Information for managers

Our residents need us to continue to provide a range of essential services, as a public service organisation. In order to do this, we have moved to new working patterns which are as close to normal as possible, which means a fair amount of flexibility from managers and their teams. It is likely that these arrangements will be in place over a number of weeks or months.

This is a fast-moving situation and we will need managers to act very quickly on responding to advice. We will also need you to update your information on sickness absence on Oracle daily for all types of sickness.

Managers must read and follow all briefings which may be on a daily basis in the coming weeks. You must then communicate key messages to your staff immediately.

Remember to treat all staff in a consistent manner and be aware of unconscious bias when considering the dignity and respect for those self-isolating or confirmed cases.

You should also be mindful of an individual’s right to confidentiality – details of personal matters or an individual’s health condition should not be shared with other team members without their consent.

If employees refuse to follow instructions based on the guidance, seek HR advice.

Our residents need us to continue to provide a range of essential services, as a public service organisation. In order to do this, we have moved to new working patterns which are as close to normal as possible, which means a fair amount of flexibility from managers and their teams. It is likely that these arrangements will be in place over a number of weeks or months.

This is a fast-moving situation and we will need managers to act very quickly on responding to advice. We will also need you to update your information on sickness absence on Oracle daily for all types of sickness.

Managers must read and follow all briefings which may be on a daily basis in the coming weeks. You must then communicate key messages to your staff immediately.

Remember to treat all staff in a consistent manner and be aware of unconscious bias when considering the dignity and respect for those self-isolating or confirmed cases.

You should also be mindful of an individual’s right to confidentiality – details of personal matters or an individual’s health condition should not be shared with other team members without their consent.

If employees refuse to follow instructions based on the guidance, seek HR advice.

  • Managers' briefing

    4 days ago

    Our regular managers’ briefings provide need-to-know information for managers, updates on the council’s transformation journey and news of our recent successes.

    During the coronavirus pandemic we are also highlighting how some of our teams have successfully adapted to working differently.

    If you have any comments on the managers’ briefing or ideas for future content, please get in touch with Tim Smith.

    You can see recent editions of the managers’ briefing below.

    22 May 2020

    5 May 2020

    14 April 2020

    10 March 2020

    Our regular managers’ briefings provide need-to-know information for managers, updates on the council’s transformation journey and news of our recent successes.

    During the coronavirus pandemic we are also highlighting how some of our teams have successfully adapted to working differently.

    If you have any comments on the managers’ briefing or ideas for future content, please get in touch with Tim Smith.

    You can see recent editions of the managers’ briefing below.

    22 May 2020

    5 May 2020

    14 April 2020

    10 March 2020

  • Risk Assessments for vulnerable groups

    7 days ago

    A number of groups of people have been identified as vulnerable during the current, particularly when working in front line roles. These groups are:

    • Clinically extremely vulnerable - Individuals identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable (those with serious underlying health conditions),
    • Clinically vulnerable - individuals who are at higher risk (people with some pre-existing conditions, aged 70 (regardless of medical condition) or pregnant)
    • BAME employees - Emerging UK and international data suggests that people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are also being disproportionately affected by Covid-19

    Managers of frontline staff who are in these categories must carry...

    A number of groups of people have been identified as vulnerable during the current, particularly when working in front line roles. These groups are:

    • Clinically extremely vulnerable - Individuals identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable (those with serious underlying health conditions),
    • Clinically vulnerable - individuals who are at higher risk (people with some pre-existing conditions, aged 70 (regardless of medical condition) or pregnant)
    • BAME employees - Emerging UK and international data suggests that people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are also being disproportionately affected by Covid-19

    Managers of frontline staff who are in these categories must carry out health risk assessments for them and ensure appropriate measures or arrangements are in place to ensure they can work safely.

    Guidance for managers on carrying out these assessments and an assessment form are now available


  • Annual leave

    about 2 months ago

    It is important for their well being and family life that all employees are taking annual leave so that they get a break, maintain their physical health and improve their well being. In most situations, employees should be taking their leave in the current leave year.

