five people, count your collective steps over the four week period using the Active Staff smartphone app or your fitness tracker, track your progress across the virtual route and enjoy some healthy competition with your colleagues.

In addition to prizes being offered by the organisers, Glasgow City Council will be awarding prizes to the top three teams from across the council family.

For more information and to register, visit activestaff.worldwalking.co.uk/register. If you’ve taken part in the challenge previously, you’ll need to re-register. 

We’d love to hear about your progress in the challenge. If you have a fun story or an achievement you’d like to share, please email the details along with your name, contact details and a couple of images to internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

If you have any questions, you can check out these hints, tips and other bits or email walking.challenge@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.

Please remember to follow all current social distancing guidelines when getting your steps in.

Health and wellbeing update – Friday 9 October

Glasgow Life Flu Vaccination Programme now closed:

We have had an exceptional response from staff across Glasgow Life to our Flu Vaccination Programme this year. We ordered more vouchers this year than previously as we expected demand to be greater given the pandemic. However, requests for vouchers have been even higher than anticipated.

Once our supply of vouchers was exhausted, we started putting staff on a waiting list should any vouchers be returned. Due to the extraordinary demand for vaccines nationwide, we are unlikely to receive any more vouchers. We have therefore taken the decision to close the programme for this year.

This means that, unfortunately, we will not be able to accept any more requests for vouchers or put anyone else on the waiting list. Those who have vouchers will still be able to use them and those on the waiting list will be contacted if a voucher becomes available. 

Please be aware that the NHS has extended the group of people who can access the vaccine through their GP surgery and it’s worth checking the NHS Inform website or contacting your GP to see if you qualify.

Coronavirus update – Friday 9 October

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

You will be aware of Wednesday’s announcement by the Scottish Government regarding the introduction of additional measures in the fight to help reduce the spread of coronavirus across the country.

The First Minister was clear that, although they are tough, these measures are needed now, and particularly in the central belt, to try to slow the increasing rate of new infections and ease pressure on our NHS as we head into the peak winter period.

As it has been from the outset of the pandemic, the health and wellbeing of all Glasgow Life staff remains our priority. We will continue to follow the Government’s guidance and ensure that safety is at the heart of how we all work in the current environment.

Glasgow City Council has now issued the following guidance for all council family staff and this applies to Glasgow Life:

Additional temporary measures

The additional temporary restrictions will come into force at 6pm today (Friday 9 October) and are intended to end on 25 October.

They include national measures alongside stricter regional health board measures for five areas across the central belt, including Glasgow. They also include the introduction of mandatory face coverings in indoor communal settings, including workplace areas.

Whether you are currently coming into a council premise to carry out your role or working from home, these new temporary changes will not affect how you travel to your workplace or how you carry out your day-to-day tasks.

When in the workplace, remember to follow all Covid-specific and physical distancing guidance, and keep in regular contact with your line manager should you need to self-isolate or develop symptoms.

Workplaces and face coverings

The Scottish Government is introducing regulations to expand the rule regarding the use of face coverings and from 6pm today they will become mandatory in indoor communal settings across Scotland. This will include all reception areas, staff café hubs, admin hubs, kitchens and corridors in our workplaces.

Face coverings are currently in use in key areas across the council family where they have been identified as a health and safety requirement to carry out a specific task.

Please be aware that the council will expect employees to comply with the regulations (subject to any medical exemptions) in the workplace and wear face coverings for normal workplace attendance. It will be your responsibility to make sure you have one to wear to enter and move around inside a council building, the same as you would to enter a shop or travel to work on public transport.

We will update guidance around our premises to remind you to wear your face covering at all times when in a communal area or moving around the building.

When we have more information on these Scottish Government regulations we will share this directly with staff. You can read more about the new temporary measures introduced by the Scottish Government here.

 Changes to Glasgow Club provision

Following the introduction of these new measures, all Glasgow Club indoor fitness classes will be suspended from 6pm today until the close of business on Sunday 25 October. We are in the process of closing off all affected fitness class bookings on our online system and the Glasgow Club app, and members will receive a refund of any payment where necessary.

Similarly, all contact sport for over 18s will be suspended over the coming 16 days. Relevant football pitch bookings will be cancelled and customers will receive a refund of any payment where necessary.

