Staff at Northamptonshire councils to be surveyed on their health and wellbeing

The survey is being done ahead of local government reorganisation

Monday, 28th September 2020, 3:48 pm
Updated Monday, 28th September 2020, 3:52 pm
Staff will be asked about their health and wellbeing.

A survey to assess the health and wellbeing of the thousands of local government staff in Northamptonshire is under way.

It’s now less than 130 days until all eight of Northants’ local authorities are closed down and replaced with two new unitary councils, one providing services to the north of the county and the other to the west.

The move will likely see redundancies and new roles for some staff, although no moves have been made as yet to scale down the workforce.

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Speaking at the shadow executive meeting last week, Corby Council’s deputy leader Jean Addison said the communications task and finish group had requested a survey is carried out to see how staff are feeling.

She said: “We have asked the communications and HR officers to pull together a survey of the health and wellbeing of our staff.

“As it is getting closer to vesting day and with the coronavirus situation not likely to impvoe in the near future we thought it was very important that we did get some feedback from our officers.”

Altogether the eight authorities collectively employ around 5,500 staff.

Many have been working from home during the pandemic, to adhere to social distancing rules, and also many had their roles changed in order to help with the emergency response to Covid-19.

So far only the senior officers’ jobs have been confirmed. The two councils will initially be linked, with some services shared and staff will for the large part remain in their current working locations. Staff currently employed for children’s services will transfer over to the new children’s trust – which is due to be launched on November 1.

GMB trade union official Rachelle Wilkins said the only certainty for staff was that unitary reorganisation was happening and said ‘the Sword of Damocles is hanging over their heads’.

She said she thought staff would transfer over to the new unitaries and then the redundancy process would be instigated by the new authorities after April.

She said: “I think staff are getting on with things as best as they can, but they concerned about what is going to happen.

“We know at some point there will be redundancies. There is now way the new authorities could make the planned savings without job losses.”