    We know that, during the Coronavirus outbreak, it may not be possible for some employees to take all their holiday entitlement because:

    • key workers have been required to work
    • holiday has been cancelled so employees have cancelled their leave
    • employees could not take leave due to sickness or self-isolation
    • employees are at home (working or non-working) due to medical conditions.


    The current lockdown conditions have also created uncertainty and have restricted access to leisure, travel, visiting family and friends and the other things people may have usually taken leave for.

    When the lockdown measures were introduced it was at the end of our leave year, so most staff should have low numbers of days to carry over. The exception to this will be for staff who had booked one or two weeks leave for travel but have not taken this.

    The carry-over of substantial amounts of leave will have an impact on service delivery as it could mean larger numbers of staff being off at any one time. This will create additional pressures on all teams if we allow this to happen. Recognising this situation, and in order to start to manage future annual leave now, revised arrangements have been put in place for taking and booking annual leave.

    It has been agreed that for the 2020/21 leave year up to 10 days can be carried over without the need for approval. Staff must let their manager know if they have done this so the leave can be recorded on Oracle.

    If employees wish to carry over more than 10 days leave (up to a maximum of 20 days) they must make a case for this, including valid reasons why the leave cannot be taken. The request must be signed off by a Director. Any leave not taken in excess of this would be lost. The leave can be taken over two years with a maximum of 10 days being automatically carried over into the 2021/2022 leave year without approval.

    There are separate arrangements for employees on maternity leave which are unchanged by this Covid-19 guidance.

    For 2020/21 and 2021/22 the annual leave carry-over rules will be relaxed so that it will not need to be taken by June of each year. It really must be taken though, and employees will need to put together a leave plan to make sure that this happens.

    Employees who are at home (either working or not working) as they are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group / clinically vulnerable group approved by risk assessment, will be expected to take annual leave throughout the period as normal. The same carry-over leave rules will apply.

    There will be no payment for untaken leave; schemes for buying back annual leave are not in place.

    Please see the FAQs on these revised leave arrangements for more information

    It is important for their well being and family life that all employees are taking annual leave so that they get a break, maintain their physical health and improve their well being. In most situations, employees should be taking their leave in the current leave year.

    We know that, during the Coronavirus outbreak, it may not be possible for some employees to take all their holiday entitlement because:

    • key workers have been required to work
    • holiday has been cancelled so employees have cancelled their leave
    • employees could not take leave due to sickness or self-isolation
    • employees are at home (working or non-working) due to medical conditions.


    The current lockdown conditions have also created uncertainty and have restricted access to leisure, travel, visiting family and friends and the other things people may have usually taken leave for.

    When the lockdown measures were introduced it was at the end of our leave year, so most staff should have low numbers of days to carry over. The exception to this will be for staff who had booked one or two weeks leave for travel but have not taken this.

    The carry-over of substantial amounts of leave will have an impact on service delivery as it could mean larger numbers of staff being off at any one time. This will create additional pressures on all teams if we allow this to happen. Recognising this situation, and in order to start to manage future annual leave now, revised arrangements have been put in place for taking and booking annual leave.

    It has been agreed that for the 2020/21 leave year up to 10 days can be carried over without the need for approval. Staff must let their manager know if they have done this so the leave can be recorded on Oracle.

    If employees wish to carry over more than 10 days leave (up to a maximum of 20 days) they must make a case for this, including valid reasons why the leave cannot be taken. The request must be signed off by a Director. Any leave not taken in excess of this would be lost. The leave can be taken over two years with a maximum of 10 days being automatically carried over into the 2021/2022 leave year without approval.

    There are separate arrangements for employees on maternity leave which are unchanged by this Covid-19 guidance.

    For 2020/21 and 2021/22 the annual leave carry-over rules will be relaxed so that it will not need to be taken by June of each year. It really must be taken though, and employees will need to put together a leave plan to make sure that this happens.

    Employees who are at home (either working or not working) as they are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group / clinically vulnerable group approved by risk assessment, will be expected to take annual leave throughout the period as normal. The same carry-over leave rules will apply.

