Hertfordshire County Council asks staff to step into priority areas during coronavirus pandemic

Workers providing help where needed during crisis

Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 11:26 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 3:05 pm

Hertfordshire County Council is looking to redeploy some of it's displaced staff to other critical roles during the coronavirus crisis.

Staff from leisure centres, libraries are set to be redeployed by Hertfordshire County Council as their jobs are temporarily suspended after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered public places should close.

Cabinet member for Resources, Ralph Sangster, said: ”We are looking to redeploy some of our displaced staff to priority areas across the council.

Hertfordshire County Council offices

"Where services need extra support we are hoping to divert staff to these areas. Everyone in our workforce is pulling together to help where they can.

"We have also asked part-time workers to consider how they can help at this time by temporarily offering to increase their hours if they are able to do so and this has already received a really positive response with over fifty employees offering to do so.

“For anyone who is currently looking for work we are continuing to recruit for our vacancies such as care workers which can be seen on the council’s jobs page www.jobs.hertfordshire.gov.uk/home.

“We are particularly keen to support members of our community who have found themselves out of work as a result of coronavirus.”

Dacorum Borough Council will also deploy staff to the priority services.

A spokesperson for Dacorum Borough Council said: “The Council continues to deploy staff to ensure critical services can to be delivered.

"We will continue to review how best we resource these critical services through our own staff and our community partners as the coronavirus situation evolves”.

However, one of the largest public sector unions says, nationally, it is concerned some will be thrust into jobs they lack expertise in.

GMB’s national officer Karen Leonard said: “Any role changes should be a reasonable alternative that matches the skill set and knowledge as closely as possible.

"Everyone wants to help, but safety has to be a priority. Let's apply some common sense."

However, the Local Government Association said authorities were rising to the challenge.

A spokesman said: “Council staff are stepping up to this unprecedented challenge and are having to be flexible to ensure that vital local services can be maintained.

“They continue to do an amazing job in hugely challenging circumstances.”

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