Council encourages staff to be aware of stress and its potential impact at work
3rd November 2020
Highland Council is encouraging its workforce to be aware of stress during working life and its potential impact as part of National Stress Awareness Day, which takes place on Wednesday, 4 November 2020.
A key focus for National Stress Awareness Day this year is to tackle the anxiety and emotional pressure which many may be feeling as a result of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from concern for family and close friends to financial worries.
Employees are encouraged to take a moment to reflect on the fact that these are not normal times and that increased levels of stress for both individuals and their colleagues is perfectly reasonable in these circumstances. This is particularly relevant as we approach the winter months, with significant seasonal changes, which in itself can often be a mental struggle for many individuals.
To help support staff both during National Stress Awareness Day and as an on-going and continued priority for the organisation, Highland Council has the following resources and support available:
Employee Assistance Programme
My On-line Learning
Mental Health & Wellbeing Toolkit
Mental Health Representatives
Cllr Linda Munro, Chair of the Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee, said: "Good mental health and wellbeing is one of the Council's priorities for all people - including Council staff - and plays such an important role in enabling individuals to thrive and prosper across all areas of life."
She continued: "The on-going pandemic this year has clearly caused enormous worry and emotional strain to many individuals for a whole host of different reasons. It particularly demonstrates the importance of supporting staff through initiatives such as this to enable them to recognise when they are at risk of being overwhelmed by stress and to take steps to alleviate this. Maintaining a workforce with good mental health within the organisation is key."
The Highland Council has welcomed clarification from the Scottish Government that hotels are eligible for the Business Restriction Grant. As hotel restaurants and bars follow the same rules as other restaurants and bars with last entry at 21:30 and closure by 22:30, they have now been included as eligible businesses to receive grant from this scheme.
Members of The Highland Council's City of Inverness Area Committee have today agreed a proposed £4,786,000 investment in council housing for 2021-22. The one-year Inverness Area Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital Programme is part of the Highland wide HRA Capital Plan for 2021-22 which will see over £15m invested in improving the housing stock across the region.
The Leader of The Highland Council Margaret Davidson and Chair of the Brexit Working Group Jimmy Gray welcomed the Scottish Government's position paper on the replacement for European Structural Investment Funds. This paper was as a result of a wide consultation process in which the Highlands & Islands made a significant contribution towards.
The category B listed suspension Infirmary footbridge in Inverness which traverses the River Ness between Ness Walk and Ness Bank may need to close for public safety until The Highland Council considers and secures funding for necessary repairs. This was the message that the Council's Roads Operations Manager, John Taylor informed Members of the City of Inverness Area Committee this week.
A new useful guide has been produced to provide people across the Highlands with information and advice on the financial and other support that is available to them. The Highland Council, along with NHS Highland Public Health, Independent Food Aid Network and the Trussell Trust, have brought a wide range of relevant financial advice and support with contact details together in a user-friendly format aimed at people who are struggling to make ends meet.
Dr Tim Allison, Director of Public Health for NHS Highland, opened today's meeting with a presentation on Covid-19, including a Highland perspective. Cllr John Finlayson, Chair of the Committee, said: "I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr Allison for his informative presentation on the virus that he delivered to Committee this morning." The presentation began by providing a brief background to Covid-19 before then providing an explanation of how the virus transmits between individuals and the presence of coronavirus in the Highland region.
At today's meeting (18 November) of the Council's Education Committee, Members were provided an update on the ongoing rollout of 1140 hours of funded ELC provision in settings across Highland. A report to the Committee outlined that of the 241 settings across the region, 202 Highland settings will be delivering 1140 hours by spring 2021.
The Highland Council is today (17 November 2020) launching a consultation giving the community until 12 March 2021 to comment on the proposed contents of the Common Good Fund Asset Register for Wick. The Highland Council does not currently hold a Common Good Fund for the former Royal Burgh of Wick.
This week, The Scottish Government has confirmed that The Highland Council area will again be placed into Protection Level One in The Scottish Government's 5 tier framework. This means our communities will for now continue to able to operate with fewer restrictions for our hospitality, retail and leisure sectors than other parts of the country.
More than 1,250 new teachers and support staff have been recruited as a result of £80 million of support announced in the summer. Education Secretary John Swinney pledged the ring-fenced package of funding to help local authorities' recruitment for the re-opening of schools.