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Latest News

Covid absence

Created: 28/6/22

From 2nd July, the provision of 10 days paid special leave will stop, in line with the ending of the national circular, and any absences from work as a result of Covid-19, or being required to isolate, will be treated in line with normal absence reporting and sickness provisions.  Managers should record any absences as normal through iTrent from this point.

We will continue to keep this position under review in line with latest guidance/regulations/CoSLA circulars.

e: calliston@clacks.gov.uk

Changes to mandatory wearing of face masks in Council buildings

Created: 24/6/22

Whilst the legal requirement to wear face masks was removed some time ago staff will recall that the Council, in agreement with our union colleagues, took the decision that staff would be required to continue to wear face masks when not sitting at their desk. This measure formed part of our ongoing Covid mitigations as restrictions were relaxed.

Over recent weeks significant numbers of staff have queried this position, given there is no such requirement in any other setting outwith the Council. In response we undertook a bench marking exercise and asked  other authorities what their approach was. We also asked our H&S colleagues to liaise with their counterparts in other Councils too. From this exercise it was clear that many authorities have moved from mandatory mask wearing to a position of strongly encouraging their staff to wear masks.

Senior management have now agreed that from 27th June there will no longer be a mandatory requirement to wear face coverings in Council office premises although we strongly encourage colleagues to wear face coverings when moving around buildings and in communal spaces particularly in busy or more confined areas.

We want to ensure that all our staff feel comfortable in the workplace and we would ask staff to be respectful to those colleagues who wish to continue to wear masks going forward.

We also want to  reaffirm our commitment to the distance aware scheme

Staff working in Health and Social Care and schools and learning should follow sector specific guidance, and Council staff visiting any health, social care or education settings, should check they are familiar with local requirements before arriving.

We would  also remind colleagues that where face coverings are required as part of risk assessments then they should ensure these requirements are followed in line with Health and Safety needs.

SLG will continue to monitor the situation and we would outline once again that any of our Covid measures which have been relaxed may be reintroduced as a result of changes in Public Health Scotland/Scottish Government advice/guidance.

Chris Alliston
Senior Manager - HR and Workforce Development

Support The Gate's School Uniform Bank

Created: 24/6/22

Over the next few weeks, The Gate Charity will be working to operate a school uniform bank, the purpose being to recycle good quality school clothing and equipment throughout Clackmannanshire to ensure that local children return to school with confidence and pride.

This year we plan to operate our school uniform bank from Ludgate Church Hall which is based at the rear of Ludgate Church.

If you know anyone with school children, please ask them to consider donating their unwanted blazers and coats, shoes, school bags, shirts, skirts, socks, trousers, jumpers, cardigans, fleeces, polo shirts, t-shirts, PE kit.

From 27th June to 8th July, donations can be dropped off at:

  • The Gate Charity, 2 Ludgate, Alloa
  • The Gate Charity Shop, 12 Shillinghill, Alloa
  • Sterling Outlet Village, Management Suite
  • From Wednesday 29th June - Morrisons Supermarket
Volunteers required from 27th June to 29th July

We also rely on volunteers to help sort through donations, clean and iron, display and divide out to clients, so if you can spare a few hours/days/weeks to help we would really appreciate any time you are able to come along and help.

Please call 01259 218766 or email jane@the-gate-charity.org if you can help.

Child support agencies/referrers

We are inviting child supporting agencies and our referrers to come along between 18th and 22nd July to ensure that the most vulnerable children are provided with essentials.

Uniform collection during open doors week - 25th to 29th July

If you know someone who would benefit, please make them aware of our open week - 25th to 29th July.

We rely heavily on your continued support and appreciate your help in making this yet another successful year in making sure that the children of Clackmannanshire are able to return to school with dignity.

National Care Service Bill Published

Created: 23/6/22

This week, the Scottish Government published a Bill to establish a National Care Service.  This will make Scottish Ministers accountable for adult social care, and follows an earlier consultation on the proposals.

The Scottish Government has issued a press release and the Bill can also be read via The Scottish Parliament website.

