Members have been contacting us about many issues as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, and this has set the priorities for our conversations with the Society.
I am pleased to say that significant progress has been made on many of these key issues –
- Branches and the Contact Centres did not open last weekend, and won’t open next weekend.
- People who have to undertake stringent social distancing, or were advised not to come into the office but could not work from home, were originally told they should take 2 weeks’ annual leave during the 12 weeks they were required to be off. That has now been changed, although the Society is still recommending that people take some of their leave during this period.
- People will be able to carry forward 5 days (pro-rata) into 2021, and will not be required to use them by the end of January.
- People who had bought additional holiday will be allowed to sell some of those extra days back.
- Emergency Leave for Dependants and Domestic Leave have both been extended to up to 4 weeks, and will be reviewed again in the future.
- Additional time is being made available for those people who are volunteering to support the various initiatives related to the Coronavirus.
Everyone will recall that when the “lockdown” measures were first instituted, the Prime Minister announced that the situation would be reviewed after 3 weeks. It looks extremely unlikely that the measures will be significantly weakened for some time to come. We will obviously continue to raise members’ concerns with the Society, in light of any new guidance or regulations that come out.