LGA Research Report - COVID-19 Workforce Survey - 1 July 2020

This is report is part of a series of bi-weekly surveys of all councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland collecting key workforce data on how the sector is responding to COVID-19.

Research

Key findings

  • Some 35 per cent of councils reported recruiting additional staff (of any type including casual, agency, contingent, etc) in the week ending 12 June 2020. In total 706 additional staff had been recruited: the median number of staff per authority was three and the mean was ten.
  • More than a third of councils (94) recorded deaths in service since lockdown. A total of 171 deaths were reported (cause not specified).
  • Thirty-four per cent of councils reported that they had furloughed at least one member of staff. In total there were 12,395 staff furloughed in the week ending 12 June 2020, which was two per cent of the current workforce. Of those councils that had furloughed staff, the median number furloughed was 90 and the mean was 159 but this varied considerably across different types of authority. The main reason given was that the service had stopped (60 per cent) or that funding had stopped (29 per cent).
  • Some 85 per cent of councils had redeployed at least one member of staff. In total there were 15,701 staff redeployed in the week ending 12 June 2020, which was three per cent of the current workforce. The median number of staff redeployed was 38 and the mean was 77.
  • More than nine out of ten councils (92 per cent) reported that they had at least one member of staff unavailable for work. In total there were 33,386 staff unavailable for work in the week ending 12 June 2020, six per cent of the current workforce. The median number of staff unavailable for work was 44 and the mean was 152.
  • Nearly two-fifths (40 per cent) of staff were unavailable through ‘self-isolation’ and 34 per cent were unavailable due to ‘Non-COVID sickness’.
  • When asked whether individual services had enough staff to run them normally or not, the service most badly affected was schools: over a quarter of single tier and county councils reported they were operating with severe disruption due to staffing numbers. Also badly affected were adults and children’s services, with 29 per cent and 19 per cent of councils respectively reporting moderate disruption.
  • When asked to assess the council overall, in terms of whether there are enough staff to run services normally or not, 47 per cent of councils report minor disruption.
  • Finally, councils were asked about the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 testing for staff. Ninety per cent reported they had about the right amount of PPE they needed; while three per cent had less than they needed. Eighty-four per cent said all the staff who need testing can access it; two per cent said it was available to some of their staff who need it.
cover image for LGA-research report - COVID-19 Workforce survey 17 June 2020
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