As more information becomes available, we will share this with staff.

Improving security to Council website

Created: 20/6/22

What is changing

Over the next two weeks IT will be working on improving Council website security to help defend against cyber attacks and hackers running malicious code which could impact our service delivery.

What we would like you to do

If you notice something has changed or stopped working that you are not expecting, please log a call with the IT Helpdesk, e: it@clacks.gov.uk including the specific  URL, for example https://www.clacks.gov.uk/environment/bulkyupliftstandcs/ and fully explain what the problem is. IT will investigate and make arrangements to fix.

This will be an ongoing exercise as the Council adapts its security model in response to emerging threats.

e: it@clacks.gov.uk

Gillian Brydie is leaving

Created: 20/6/22

Gillian Brydie from IT leaves the Council on Friday 1st July after 23 years of service. Please refer to Connect article for more details.

SSSC equality data 

Created: 16/6/22

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is asking all registered workers to update their equality information through their MySSSC account.
 
By providing your up to date equalities information, the SSSC will get a better understanding of the diversity of people working in this sector which will help the SSSC to meet workers’ needs, including improving how they design processes and systems and develop skills and learning resources.  All information is voluntary.

The SSSC will publish an overview of the findings. It will not be possible to identify anyone in the report.
 
For more information and to update your details sign into your MySSSC account.
 
Chris Alliston
Senior Manager - HR and Workforce Development
e: calliston@clacks.gov.uk

Cycling Without Age trishaw appeal for volunteers

Created: 15/6/22

Cycling Without Age offers short trishaw rides throughout Clackmannanshire to local residents, such as the elderly and those with limited mobility who use the Whins Resource Centre and Menstrie House, who are unable to access the outdoors and enjoy our lovely countryside.

Clackmannanshire has an extensive network of cycle paths which we can access using our trishaws to enable the service user to feel the wind in their hair and connect with the communities in which they live.

If you enjoy cycling and would like to volunteer some time to get some of our more isolated residents out and about on short trips, please email csmith2@clacks.gov.uk for an application form. Training will be given by Cycling Without Age and volunteers will be required to undertake an assessment along with a disclosure check.

This is a very rewarding and fun activity for both cyclists (pilots) and passengers. If you would like a bit more information, please get in touch.

Catherine Smith
x 2482
e: csmith2@clacks.gov.uk
HSCP, Menstrie House

Digital learning in Scottish Health and Social Care - workforce survey for health and social care workers

created on 9/6/22

The Digitally Enabled Workforce team within NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is working to support the development of digital skills and confidence across Scotland’s health and social care workforce.  They want to make it easier to find and use online learning materials that will help build digital skills and improve confidence with technology.  To help them do this effectively they want to hear from people working in health and care so that we can understand what is really needed. 
 
This survey is for everyone working in health and care in Scotland, whether you are very confident with digital technology, or completely new to it.  The information you provide will help shape support for digital and technology learning needs of the health and care workforce, so it is important to gather as wide a range of views as possible.    
 
Please help by completing the survey yourself, and by sharing this link throughout your organisation, networks. 
 
The survey is completely anonymous and will take about 10 minutes to complete on any device. You can access the online survey form by following the link given.

Stress management classes

Created: 7/6/22

Step on Stress is a free stress management course for anyone living or working in Forth Valley over 16 years of age that helps you learn to manage your stress. The course is now available online.

Each session is pre-recorded with a question and answer facility. It is not group therapy or one-to-one support; therefore you do not talk about your problems in front of others.

Step on Stress comprises of 3 sessions and runs once a week for 3-weeks. Each session lasts for about an hour and covers a different aspect of stress management:

  • Session 1: Introduction & how to manage stress in your body
  • Session 2: Manage your thoughts
  • Session 3: Manage your behaviour

You can book your place online or contact the Health Promotion Service at fv.hpstress@nhs.scot.

Step on Stress on YouTube

NHS Fife Psychology Service YouTube channel also provides a modified version of the Step on Stress classes in four running sections. We recommend watching all four sections in running order (1-4).