All Glasgow Club gyms which are currently open will remain open throughout this temporary period of increased restrictions. Other Glasgow Club venues that are scheduled to reopen within the next two weeks will continue as planned and fitness classes are available from home by visiting glasgowclub.online/ or tapping the Glasgow Club Online button in our app.

Keeping in touch

Accepting these new measures over the next three weekends and being isolated from friends and family can be difficult for our mental health. Please use this time to take care of yourself and those around you and check in regularly with those who might feel the effects of these new restrictions more than others.

Managers will continue to keep in touch with their teams throughout this period to pass on relevant updates and share essential information, and all corporate communications will continue to be added to our staff web portal.

If you’re concerned about the current situation or feeling like you might just need some additional support, please speak to your line manager. Workplace Options is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you can call them for free on 0800 247 1100 or email assistance@workplaceoptions.com.

You can log-in to www.workplaceoptions.com with the user name GCC and password Employee, and the health and wellbeing  section of our staff portal hosts links to a variety of useful support and resources.

As we head into this next period of restrictions, I want to reiterate my sincere thanks, as well as the thanks of our Board, Leadership and Senior Management teams, for your incredible efforts, commitment and resilience this year, which are continuing to help steer Glasgow Life through the toughest time in its history.

As the First Minister said, sticking to all of this isn’t easy, and after seven long months it’s harder than it has ever been. But it’s essential. And difficult as it is to believe it right now, the hard sacrifices we are making will hasten the brighter days that do lie ahead and this pandemic will pass.

As always, have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Celebrating Black History Month – Wednesday 7 October

The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) coordinated the first Black History Month programme in Scotland nearly two decade ago.

Raising awareness of the history of African, Caribbean and Asian people in Scotland – people who often have a direct link with our country through slavery, colonialism and migration – Black History Month focuses on those whose sacrifices, contributions and achievements against a backdrop of racism, inequality and injustice are often forgotten about.

In recent years, Black History Month has gone from strength to strength in Scotland, with the community, voluntary and public sectors contributing dozens of events every October. Last year's programme included more than 60 events, spanning cinema, theatre, radio, exhibitions, art and poetry, walking tours, debates, science and dance.

This year has been a challenging one for all of the organisations who take part in Black History Month, including CRER. However, in the spirit of quality, not quantity, they have assembled another fantastic range of ‘virtual’ events.

Scotland's Black History Month 2020 is live, with listings, resources and more information available at blackhistorymonthscotland.org.  

Health and wellbeing update – Wednesday 7 October

‘Do one thing’ to support your mental health – World Mental Health Day (10 October):

World Mental Health Day is taking place this Saturday (10 October) and it’s the most important one yet.

2020 has been a tough year for everyone, with the months of lockdown and ongoing restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic continuing to have a significant impact on the mental health of millions of people around the world.

This year, the theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is 'mental health for all’. And the charity MIND is asking us all to ‘do one thing’ on Saturday that’s good for our mental health – whether that’s simply going for a walk, taking the first steps to getting support, or reaching out to help someone else. You can visit MIND’s website for more information on how to get involved.

Additionally, a pre-recorded webinar on ‘Building Better Mental Health’ will be available to all Glasgow Life staff via the Workplace Options website from Friday (9 October).

Focused on the importance of managing your mental health, the webinar will help viewers to develop a plan for positive change, including understanding the impact of self-stigma, discovering ways to combat negative thoughts and taking advantage of the free resources and support that’s available.

For more information, log-in to www.workplaceoptions.com from Friday with the user name GCC and password Employee.

Get support

If you’re feeling anxious, concerned or that you might just need a bit of additional support, then Workplace Options is available 24 hours a day. You can call them for free on 0800 247 1100 or email assistance@workplaceoptions.com.

The health and wellbeing section of our staff portal also hosts links to a variety of support and resources aimed at helping you to look after your mental health during this challenging time. All of our resources are recognised as best practice and are recommended by the Scottish Government to support employee wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus update – Friday 2 October

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

It’s been another busy week with the reopening of our first swimming pools at Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

Our chair, Councillor David McDonald, welcomed the first swimmers to return to Tollcross on Wednesday and, as has been the case with the reopening of our sports venues more widely, the early response from our Glasgow Club members has been very positive. You may have seen Cllr McDonald’s interview with STV from Tollcross on Wednesday night.

