COVID-19 workforce survey research report, 6 May 2020

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

Research

This is the first in a series of bi-weekly surveys of all councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland collecting key workforce data on how the sector is responding to COVID-19. 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 6 May. The overall response rate was 61 per cent, and covered around a third of the total workforce.

Key findings

  • Some 76 per cent of councils reported recruiting additional staff (of any type including casual, agency, contingent, etc) since 1 March 2020 (pre-lockdown). In total 6,696 additional staff had been recruited: the median number of staff per authority was 16 and the mean was 46.
  • Twenty-five per cent (56 authorities) recorded deaths in service since lockdown. A total of 85 deaths were reported (cause not specified).
  • Sixteen per cent of councils reported that they had furloughed at least one member of staff. In total there were 4,612 staff furloughed in the week ending 1 May 2020, which was 0.8 per cent of the current workforce. Of those councils that had furloughed staff, the median number furloughed was 76 and the mean was 132 but this varied considerably across different types of authority. The main reason given was that the service had stopped (55 per cent) or that funding had stopped (40 per cent).
Covid 19 Workforce survey May 2020 front cover
Published by:
LGA
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