EMPLOYMENT MATTERS COUNCIL NEWSLETTER – MAY 2022
Post Pandemic Burn Out in the Public Sector and New Ways of Working
A report from the Institute for Public Policy Research has found that 400,000 workers have left employment during or following the pandemic. Poor health or caring responsibilities being cited as one of the main reasons. Further research by Towergate Health and Protection found that 90% of Public Sector Employers believe that staff need more wellbeing support following the pandemic. 40% were concerned about mental health of their staff, and over half said Employees would benefit from this type of support.
The most vulnerable workers have been women with young children who appear to have carried the burden of balancing constantly shifting home and work commitments. The challenge of school closures, additional caring responsibilities and home working had blurred the boundaries for them between home and work. This had resulted in confused communication and an inability to rely on traditional work-based support.
However, its not all bad news. Home and hybrid (a combination of home and office) working have now become common place following the pandemic, and a report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that hybrid working had increased Employee productivity by 43%. The benefits of being able to combine work and home commitments, when properly managed, had resulted in more commitment, less time travelling and higher productivity. The end of the uncertainty caused by the Pandemic, such as short notice school closures, had removed the challenges that had been experienced between 2020/21. Research by the Open University and Public Service Executive has found that 90% of Council and Local Government staff were more committed and less likely to leave a job if they could combine office and home working.
The new challenge is to ensure Councils can provide the technology, as well as skills to use that technology, to ensure hybrid working is effective and accessible to all, where practical.
For twenty eight years Employees had a legal entitlement to request hybrid working, (S 80 F (1)(iii) Employment Rights Act 1996). The introduction of improved and new technology has made this a more practical option which has made it more difficult for Councils to refuse reasonable requests from Employees.
Chris Moses LLM Chartered FCIPD is Managing Director of Personnel Advice & Solutions Ltd. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has a Master’s Degree in Employment Law. If you have any questions regarding these issues please feel free to contact him on (01529) 305056 or email email@example.com