Health and Safety News

Statement from Aberdeenshire Council on Coronavirus

Statement from Aberdeenshire Council following  announcements from the Prime Minister and First Minister on 23rd March  – giving very clear instructions to the public as a way to slow the spread of Coronavirus and enable the NHS to care for those who need it most.

 Please also go to the UNISON Scotland website for constantly updated information and guidance on the Coronavirus

From tonight the only permissible reasons to leave your home are as follows:

·       To shop for basic necessities and that should be limited to once a day

·       To take exercise once a day – but alone or with your own household, not in groups

·       For medical reasons or to care for a vulnerable person

·       To travel to essential work if that cannot be done at home. Further guidance to employers is pending

 You can read the full statement here

 These steps will be in place initially for 3 weeks but will be kept under review.

 Everything we do is considered in light of the most recent health advice and guidance from Government.

 So what does this mean for Aberdeenshire Council, staff and service users?

 We are committed to supporting our communities and maintaining services wherever possible. Steps have been put in place over the last week to change the way we work to protect our staff, and ensure that critical services to our most vulnerable residents are prioritised and protected.

 Many of our staff are already working from home. These new measures require all staff who are able to work from home to now do so. If you are able to work from home, please do not attend any office. Please keep in touch with your line manager who will provide advice on tasks.

We have decided to close all offices to the public with immediate effect. Customers will be required to use online services or call us through the Contact Centre to get the help, advice and support they require. This will be publicised tomorrow.

Physical access to offices will be made available to any staff that require urgent access, but please only attend an office if it is critical to the delivery of a service.

The hubs opened in our schools today will continue to operate as planned. This is to ensure childcare is provided to the children of key workers providing vital health and care services and to continue the distribution of free school meals to our most vulnerable children and young people.

We recognise there are many critical frontline services which must be maintained for the welfare of our residents. Teams have been working hard to consider a range of ways to ensure the protection of staff in the course of their duties, and this work continues. Further information will follow in tomorrow’s bulletin.

We understand that we are asking a lot of staff to continue to provide services in such difficult circumstances. We will do everything we can to ensure your health and well being. Please keep in touch with your line manager if you have any concerns.