As is the case with reopening any of our venues safely and in line with government guidance, this required a lot of work from teams across Glasgow Life and I would like to thank everyone involved for their tremendous efforts.

We will continue this steady progress next week with the reopening of swimming pools at Glasgow Club Gorbals, Maryhill and Springburn, ahead of the reopening of the Emirates Arena on Tuesday 13 October.

In other significant news this week, Glasgow has become the UK’s first EarthCheck certified destination.

As the city prepares to host the historic COP26 UN Climate Change Conference next year, this new partnership with one of the world’s leading sustainability organisations will further support Glasgow’s ambition to be recognised as a global leader in sustainability and a resilient destination in which to live, visit and do business.

It will also help to build renewed confidence in our tourism and hospitality sector by ensuring Glasgow meets the new global standards for health, safety and hygiene that will be expected in cities and destinations around the world post Covid-19.

You can read the full article at earthcheck.org/news and watch a short video of the announcement on YouTube.

As always, I wish everyone a safe and peaceful weekend.

Best regards

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

People update – Thursday 1 October

Leadership Development opportunity for black and minority ethnic employees:

For a sixth year, Glasgow City Council are offering places to BME employees on this year’s Developing Management and Leadership Skills (DMLS) programme. This development opportunity is also available to Glasgow Life employees.  

The programme has been developed by PATH (Scotland), with funding from the Equality Unit of the Scottish Government, as a positive action measure towards addressing the under-representation of people from BME communities in management positions, leadership roles and public life.

Supporting the programme forms part of our positive action activity to provide specific development opportunities to our BME employees. 

The programme aims to support people within this group to fulfill their potential and access opportunities that will result in senior management positions and public appointments becoming more representative of our communities.

The programme will examine power inequalities, the impact of racism on our culture, and the implications for people from BME communities and their relationships with others and with themselves.

The programme will also enable participants to recognise and further develop their own skills and abilities as managers and leaders, and give them the opportunity to explore how they use their skills at present, and how they want to use them in the future, in their organisations, in their communities and in wider society. They will then be able to set goals in line with their own vision and values and begin to take action to turn them into reality.

This year’s programme will be delivered online through Zoom. The half-day sessions will be held fortnightly between October 2020 and May 2021. Click on this link for the course outline and this link for feedback from previous participants.

As Council family systems cannot access Zoom, employees will have to use personal devices. There is no cost to attend this programme; with line manager approval, time will be given to take part. Places will be allocated on a first come basis. 

How to register:

For further information please contact Elaine McHugh within Glasgow City Council's Chief Executive’s Department on elaine.mchugh@glasgow.gov.uk.

If you are interested in taking part, please speak to your line manager first then request an application form from equalityanddiversity@glasgow.gov.uk.

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 30 September

CLEAR Value of the Month for October – Customer Focus: 

As our venues continue to re-open and staff return to work, it's important that we're able to reassure colleagues and customers in these uncertain times. Our CLEAR Value for October is ‘Customer Focus’ and this poster shares some simple habits that will help. Abbreviated to the 4 S’, these are Sanitise, Space, Signage and Smile.

Managers, please print and display the poster on staff noticeboards in your facilities.

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 29 September

Learning and Development team update – Webinar schedule:

Colleagues across Glasgow Life have been benefiting from the in-house series of webinars designed and delivered by our Learning and Development team to support our development and recovery planning. Here are the webinars you can take part in over the coming weeks.

The virtual leader

More of us are now leading our teams virtually. We are having to think differently about how we connect with our teams and optimise performance. This webinar will give you the time to explore how you are using your leadership style to get the best from your team and will share insights to support you with that challenge. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Monday 12 October, 10am – 11.30am
  • Tuesday 27 October, 10am – 11.30am

Rediscovering our resilience

Building and supporting our personal and professional resilience is more important than ever right now. In this 60-minute session you will explore what resilience is; discover how you can learn to become more resilient; and learn practical tools to help produce your own resilience plan. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Thursday 1 October, 10am – 11am  
  • Tuesday 6 October, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Monday 19 October, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Tuesday 3 November, 10am – 11am

