COVID-19 workforce survey research report, week ending 7 August 2020

This report is part of a series of bi-weekly surveys of all councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland collecting key workforce data on how the local government sector is responding to COVID-19.

Workforce

An online survey is emailed to heads of human resources, or a nominated contact, in councils from England, Wales and Northern Ireland on alternate Wednesdays. The data requested relates 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 12 August 2020. The overall response rate was 57 per cent and covered over a third of the total workforce.

Key findings

  • Some 31 per cent of councils reported recruiting additional staff (of any type including casual, agency, contingent, etc) in the week ending 7 August 2020. In total 1,191 additional staff had been recruited in responding authorities: the median number of staff per authority was two and the mean was 26.
  • More than a third of councils (110) recorded deaths in service since lockdown. A total of 232 deaths in service were reported by respondents since the start of lockdown (cause not specified).
  • Twenty-eight per cent of councils reported that they had furloughed at least one member of staff full time. In total responding authorities reported there were 5,944 staff furloughed – full time in the week ending 7 August 2020, which was one per cent of the current workforce. The number of staff furloughed full time has gone down by 12 per cent compared to the previous fortnights collection (6,732).
  • In addition, 20 per cent of councils reported that they had furloughed at least one member of staff part-time. In total respondents reported there were 2,608 staff furloughed part time in the week ending 7 August 2020, which was 0.5 per cent of the current workforce.
  • The main reason given for furloughing staff was that the service had stopped (73 per cent) or that funding had stopped (20 per cent).
  • Some 69 per cent of councils had redeployed staff. In total in the responding authorities there were 8,765 staff redeployed in the week ending 7 August 2020, which was two per cent of the current workforce. The median number of staff redeployed was 12 and the mean was 47.

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COVID-19 Workforce survey research report, 25 August 2020 COVER
Published by:
LGA Research
Reference code: