19 COVID-19 – TESTING POLICY - The Director: Business Development submitted an urgent report outlining and seeking approval for a new COVID-19 Testing Policy which would support safe working during the COVID-19 outbreak. This policy formally set out the process around the testing of employees and their household members during the COVID-19 outbreak.
An urgent decision was required to ensure that the Council had formal arrangements in place to support the recent government’s guidance on the use of local and regional staff testing arrangements.
The Council recognised the dedicated and committed response of its workforce and also its responsibility to keep the workforce safe and well as far as was reasonably practicable.
As part of keeping the workforce safe and well, a formal COVID-19 Testing Policy had been developed to formalise the existing guidance. This would ensure that employees were clear about the circumstances in which they, and their household members, could be tested and which route was appropriate for their circumstances.
The policy would ensure that all employees were clear on their roles and responsibilities around testing. This would ensure that they, the wider workforce and community of North Lincolnshire were kept safe and well as far as is reasonably practicable.
The policy would robustly reflect the very latest information and guidance as the situation continued to evolve. This policy would be updated by way of delegated decision to ensure this in the future.
Resolved - That the proposed formal COVID-19 Testing Policy be approved.
20 COVID-19 SECURE - POLICY FOR WORKING SAFELY (BUILDINGS/PREMISES AND WORK ACTIVITIES) - The Director: Business Development submitted an urgent report outlining and seeking approval for the COVID-19 Secure – Policy for Working Safely (Buildings/Premises and Work Activities). This policy formally set out how the council would meet its obligations and responsibilities to ensure that all council buildings and work activities complied with the Government Guidance on Working Safely During COVID-19.
An urgent decision was required to ensure that a policy and process was in place to assess and confirm the new five steps to working safely were implemented in all operational premises.
The report explained that the COVID-19 situation continued to evolve and guidance was constantly being updated at a national and local level. The Council recognised its responsibility to keep the workforce safe and well as far as was reasonably practicable. The government issued new guidance on 11 May on Working Safely During COVID-19, which set out how to ensure workplaces were as safe as possible.
As lockdown measures were relaxed nationally, to allow more workplaceso reopen, it was also necessary to provide a more formal policy and process to set out how the council would ensure it met the new government guidance in all of their buildings/premises and work activities, including: –
• buildings and premises that had been open throughout the COVID-19 situation,
• buildings and premises that had been closed, before they reopen,
• during home visits that staff were required to make.
The process ensured that the council was fulfilling its legal obligations and provided assurance that all buildings/premises and work activities would be COVID-19 secure, all parties involved were clear on their roles and responsibilities and that the council robustly reflected the latest guidance, given its changing nature.
Resolved - That the proposed new COVID-19 Secure - Policy for Working Safely (Buildings/Premises and Work Activities) be approved.