Online safeguarding guidelines

New guidance has been developed to assist colleagues across Glasgow Life to plan and deliver our services in the digital world in a safe and appropriate way. This is an interim policy in response to Covid-19 and will be reviewed when government restrictions and advice in relation to social distancing etc. changes. This 90-minute webinar introduces the policy and aims to support its implementation. Sessions will run on:

  • Thursday 8 October, 10am – 11.30am
  • Tuesday 20 October, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Wednesday 28 October, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Thursday 5 November, 10am – 11.30am

Design and deliver great online events

This 90-minute session will help you set-up, design and deliver great online events. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 7 October, 10am – 11.30am
  • Thursday 29 October, 10am – 11.30am

Running online meetings with impact

This 80-minute session will give you the skills and knowledge to evaluate and improve your online meetings. You will learn how to create an effective agenda and be given guidelines and rules on running productive online meetings. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Monday 26 October, 10am – 11.30am

How to book

To reserve your place, please email the Learning and Development Team at: glLandDenquiries@glasgowlife.org.uk with the name, date and time of the session you would like to attend. There is a maximum of 12 participants for each session and spaces will be provided on a first-come basis. If there is high demand, the Learning and Development team may be able to run additional sessions.

Support with WebEx

WebEx video-conferencing technology is relatively new to most of us. The Learning and Development team will be online 30 minutes before each training session begins to help you navigate the basic tools you will need to get started. They will not be able to fix any technical issues once the session has started, so if you would like some support please be sure to arrive early.

People update – Thursday 24 September

A message from our Chief Executive:

Delivering a sustainable future for Glasgow Life post Covid-19

Looking back to the start of this year, none of us could have predicted the impending arrival of the coronavirus pandemic and the devastating impact it would have on communities and economies around the world; and so too, on Glasgow Life.

As the charity that people in Glasgow engage with most often, Covid-19 has shown everyone what life is like without Glasgow Life; when access is curtailed to the most-used cultural, sporting and learning services in the city, which are crucial to the health and wellbeing of our citizens and visitors.

Lockdown and ongoing restrictions have wiped out Glasgow Life’s earned income over the past six months and we expect it will be some time before we can return to pre-Covid levels of participation in our services. As such, we are anticipating a £26m shortfall at our financial year-end.

In May, we placed more than 900 colleagues on furlough to enable Glasgow Life to claim much-needed financial support from HMRC. I cannot stress enough that all of our staff matter, and those who are on furlough as well as those who have been unable to work for a variety of reasons are just as important to our organisation as those who have continued to work throughout the pandemic.

However, as we have seen from the First Minister’s statements this week, we must all accept that coronavirus and the measures necessary to suppress it will be with us for many months to come. And so our priority now must be on working with Glasgow City Council to ensure the longer-term sustainability of Glasgow Life post Covid-19.

Workforce planning and redesigning our service provision

This means we will have to think differently about what we do and how we prioritise the range of culture, sport, physical activity and learning services that we provide for Glasgow’s citizens and visitors.

Glasgow Life receives an annual service fee of £77.5m from Glasgow City Council, and with this funding we have a clear remit; to make a positive impact on people’s lives and to support the health and wellbeing of Glasgow’s citizens and communities as well as the growth of the city’s economy. However, our single biggest operational cost is our people, and some £70m of our core funding from the council accounts for our staff. Therefore, in order to deliver a sustainable future we will need to redesign our organisational structure and reduce the size of our workforce.

On that basis, our Senior Management Team has been tasked with identifying options for how we might re-shape our workforce and adapt our service provision to create a new model for Glasgow Life that remains fit for purpose in the years ahead. Such options will include:

  • Promoting the benefits that career breaks and flexible retirement can offer.
  • Highlighting opportunities for redeployment and reskilling when vacancies in essential posts become available across the council family.
  • Putting in place strict vacancy management arrangements.
  • Reviewing temporary and fixed-term contracts.
  • Supporting employees who may wish to voluntarily reduce their hours.
  • Introducing a targeted early retirement and voluntary redundancy scheme.

I would like to reassure you that the following principles will underpin how we take any proposed changes to our workforce forward:

  • We will schedule regular meetings with our Trade Unions and work in partnership to discuss proposals.
  • We will communicate robust business cases for change to help employees understand these changes and the new direction for the organisation.
  • Where required, we will enter into collective consultation on proposed changes.
  • Where relevant, we will consult with each employee on an individual basis once collective consultation has ended.
  • We will implement a consistent engagement and communication framework.
  • We will consult with a view to reaching agreement.
  • Where agreement cannot be reached, every effort will be given to resolving collective concerns, and following that, individual employee concerns.
  • We will link multiple change initiatives where possible.

While we might not yet know what the future holds, I’m confident that we can use Covid-19 as an opportunity to reform our services, possibly in partnership with local organisations, as well as to continue delivering the very best of what we do across all of Glasgow’s communities. And while this year has been, and continues to be tough, there is still reason to be positive.

Last week we successfully launched our online Glasgow Club membership offer, which has been well received by our customers. By mid-October we will have reopened to the public: 10 libraries, three museums, 12 sports venues (including 58 football pitches) as well as Tramway. And looking ahead, from the launch of phase two of our Artist in Residence programme next month to the rescheduling of EURO 2020 and COP26 next year; in a post-Covid world, Glasgow will again shine locally and globally.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank all of you for your resilience and your continued commitment to Glasgow Life throughout these past six months. This is just the first in what will become a series of ‘people updates’ as we look to develop new and innovative ways of delivering our services in the future with a reduced workforce, and I am committed to sharing this information with you as fully and as regularly as possible.

With the weekend ahead, I hope you all have the chance to relax and recharge after another busy week.     

Best regards

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Friday 18 September

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

This week we reopened two of our busiest indoor sports venues at Glasgow Clubs Scotstoun and Bellahouston as well as the outdoor pitches at Glasgow Club Donald Dewar.

The early response from our customers has shown just how popular they are, with fitness classes and gym sessions across both venues fully booked. Almost 2,500 Glasgow Club members have reactivated their memberships in recent weeks.

The priority with any venue that we reopen is to ensure that it’s safe for our customers and staff, and it’s been heartening to see the positivity and confidence that’s coming through on social media from our members about the new measures we’ve introduced in our sports centres.

A lot of work from teams across Glasgow Life has gone into making this happen and I would like to thank everyone involved for their tremendous efforts. Next week, we will continue this progress with the reopening of our Glasgow Clubs at Kelvin Hall and Castlemilk.

However, we recognise that not everyone feels ready to return to the gym yet, so this week we have also launched our new online Glasgow Club membership.

With over 20 live classes each week and an on-demand library of workout content, this will allow people who prefer to exercise at home to do so. Customers who reactivate their membership will have access to this included for free and more information is available here.

Finally, this week marks a very special anniversary. The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall officially opened on 5 October 1990, however it was 30 years ago this week that the venue hosted its first ever concert when The Blue Nile performed to a sold-out crowd.

A number of Glasgow Life colleagues were working then and I’m sure you will join me in offering thoroughly deserved congratulations to Jo Campbell, Karen Taylor, Craig Handlin, Anne Smith, Elma Murphy, Julie Birkett, Mairi Bogan, Alex Simpson, Anne Jamieson and Edith Clarke.

It’s a truly incredible achievement that all have been with Glasgow Royal Concert Hall since that inaugural concert and I want to thank each of you for your outstanding commitment over the past 30 years.

As always, I wish everyone a safe and peaceful weekend.

Best regards

Bridget  

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Health and Wellbeing update – Wednesday 16 September

Flu Vaccination Programme 2020:

We are again pleased to offer the opportunity for all Glasgow Life employees* to participate in the Flu Vaccination Programme. Due to Covid-19, this year’s programme will be different. We will email a vaccination voucher that you can redeem at a Boots store on a date/time that suits you. A list of participating Boots stores and step-by-step instructions on how to book your appointment will be given on the voucher.

The NHS has extended the group of people who will be offered the flu vaccine this year, including unpaid and young carers and those living in the same house as people previously shielding from coronavirus. You can find full details of all groups included in the first phase on NHS Inform and staff in these categories can request a flu vaccination from their GP.

To request your voucher, please email occupationalhealth@glasgowlife.org.uk with your name and the email address that you wish the voucher to be sent to. Vouchers are limited so please request your voucher as soon as you can to avoid disappointment and please only request a voucher if you are certain that you will use it.

The email address you give will only be used to send you a vaccination voucher. Your details will not be shared with any other party or used for any other reason. If you supply a personal email address, you are consenting to Glasgow Life contacting you via this personal email address only with regard to this flu vaccination offer. Glasgow Life will not retain your personal email information.

