FOI Disclosure Log

Customer Request Details

06 January 2022

  • How many EHC staff have been working from home ie., not officially absent ill or isolating but specifically WFH and not required to attend their office base, arising from organisational policy on social/workplace distancing since the Covid pandemic was declared c March 2021;
  • What percentage is this of the total EHC staff;
  • Are full salaries paid on the same basis as former workplace attendance;
  • How has productivity been measured and if it is, has it improved, declined or remained as before Covid?


East Herts Council Response

03 February 2022

Thank you for your request for information, this has now been processed and the information that we hold is enclosed.

  • How many EHC staff have been working from home ie., not officially absent ill or isolating but specifically WFH and not required to attend their office base, arising from organisational policy on social/workplace distancing since the Covid pandemic was declared c March 2021;

 

Since March 2020, whilst government guidelines have been in place to work from home, the vast majority of staff have worked from home, excluding a few roles that the Council has deemed to be ‘fixed roles’ that must be carried out from the office. There have also been a very small number of staff that have at various times since March 2020 worked from the office either partly or fully because their home environment was not suitable for home working and therefore they could not work from home.

 

When government guidelines to work from home were lifted, staff were informally encouraged to return to the office on a 50% basis and in November 2021 the council introduced a formal ‘blended working’ scheme whereby eligible staff were able to request to work up to 50% of their weekly hours from home. Those who did not make a request under the scheme would return to the office 100% of the time. Out of 328 staff, 12 were ineligible due to being in fixed roles. The remaining staff were categorised as either office or mobile workers and could request to work up to 50% from home under the blended working scheme. There are a few exceptions to the 50% office based requirement which includes those that have a medical reason that they need to work from home more frequently than this, some staff that were recruited during the pandemic whose contracts specified a different home and office ratio and some staff on existing blended working arrangements specified in their contracts.

 

11 members of staff declined to work under the scheme and returned to the office 100% of the time. The rest (where eligible) have requested to work under the blended working scheme but this was only in place for a few weeks before the government guidelines changed to work from home again in December 2021. Now that the work from home guidelines have been lifted again, staff resumed their blended working patterns w/c 24 January 2022.

 

  • What percentage is this of the total EHC staff;

 

Approximately (percentages add up to more than 100% due to rounding)

 

58% are office workers, working up to 50% from home under the blended working offer

5% are mobile workers, doing up to 50% of their desk work from home

4% are working from the office 100% of the time because they are in fixed roles

4% are working from the office 100% of the time because they have declined the option to work 50% from home

30% are covered by different contractual arrangements or medical reasons to work from home more than 50%

 

  • Are full salaries paid on the same basis as former workplace attendance;

 

Yes

 

  • How has productivity been measured and if it is, has it improved, declined or remained as before Covid?

 

Productivity continues to be measure by the normal channels – KPIs, the performance development review (PDR process) and day to day line management. Productivity remain as before COVID but priorities have had to be adjusted and managed due to the pandemic.

 

If you are unsatisfied with the way the Council has handled your request please let us know in the first instance so that an internal review can be carried out. Additionally,  If you have any queries about the processing of your request please do not hesitate to contact me.

For re-use of information and conditions on the use of personal data  please see

https://www.eastherts.gov.uk/about-east-herts-0/information-requests/re-use-council-information

Alternatively for more information on the Freedom of Information Act contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone 0303 123 1113

https://ico.org.uk/

 

It is important that you include the above FOI reference number on all correspondence related to this request.

 

Thank you for your request.