COVID-19 Workforce Survey research report, week ending 4 June 2021

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


Background

An online survey was emailed to heads of human resources, or a nominated contact, in councils from England and Wales on the second Wednesday of the month. The data requested related to the week ending the preceding Friday. The intention is that this collection is the single national source through which such data is gathered, and it will, as appropriate, be shared with government departments and others in addition to providing comparator information for councils.

This report relates to the survey sent out on 9 June 2021 and covers the week ending 4 June 2021. The overall response rate was 53 per cent and covered around a third of the total workforce.

Key findings

  • Of those councils with at least one member of staff unavailable, a little under one third (30 per cent) reported that they had at least one member of staff off sick with ‘long COVID’. When considered as a proportion of all authorities, that was 20 per cent of councils which reported at least one member of staff off sick with ‘long COVID’.
  • Councils were asked, to the best of their knowledge, how many staff had refused the COVID-19 vaccine. The majority of councils did not know this information. Fifteen per cent said fewer than one in 20 staff working in high risk areas had refused. Eight per cent said one in 20 of public facing staff had refused; and 10 per cent said one in 20 of all staff had refused.
  • Councils were also asked what they were currently considering about staff locations. Eighty-four per cent said they were considering ‘hybrid working’.
  • Twenty-five per cent of councils reported that they had furloughed at least one member of staff. In total, responding authorities reported there were 2,682 staff furloughed in the week ending 4 June 2021. This is 0.5 per cent of their current workforce, this has gone down from 0.8 per cent of their current workforce reported last month.
  • Councils were asked if they were experiencing significant difficulties recruiting for some posts or not: 114 (61 per cent) said they were. Councils were subsequently asked to choose from a list of specialist occupations where they were experiencing difficulties: 100 per cent of county councils experiencing problems were having difficulties recruiting children’s social workers. When considered as a proportion of all authorities, that was 56 per cent of all single tier councils and 89 per cent of county councils who reported difficulties recruiting children’s social workers.
publication cover - COVID-19 Workforce Survey research report, week ending 4 June 2021
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LGA
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