For more advice on preparing for cold and flu season please visit NHS Inform.

*The QIV vaccine being offered is licensed for those aged 18 and over and those under 65. Any member of staff who does not fall into the age range of 18 to 65 will be signposted to their GP for an alternative vaccine. The Trivalent (TIV) vaccine has been demonstrated to be far more effective for those over 65 and is being stocked by GP surgeries and provided freely for this age group.

Coronavirus update – Friday 11 September

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

Yesterday the First Minister confirmed that we will remain in phase three of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown. This will be reviewed again in three weeks’ time, but it is likely that we will remain in this current phase for some time yet.

This announcement means that the planned easing of some lockdown restrictions has now moved back from September until October. Theatres, live music venues, indoor soft play facilities and indoor contact sports for people aged over 12 now have a new indicative reopening date of Monday 5 October. All the latest updates on venue reopenings can be found on our website where you will also find a revamped, more user friendly Frequently Asked Questions page.

However, we are continuing to make progress and from next week we will begin opening some of our indoor sports venues so our members can get back to enjoying the gym and fitness classes. Glasgow Club Scotstoun will welcome members back from Monday 14 September and Glasgow Club Bellahouston will reopen its doors on Wednesday 16 September. We are also reopening the outdoor pitches at Glasgow Club Donald Dewar.

Our teams have been working exceptionally hard to put in place a range of safety and hygiene measures to make sure everyone has an enjoyable and safe experience. Members will need to book in advance for all activities and arrive ready to take part as our changing facilities and lockers will not be available. They will also need to wear face coverings when they are not participating in physical activity and bring their own water for their session as our cafes and water fountains will be closed.

Our gyms may look and feel a little different for a while yet, but the reopening of our first Glasgow Clubs is a real sign of the progress we have made and will be a welcome return for so many of our members, as well as an important milestone for Glasgow Life and for the city.

You can find out more about the new ways our Glasgow Clubs will be operating by watching the short film our Chair, Cllr David McDonald, has made to show customers what they can expect.

We do understand that some of our customers may not feel ready yet to return to the gym. Our digital content will remain online and next week we will launch our new online digital membership for those who prefer to continue to keep fit at home.

Finally, as always, I would like to wish you a safe and peaceful weekend.

Best regards

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 9 September

People Strategy and Resources Team update –important pay information:

In April, we provided guidance on how pay queries would be handled during the period of restrictions that were imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As these restrictions gradually continue to ease, we can now advise that all pay queries should once again be directed to Customer and Business Services (CBS). 

Actions for staff

  • Check your payslip if you’re able to, to confirm what you have been paid and to identify if there is any issue with your pay.
  • Paper payslips for non-My Portal users will be issued to your home address as normal. It’s not possible to issue paper payslips to MyPortal users.
  • Electronic payslips will be available on MyPortal in the usual way. We appreciate that some employees are still without access to systems to be able to check their payslip. If that’s the case, please only raise pay queries where they are absolutely necessary as the pandemic continues to have a considerable impact on our systems and resources. You will be able to view backdated pay slips when you do get access again.
  • If you do need to raise a query, you should speak to your line manager in the first instance. If your manager is unable to answer or resolve your query, they will contact CBS on your behalf for assistance.

Information for managers

  • Should you receive a pay query from a team member, please make sure they have followed the steps above as far as possible.
  • Email CBS at cbsservicehr@glasgow.gov.uk and include: Employee’s name / Employee’s SAP/payroll number / Details of the query / Your name and job title
  • All queries should be sent from Glasgow Life email addresses only.
  • CBS will provide a response as quickly as possible. When you receive this, you should communicate this to your employee immediately.

Payroll processing dates

The payroll schedule dates for periods 7 to 10 are outlined below for information:

SAP Period

Period Start

Period End

CBS Cut Off For O/time & Mileage

Deadline for all other changes passed to CBS for input

Portal Users Deadline Date (must be input and authorised)

Pay

Date

7

30/08/20

26/09/20

07/09/20

04/09/20

11/09/20

22/09/20

8

27/09/20

24/10/20

05/10/20

02/10/20

09/10/20

20/10/20

9

25/10/20

21/11/20

02/11/20

30/10/20

06/11/20

17/11/20

10

22/11/20

19/12/20

30/11/20

27/11/20

04/12/20

15/12/20

Coronavirus update – Friday 4 September

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

As you will know, earlier this week Glasgow was one of three local authority areas to have restrictions reintroduced after a rise in coronavirus cases. Under the new rules, residents of Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire should not host visitors in their homes or visit other households. These restrictions have been put in place until Tuesday 15 September, but will be reviewed next week.