    There will be no payment for untaken leave; schemes for buying back annual leave are not in place.

    Please see the FAQs on these revised leave arrangements for more information

  • International Travel

    7 days ago

    The Government is introducing a series of measures and restrictions at the UK border. This has been designed to reduce the number of transmissions of the virus within the UK as low as possible. Guidance has not yet been received but quarantine arrangements may be in place on reaching your destination and when you return to the UK.

    The Government has advised against all non-essential travel outside the UK and this applies for an indefinite period due to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may also restrict travel without notice. 

    Due to the current uncertainties around international travel employees wishing to take breaks or visit families and friends in other countries, should be aware before they book, that any quarantine periods or delays in getting back out of the country they have travelled to, would need to be covered by annual leave or unpaid leave.

    Employees are asked to discuss any international travel plans in advance with their line manager. Managers are asked to discuss this with their HR adviser if they need any further clarification.

    The Government is introducing a series of measures and restrictions at the UK border. This has been designed to reduce the number of transmissions of the virus within the UK as low as possible. Guidance has not yet been received but quarantine arrangements may be in place on reaching your destination and when you return to the UK.

    The Government has advised against all non-essential travel outside the UK and this applies for an indefinite period due to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may also restrict travel without notice. 

    Due to the current uncertainties around international travel employees wishing to take breaks or visit families and friends in other countries, should be aware before they book, that any quarantine periods or delays in getting back out of the country they have travelled to, would need to be covered by annual leave or unpaid leave.

    Employees are asked to discuss any international travel plans in advance with their line manager. Managers are asked to discuss this with their HR adviser if they need any further clarification.

  • Bank Holidays

    7 days ago

    Part-time employees receive their pro-rata bank holiday entitlement within their combined leave entitlement.

    If they only work certain days each week (for example Monday and Tuesday) and a bank holiday falls on one of those days, they have to apply to take this as leave via Oracle HR Self Service. The hours that would have been worked will then be deducted from their combined leave entitlement. This still applies if the employee is required to self-isolate or are social distancing.

    Part-time employees receive their pro-rata bank holiday entitlement within their combined leave entitlement.

    If they only work certain days each week (for example Monday and Tuesday) and a bank holiday falls on one of those days, they have to apply to take this as leave via Oracle HR Self Service. The hours that would have been worked will then be deducted from their combined leave entitlement. This still applies if the employee is required to self-isolate or are social distancing.

  • Supporting working from home

    about 2 months ago

    Most staff are now working at home, unless they have been identified as a key or critical worker. Where staff are working at home, you must have arrangements in place to support, manage, inform and keep in touch with them regularly.

    The best way to communicate is through regular, localised team sessions – organised virtually where necessary. Your role as a manager in passing on information, and for responding to queries is critical. If you line manage managers, please check that communication approaches are strong, and any gaps can be immediately addressed.

    You should ensure that your team members are taking steps to look after their wellbeing while at work. General guidance for staff on working at home can be found here.

    Most staff are now working at home, unless they have been identified as a key or critical worker. Where staff are working at home, you must have arrangements in place to support, manage, inform and keep in touch with them regularly.

    The best way to communicate is through regular, localised team sessions – organised virtually where necessary. Your role as a manager in passing on information, and for responding to queries is critical. If you line manage managers, please check that communication approaches are strong, and any gaps can be immediately addressed.

    You should ensure that your team members are taking steps to look after their wellbeing while at work. General guidance for staff on working at home can be found here.

  • Reporting sickness and absence

    about 2 months ago

    All staff who are off sick, or self-isolating but working, should be recorded on Oracle from day one. When a staff member starts working again you must close the absence record down on Oracle immediately.

    If staff are self-isolating, use the drop-down menu on Oracle that includes both self-isolation (working) self-isolation (not working) and social distancing.

    If an employee is self-isolating but able to work from home, they should do so.

    If they are self-isolating and then become sick, they must tell you and you must update their Oracle record turning it from isolating to sick immediately.