Please remember to check our wellbeing pages for reminders on looking after yourself.

LGPS and Shared Cost AVC webinars

Created: 6/6/22

Shared Cost AVCs could change your life in retirement.

With brighter days on the horizon, have you considered how a Shared Cost AVC could help you achieve financial peace of mind in retirement so you can enjoy future summer adventures without the worry of what it will cost you?

Introducing Shared Cost AVCs

Clackmannanshire Council has partnered with AVC Wise to offer Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) members access to a Shared Cost Additional Voluntary Contribution (Shared Cost AVC) scheme.

Shared Cost AVCs are a cost-efficient way to save for a happy, healthy retirement and will give you an opportunity to improve your financial wellbeing.

Join thousands of other LGPS members at an expert led webinar below

  • The LGPS and Shared Cost AVCs - 24 June at 10.30-11.30am
  • How to retire early and with more money - 29 June at 5.30-6.15pm

To book your place, please register or sign into your AVC account and head to the events page.

Available to Local Government Pension Scheme members only.

If you can't attend a webinar and want to learn about this employee benefit, you can also use the resources available on the AVC platform below:

To contact AVC Wise, please email support@avcwise.co.uk, call 01252 959 779 or visit the AVC website to use the live chat service.

Changes to email service

Created: 2/6/22

What is changing?

On Thursday 2nd June a change will be made to the HCL Email service to reduce the size of emails that may be sent.

Some users may have a quota applied to their mailfiles account and will be invited to reduce the size of their mailfiles. These users will need to delete some emails from their account in order for new emails to be delivered.

This is being done because the HCL Domino Notes Email server is running out of space which is stopping tools such as Enterprise Vault from operating correctly.

What is the impact?

Users may find most emails will be sent and received without a challenge.  Users who are challenged but can use the approaches below to overcome issues.

What can users do to improve email management?
  • Send users emails containing links to files stored on network drives rather than copies of videos, power point presentations and Excel Spreadsheets. 
  • When emailing external partners, use the 7-ZIP tool to reduce the size of attachments and password protect sensitive information.
  • Use the IDOX EDRMS system to manage your business related emails. 
  • Don't hold onto information longer than you need to. Consult the Retention Schedule J:Retention Schedule.
  • A good practice approach for email management can be found via the CSI portal.
  • Other guidance notes for the use of common ICT Services can also be found via the CSI portal.
  • Don't send video files via email. Upload to video sharing services and send the link instead.
  • Delete emails you don't need. Please have a purge today.
Contact Point

Report any faults, issues or concerns to the IT Service Desk it@clacks.gov.uk and please include a mobile telephone number so we can quickly respond and assist you.

Active Summer Programme

Created: 2/6/22

Please follow the link to our Active Summer Programme for activities for children and young people over the summer holidays.

PRD Review

Created: 1/6/22

Information about the upcoming review of the PRD process is available via the Connect link given.

Diabetes Lived Experience Network - looking to engage with lived experience individuals with sensory loss

Created: 1/6/22

Information for BSL Leads:
 
Do you know of any individuals with sensory loss living with diabetes? Please share this information with them and encourage them to join the ALLIANCE's Diabetes Lived Experience Network to get their voice heard and improve diabetes care in Scotland.
 
Sensory loss covers – blindness and sight loss; deafness and hearing loss; and deafblindness and dual sensory loss.
 
What is the network for? To ensure the delivery of the Diabetes Improvement Plan is influenced and informed by people with lived experience of living with and being at risk of diabetes.
 
Why does this matter? The ALLIANCE wants to hear about people's individuals with sensory loss experiences directly. The aim is to ensure that people are at the centre and that their voices, expertise, and rights drive policy and sit at the heart of the design, delivery, and improvement of support and services.
 
The Diabetes Lived Experience Network would be happy to organise BSL/English Interpreters and Electronic Notetakers support if anyone wishes to attend.
 
Should you have any questions or want further information, please contact Diabetes Lived Experience Network directly at: diabetes@alliance-scotland.org.uk.