This highlights the fragility of the progress we have collectively made so far. Our day to day lives now have a much greater sense of normality about them than they did in the early months of lockdown. However, we remain a long way from normal and it’s important that we continue to follow government guidance, now more than ever, if we are to overcome Covid-19 and avoid a second spike in the winter months to come. 

On a more positive note, this week we reopened another four Glasgow Life venues: Riverside Museum and Easterhouse, Drumchapel and Gorbals libraries. As with Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the return of Riverside is proving very popular and early demand for tickets has been high.

While it’s always good to see strong performance statistics, I think the reaction from our customers is just as important in terms of demonstrating the impact of the work Glasgow Life delivers for the city. Here’s just one great example from our social media channels this week:

“It was wonderful to be back at the Riverside today. I’ve been waiting MONTHS to explore the museum again now that I’m living in Glasgow.  All the staff were excellent, so friendly, helpful and happy to see everyone. Thank you Glasgow Life for a thoroughly enjoyable day out.”

Finally, I hope you can all take the time to read the information which was shared earlier today about the optional occupational risk assessments that will be available to any member of staff who has concerns about returning to work, or who may be more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill if they contract Covid-19. This information is also available on the staff web portal.

Returning to the workplace after lockdown can seem daunting and it’s understandable to feel anxious or have questions about what your new working environment will look like.

Glasgow Life is committed to supporting all employees with their return to the workplace and I would encourage you to raise any questions or concerns during your return to work discussion with your line manager.

As always, have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Friday 4 September

Returning to the workplace – occupational risk assessments:

Returning to the workplace after lockdown can seem daunting and it’s understandable to feel anxious or have questions about what your new working environment will look like.

Glasgow Life is committed to supporting all employees with their return to work and making sure everyone has a chance to discuss any questions or concerns they may have. 

Occupational risk assessments for staff

Before any of our venues or offices reopen, we are carrying out workplace risk assessments with our Trade Union and Health and Safety reps. This is to make sure that appropriate safety and hygiene measures are in place to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission for all staff and customers.

We have also introduced the option of an occupational risk assessment for members of staff who have concerns about returning to work, or may be more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill if they contract the virus.

This assessment has been developed by the Scottish Government and uses factors such as age, ethnicity, BMI and any underlying health conditions to give a level of vulnerability of low, moderate, high or very high.

These results can then be used for the manager and employee to discuss any concerns and identify any adjustments that can be made to help staff return to work safely. The risk assessment is available on the Scottish Government’s website.

Your line manager will offer you the option of an occupational risk assessment if you have been shielding or have expressed concerns about returning to work. This will help inform your return to work discussion.

The risk assessment is optional and some staff may feel uncomfortable disclosing personal information with their line manager. If this is the case, please do continue to have a return to work conversation with your line manager to make sure you have a chance to raise any concerns and discuss possible adjustments.

Within the 'preparing for your return to work' section at the top of this page you'll find key documents outlining what you can expect from your return to work discussion with your line manager as well as more information on occupational risk assessments. 

Coronavirus update – Friday 4 September

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Accessing Glasgow Life’s network without a ‘VPN’ token (updated):

All Glasgow Life staff working from home can now access the network through software known as Single Factor Authentication (SFA).

If you do not currently have VPN access, you need to visit a Glasgow Life site and connect to the network using a network cable so that the computer can upload the new SFA software. Before visiting a Glasgow Life site, please discuss and agree this with your line manager.

To be eligible for this update employees should already have a Glasgow Life laptop but be without a VPN token. For employees with a token, there's no need to perform this update.

Click on this link for the steps on how to add SFA software to a laptop.

Behind the scenes at Glasgow Life

Throughout lockdown we’ll be going behind the scenes at Glasgow Life and shining the spotlight on different areas of our organisation. Read on to find out how we’re responding to the challenges of Covid-19 and what’s on the horizon.