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As you will be aware from the First Minister’s announcement yesterday, we are now moving into phase one of the country’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This will provide us with an outline of how we move forward and give us a route map of how we can begin to return to work safely.

In preparation for this, we need to ensure that our workplaces, wherever these may be, are as safe as possible and meet the Government’s guidance on aspects such as social distancing.

We will be following all national guidance on this as it becomes available.  We will also be completing risk assessments and planning physical distancing procedures as appropriate for the different types of work we carry out. So, for now, no one should do anything differently to how they have been working over the past few weeks until told to do so by their line manager.

All services are working on recovery plans that will detail just how we can make progress as soon as we can and most importantly, as safely as we can.

More information will be made available to managers and employees as we progress through this initial phase, as well as in future phases in the coming months.

Moving Forward in Recovery

Clearly working arrangements are going to be different in the future and it is likely that in some cases we may completely transform how we deliver our services to local communities.

This may mean a continuation of working from home for now, for those who can, or how we have used a particular workspace may be entirely different in the future. Whatever is agreed as our way forward it is important to embrace these changes positively as an opportunity to improve how we do things.

Again, your managers will keep you up to date with progress and how we can all adapt to potentially new ways of working.

Wellbeing

We know it can be a stressful time right now for everyone but a reminder that if you are finding it difficult, you should get in touch with your line manager in the first instance. There is also lots of useful information on wellbeing on our employee web pages.

In conclusion, we are all going through a difficult time right now however changes can bring positive opportunities and I hope you can be reassured that everything is being done to ensure every employee will be supported as we return to a new normality moving forward.

My thanks to all of you for your continuing outstanding efforts to support our communities and deliver services in this challenging period.