New email information for Edenred employee benefits portal

Created: 26/05/22

Our employee benefits portal - Edenred - launched in September 2020 and you should have received an email from My Lifestyle with your log in link. My Lifestyle will be resending the email on 1 June to remind you again of your log in details and this will allow you to access Edenred Benefits.

The email will be sent to the email address staff have registered for their payslips to be sent to. We would urge you to check your junk mailbox as well if you do not receive it.  

If you haven't had the opportunity to do so already, you can find out more about the benefits available on our dedicated Staff Benefits page on Keeping Staff Connected but from the links below, you will be able to find out more information about the individual benefits on offer to you now: 

Electric charging bays

Created: 18/5/22

If you use the electric charging bays to charge your vehicle, once the vehicle is fully charged, please make sure you move it elsewhere as soon as possible to allow others to charge their vehicle. Our bays are used by staff, police and residents alike.

Changes to Covid isolation/absence

Created: 20/04/22

In line with updated provisions for teaching staff, with similar provisions likely to take effect for SJC/Craft staff, the following changes will take effect from 19/04/22 in relation to special paid leave, when absent as a result of COVID.

From the 19/04/22, the provision of 12 weeks paid special leave will stop, and any absence from work as a result of COVID-19, or being required to isolate, will be treated as paid special leave for the duration that a member of staff is unable to work, up to a maximum of 10 calendar days.  After this time, if a staff member is still too unwell to work this would fall under normal sickness recording.

As a result of these changes, a member of staff who has already had more then 10 calendar days special leave will transition to sick leave on 19/4/22. Please note that Covid related absence will not count towards the Council's absence triggers under its maximising attendance procedures.

From the 18/04 until 30/04 if you have symptoms of COVID you should continue to book a PCR test and refrain from work, or work from home if possible, until you receive your results. If your result is positive, you should continue to follow current Scottish Government Guidance. 

After the 30/04/22, if you are advised to isolate by a Doctor, GP or other medical professional and are able to work at home you will continue to be paid normally. If, because of the role you undertake, you are unable to work from home, you will also be paid normally for the period you are required to isolate.  

These arrangements will be in place until 1 July 2022. Thereafter normal sickness reporting/sick pay will apply.

We will continue to keep these provisions under review in line with latest guidance and regulations from Scottish Government as well as CoSLA circulars. 

Continued Covid Measures

Created: 19/4/22

Following the removal of the last legal restrictions in relation to Covid in Scotland, a reminder that the following measures remain in place across most Council buildings (separate measures apply in care and school environments)

1.    We are reducing the 2m distancing to 1m distancing in our buildings
2.    We will continue to promote the distance aware campaign
3.    Face coverings will still be required when not seated/not eating
4.    We are increasing the capacity of our Council premises to 50% maximum
5.    One way systems will be removed from floors although the stairs, where it is possible, will remain one way except in the event of a fire/fire drill.
6.    Desks should continue to be wiped down at the start and end of each day
7.    Staff should continue to maintain good hand hygiene
8.    The capacity of meeting rooms and floors will be increased and notices will be displayed to advise. These may change depending on the Covid level in place.

Health & Safety Team

Please delete old emails in Lotus Notes

Created: 28/03/22

We are running low on disk space for Lotus Notes email.  Can you please delete emails older than one year?

If you need to keep those emails, please use IDOX EDRMS to store your documents.

User guides for IDOX can be found at http://csi/itservices/support/guides/

If you have any queries about how to use this service, please email it@clacks.gov.uk.

Revised flexi sheet templates

Created: 16/3/22

Revised flexi sheet templates are available for use via Connect. You can find them in the Staff Information section.

HR and Payroll deadlines 2022/23

Created: 8/3/22

The HR and Payroll deadlines for 2022/23 are available via Connect.

Payroll, iTrent and HR email addresses

Created: 1/3/22

In order to streamline our processes and ensure we can promptly deal with queries/payroll input we have created two new payroll email boxes.

These mail boxes are designed to direct staff enquiries and submissions to the right place and to allow our payroll team to to deal with them quickly and efficiently.

