How we’re supporting staff through COVID-19

Thanks to the commitment and hard work of all of our staff, we have been able to continue to provide our children and young people with the vital support they and their families need throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

To recognise the tremendous efforts of our staff, we have introduced a number of measures to both support them further in their work and acknowledge the outstanding commitment they have displayed time and time again.

Creating a safe environment

We’ve continually followed government guidelines and have used our resources to introduce additional safety measures to keep our environments safe to work, learn and live in. For staff in supporting roles, we’ve put in place IT systems to enable teams to work remotely, and have continued to conduct job interviews using video and web conferencing software; our induction process for new starters has moved online too.

Additionally, we’ve set up a central bank of PPE, and introduced hand sanitising stations in our workspaces.  Most recently, we installed unobtrusive thermal imaging cameras at all of our schools and Head Office to effectively identify pupils, staff and visitors with a high temperature and ensure staff and young people remain as safe as possible.

Facilitating close teams, working afar

To support the wellbeing of our staff, we have produced webinars with our Clinical Services Board and experts from across our Group to share advice and support during the pandemic.

Teams have also been encouraged to take part in online group quizzes and contribute to forums where staff are given the opportunity to talk openly about their experiences and to give professional feedback and views on how we can improve.

Compensation and sick pay

Throughout the pandemic, changes have been made to the Group’s sick pay scheme and a new bonus scheme has been introduced.

 

  • Sick pay

    Whilst we operate a generous staff sick pay scheme, we recognise that some staff could be financially disadvantaged by following Government Self-isolation guidelines due to their length of service.  For those people with short service who need to be off with COVID-19 related absences we have extended their Company Sick pay by an extra 16 days to ensure that they are financially protected and do not take risks that could compromise their own health or the health of others.

  • Bonus schemes

    We are delighted to recognise the unwavering commitment of our staff,  who continue to  provide face to face support to our children and young people.  We implemented an increased hourly rate scheme for our children’s home and learning centre staff back in March and further extended it as follows:

    • The uplift of hourly pay by £1.33 has been extended for learning centre staff and to the 31st August 2020 for children’s homes staff.
    • We will continue to pay the uplift to other Witherslack Group staff who work in our children’s homes over the summer holidays
  • For our school staff, the flexibility to operate rotas has not been an option in some schools and consequently some staff teams have been required to attend school every day. There have also been instances where members of staff in some schools have not been included in the rota due to the nature of their specific role. For all staff in this position we have offered the following bonuses:

    £600 to staff with 97% – 100% attendance.
    £400 to staff with 90% – 97% attendance
    £250 to staff with 85% – 90% attendance

  • In addition to this, an additional contribution to each establishment’s wellbeing fund of £50 per person has been made to allow team activities to take place when social distancing restrictions are relaxed further.

Our Commitment

We are committed to continually showing our appreciation to all members of our staff teams throughout this unprecedented period.  Their commitment, support and expertise will never be taken for granted and it is what makes our Group what it is.

We’re still on the lookout for talented individuals to make a difference to the lives of our young people. In response to Covid-19, and to protect the health and wellbeing of our candidates and staff, we’re conducting video interviews wherever possible. If you’ve applied for a role with us, our recruitment team are on hand to support you.

If you would like to help us make a real difference, browse our career opportunities here.

Sign up for alerts

If you want to be kept up to date on the latest vacancies across our Group, register your details here.

Our teams

Our people are central to everything we do – dedicated and passionate professionals who combine to create a unique and inspirational environment for every child.

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