    Please use this table to check the action you should take for different employee situations relating to the coronavirus pandemic and how these should be reported.

    Employees will not be expected to visit their GP for a certificate to confirm coronavirus-related sickness but can complete a certificate on NHS 111 online.

    All staff who are off sick, or self-isolating but working, should be recorded on Oracle from day one. When a staff member starts working again you must close the absence record down on Oracle immediately.

    If staff are self-isolating, use the drop-down menu on Oracle that includes both self-isolation (working) self-isolation (not working) and social distancing.

    If an employee is self-isolating but able to work from home, they should do so.

    If they are self-isolating and then become sick, they must tell you and you must update their Oracle record turning it from isolating to sick immediately.

    Please use this table to check the action you should take for different employee situations relating to the coronavirus pandemic and how these should be reported.

    Employees will not be expected to visit their GP for a certificate to confirm coronavirus-related sickness but can complete a certificate on NHS 111 online.

  • COVID-19 Testing

    21 days ago

    COVID-19 testing is now available for:

    • All adults
    • All children aged 5 and above
    • 5-11 year olds can only have the test administered by a parent/guardian
    • 12-17 year holds can self-administer a test or have their parent/guardian do so on their behalf

    Essential Workers and members of their household who have symptoms should register for a test by sending an email to covid-19testing@lbbd.gov.uk


    Eligible Council workers can book online for a home test, drive-through or walk-in test appointment. Mobile testing units are also being planned within the Borough.

    To book a test employees should email covid-19testing@lbbd.gov.uk(External link). They will then receive an automated reply with details of how to book the test

    Tests must be undertaken in the first five days of symptoms. Please remind your teams of the importance of taking prompt action if they have symptoms.

    They should also report that they have symptoms to their manager immediately, seven days a week.

    For more information on testing, please see the national guidance or email covid-19testing@lbbd.gov.uk if you have any further questions.

    COVID-19 testing is now available for:

    • All adults
    • All children aged 5 and above
    • 5-11 year olds can only have the test administered by a parent/guardian
    • 12-17 year holds can self-administer a test or have their parent/guardian do so on their behalf

    Essential Workers and members of their household who have symptoms should register for a test by sending an email to covid-19testing@lbbd.gov.uk


    Eligible Council workers can book online for a home test, drive-through or walk-in test appointment. Mobile testing units are also being planned within the Borough.

    To book a test employees should email covid-19testing@lbbd.gov.uk(External link). They will then receive an automated reply with details of how to book the test

    Tests must be undertaken in the first five days of symptoms. Please remind your teams of the importance of taking prompt action if they have symptoms.

    They should also report that they have symptoms to their manager immediately, seven days a week.

    For more information on testing, please see the national guidance or email covid-19testing@lbbd.gov.uk if you have any further questions.

  • Right to travel letters for essential workers

    19 days ago

    If staff require a ‘right to travel’ letter, which confirms that they are an essential worker and are allowed to travel into and around the borough for work, managers should submit the request to CoVid19-HR advice@lbbd.gov.uk.

    Any request must have the approval of the relevant Director before being submitted. Right to travel letters will not be issued without this approval. If it is not provided the request will be returned to the manager.

    If staff require a ‘right to travel’ letter, which confirms that they are an essential worker and are allowed to travel into and around the borough for work, managers should submit the request to CoVid19-HR advice@lbbd.gov.uk.

    Any request must have the approval of the relevant Director before being submitted. Right to travel letters will not be issued without this approval. If it is not provided the request will be returned to the manager.

  • Falling ill at work

    about 2 months ago

    If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in the business or workplace they should be sent home and advised to follow the guidance on sickness absence.

    If they need clinical advice, they should go online to NHS 111 or call 111 if they don’t have internet access. In an emergency, they should call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. They should not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

    If a member of staff has helped someone who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection.

    If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in the business or workplace they should be sent home and advised to follow the guidance on sickness absence.

    If they need clinical advice, they should go online to NHS 111 or call 111 if they don’t have internet access. In an emergency, they should call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. They should not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

    If a member of staff has helped someone who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection.