Hertfordshire County Council's enhanced COVID-19 preparations

Published: 17 Mar 2020

In-line with the current national guidance from central government, Hertfordshire County Council is updating its advice to employees on best working practise with regards to the coronavirus (COVID-19) effective immediately.

The County Council want to reassure its employees that it is doing everything possible to ensure a safe working environment. This includes working closely with its Hertfordshire Public Health Service and all Chief Officers to ensure there is a consistent approach, drawing on the latest information from central government.

Cllr Tim Hutchings, Cabinet Member for Public Health & Prevention, said: “The health and safety of our employees is of paramount importance to us at Hertfordshire County Council. We are working closely with Public Health England, Hertfordshire’s Public Health Services and our senior management team to ensure employees are getting the most up-to-date advice and the best working practises going forward.

“I would like to thank all our employees, during this time of uncertainty, for their professionalism and calm manner. We must continue to keep these principles at the heart of all our considerations and remain focussed on looking after each other as colleagues and doing everything we can to support all those we are here to serve.”

The county council’s Strategic Management Board, comprised of senior managers from across the organisation, is asking all managers to consider what enhanced measures is now appropriate to ensure the safety of employees while continuing to deliver critical local public services.

Revised and enhanced working best practise includes:

  • Strong hygiene focus in-line with the county council’s current hand-washing campaign, as well as an enhanced thorough clean of all head office buildings

  • A phased approach to increased working from home and remote working, with an immediate focus on higher risk groups

  • Postpone or cancel large meetings (over 30 people) and large-scale conferences (Over 200 people), as of Monday 23 March

  • The implementation of urgent work to ramp up the capacity and capability of the county council’s technology and other systems 

  • For those office based or frontline staff where smart working is not practical. Where possible, ensure there is adequate social distancing (at least 2 metres distance) to colleagues they are likely to be working alongside for more than 15 minutes.