Laura Sharman 23 March 2021

COVID-19: How has the past year affected council staff?

COVID-19: How has the past year affected council staff? image

Council staff have been left feeling ‘undervalued and overwhelmed’ this past year as a result of COVID-19, according to an exclusive survey by LocalGov.

To mark a year since the first lockdown began, we surveyed council workers to find out what impact the pandemic has had on their mental health, their job role, and how they feel about working in local government.

More than six in ten respondents (64%) said the pandemic has affected their mental health, with 75% feeling stressed and 65% feeling anxious. Nearly half (47%) of those affected also said they have felt depressed in the last year.

Respondents said the pandemic has left them feeling frustrated and undervalued, with Government and the public not always appreciating the challenges councils have faced.

While nearly all staff surveyed (99%) were not furloughed, a quarter did see changes to their job role. Seven in ten reported a significant increase in their workload due to COVID-related duties, while 27% were deployed to a different service within their own council.

Three-quarters of those surveyed said their normal place of work closed as a result of COVID-19, with only 6% of council workers now back in their normal workplace.

While many council staff spoke about the challenges of working remotely and balancing the extra workload, a quarter also said they were concerned that service reductions or closures were having a negative impact on service users.

Nearly a fifth of those responding also reported they had received abuse or aggression from the public as a result of COVID-19. Three-quarters of these staff had experienced verbal abuse in the past year, while 29% had been victim to abuse on social media.

Luckily, only 16% of council staff were less keen on working in local government going forward, with 27% saying they are more passionate about the sector than ever.

As part of our survey into the impact this past year has had on council staff, we asked readers for their comments.

Photo: Boris Ribard / Shutterstock.com

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Chief Executive

Glasgow City Council
c. £200k
Glasgow is a city with a proud heritage, that is ambitious for the future. Glasgow, Glasgow City
Recuriter: Glasgow City Council

Social Worker

Wakefield Council
£33,024.00 to £35,745.00, grade 8
Social Care Direct has an exciting opportunity for a Level 1 Social Worker to join our friendly team. Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Wakefield Council

Woodworking Tutor, Part Time, Term Time - Basildon

Essex County Council
Up to £28432 per annum + pro rata
Woodworking Tutor, Part Time, Term Time - BasildonPermanent, Part TimeUp to £28,432 per annum, pro rataLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Property Surveyor RBKC614550

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£64,929 - £74,220 per annum
At RBKC, we are committed to changing for the better and we are determined to put our residents at the heart of every decision. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Library and Neighbourhood Hubs Representative x 2

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£23,500 - £23,893 pro rata
We are currently seeking to recruit a highly motivated individual with a passion for delivering the very best customer service. Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
Linkedin Banner

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.