COVID-19 Workforce Survey, week ending 6 August 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.


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. An online survey was emailed to heads of human resources, or a nominated contact, in councils from England 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 11 August 2021 and covers the week ending 6 August 2021. The overall response rate was 46 per cent and covered around a third of the total workforce.

  • Just over nine out of 10 councils (91 per cent) reported that they had at least one member of staff unavailable for work. In total, respondents reported there were 17,710 staff unavailable for work in the week ending 6 August 2021, four per cent of the current workforce.
  • Of those councils with at least one member of staff unavailable, 20 per cent reported that they had at least one member of staff off sick with ‘long COVID’.
  • Twenty per cent of London boroughs had requested and used the ‘reasonable excuse to leave self-isolation for critical staff’ scheme. Twenty-five per cent of county councils has requested to use the ‘self-isolation exceptional exemptions’ scheme (for health and social care).
  • When asked whether individual services had enough staff to run them normally or not, the top three worst affected areas were adult social care (directly employed), with 72 per cent of councils reporting some level of disruption, children’s services, with 63 per cent reporting some level of disruption, and public health, with 54 per cent reporting some level of disruption.
  • When asked to assess the council overall, in terms of whether they had enough staff to run services normally or not, 57 per cent of councils reported they were not operating normally.
  • More than seven out of 10 councils (72 per cent) had either previously used or were currently using redeployment (both formal and informal) in cases of high absence due to COVID-19. More than three-fifths (63 per cent), had also hired, or were currently hiring temporary/casual staff.
cover for workforce research report week ending 6 August 2021 - purple text on white background
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LGA
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