The payroll@clacks.gov.uk mail box will still be active, but time sheets/spreadsheets and data loads should now be directed as follows:

Time sheet submissions

For those who do not have access to self service, time sheets, spreadsheets and data loads should be sent to  payrolltimesheets@clacks.gov.uk.

Submitted time sheets will be processed in line with Payroll submission deadlines.

Our iTrent team is looking to continue to develop our processes to allow online submission of time sheets for those who are currently unable to do so.

Pay enquiries

For staff wishing to enquire about their pay, please email payrollenquiries@clacks.gov.uk. Payroll will aim to respond to your enquiry within 3 working days.

iTrent enquiries

If your email is relating to iTrent or employee self service user details, please email itrent@clacks.gov.uk.

HR, contract of employment enquiries

If you have a HR and/or contract of employment enquiry please email humanresources@clacks.gov.uk.

Cyber Security and Phishing Emails

Created: 24/2/22

Council employees are being reminded of the need to be extra vigilant to the risks of cyber security. 

Due to an increase in phishing emails received this week, IT Services have implemented additional security checks on emails from Glow accounts. Education and Trade Union colleagues will likely notice a delay in their communications being received, however this is required to protect the Council's network from cyber attack. 

The ICT team will continue to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect the Council's network, but there are a number of precautions that employees should also be taking. 

The National Cyber Security Centre has lots of information and advice on being cyber aware and how to spot risks such as phishing emails. Some useful infographics are linked here:

More information on cyber security and how to be vigilant to cyber risks can also be found on the Staff News pages under Staying Safe.

Can you spot when you’re being phished? Take the Google phishing quiz.

Lastly, if you have any concerns or see any unusual or suspicious emails please let IT services know as soon as possible by emailing it@clacks.gov.uk.

Recruitment Request (Business Cases and PT69 process) available online

Created: 2/2/22

As part of our ongoing digital transformation we are pleased to announce our new online recruitment request process for managers.

Our new process replaces the paper based PT69 (Establishment Changes Proforma) and Recruitment Business Case and came into effect from 31st January. We would ask that managers no longer use the paper based forms from this point.

We hope the introduction of this new process will simplify and speed up the recruitment authorisation process and provide additional assurance to managers in terms of co-ordination of the process.

If you require any assistance or have any comments and/or useful amendments on the new process please contact Alyssa Jones at ajones@clacks.gov.uk.

On overview of the updated process is available on the Establishment Management page on Connect.

Keep Well health assessments

Created: 26/1/22

Our Healthy Working Lives group, in collaboration with NHS Forth Valley Keep Well service, is offering free Keep Well health assessments to all council staff. Follow the link given to our page within the staff wellbeing section.

Use of social media reminder

Created: 21/1/22

Social media can be good way of keeping in touch with colleagues and remote working has seen an increase in the number of staff using social media as a way to communicate.

Please be aware that platforms such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger are not secure and should not be used to communicate or share sensitive or official information.

All staff should ensure they are familiar with the Council’s Social Networking Policy which is available on CONNECT.

Cherie Jarvie
Senior Manager – Partnership and Transformation

Clear your cache regularly

Created: 21/1/22

More and more of your day to day applications are web based (on-prem or hosted) ie iTrent, ORBiS, IDOX, Covalent, to name but a few.

In order for these web browsers to work at their optimal performance it is important to clear out your web browser cache on a regularly basis. Please do this if you find your internet is running slowly.

Full details/steps can be found on the IT support portal.

Clearing your cache will wipe any saved passwords you have on your computer, so please make sure you have a note of these beforehand.

e: it@clacks.gov.uk

MCR Pathways  

Created: 21/12/21

No young person should ever feel alone. Can you share an hour of your time? 

The Council is supporting mentoring charity @MCRPathways who match young people with a volunteer mentor to meet in school 1hr a week. This 1-to-1 relationship could have a profound impact on a youn person's confidence and their future.  

If you are interested, you can find more information on MCR Pathways website.