Additional annual leave from the 2020/21 NJC Pay Award
The national NJC Pay award 2020 awarded an additional day of annual leave for those staff on the minimum basic annual leave days of 21 days per year. In Brighton & Hove City Council this affects employees on Scale 1-6 with less than 5 years’ service where the basic leave will increase from 21 to 22 days.
For those staff affected please add an additional day (or pro rata for part-time staff) to your 2020/21 annual leave card. If you would prefer to start a new annual leave card see the updated 2020/21 annual leave card.
If you are a manager of staff in the affected group, please ensure that all team members who qualify are aware of this addition to annual leave and that individual annual leave cards are adjusted.
For Term-time only (TTO)/ part-year employees the formula for calculating annual leave has been adjusted appropriately and the slightly increased paid week/salary (backdated to April) will be paid in the November payroll, so no action is needed for these staff. See the updated TTO formula showing the adjusted paid weeks for existing and new staff falling into this category.
For new TTO staff, managers will need to begin using the adjusted TTO formula above from now onwards.
Supporting Dyslexia and Neurodiversity at work - 26 November
Two sessions will be held via Microsoft Teams on Thursday 26 November - 9.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4.30pm.
This is an engaging and interactive three-hour online workshop designed for HR departments, teams, managers and individuals wanting to improve their understanding of disabilities, and the small changes that make a big difference to accessibility, inclusivity and productivity.
Understanding how to harness the varied skills and strengths of a diverse workforce is key to creating good company culture and success in the workplace. In this workshop we will be exploring neurodiversity, and what it means to be neurodiverse.
We will talk about inclusive practice, and what can be done to enhance wellbeing and productivity in the workplace. Hidden disabilities can easily go unidentified and subsequently unsupported, so this workshop aims to raise awareness surrounding all types of disabilities, and what can be done to harness each individual's strengths and reduce their challenges.
Disclosing a disability and advocating for support can be a scary thing, but with enough awareness and understanding, a negative experience can be turned into a really positive step forward, helping the individual progress and thrive, with confidence in the way they work.
The workshop will cover:
- different models of disability
- the neurodiversity umbrella and the different types of learning differences (ie dyslexia), and their various impacts
- reasonable adjustments that can be made to remove barriers at work and how to better support people with specific needs
- top free and low-cost tools to support neurodiverse teams
- understanding Access to Work funding for employees
- invitation to share experiences.
Management apprenticeships webinar - 3 November
We offer two apprenticeships focused on management development – the Level 3 Team Leader and the Level 5 Operational Management.
If you're interested in finding out more about these, we're running a short webinar on Microsoft Teams on 3 November at 2pm.
To sign up, email email@example.com and you’ll be sent a link.
Why do an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are an excellent way to gain new knowledge and skills. They’re available to all staff, full and part time, on permanent, fixed* or part time contracts and you will remain on your current contract and pay.
The next deadline to submit your application for an apprenticeship is 13 November 2020. You can apply for one at any time throughout the year, but applications will be reviewed for approval at periodic deadlines.
The apprenticeship team are happy to discuss directly what opportunities might be available so get in contact now: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Fixed term contracts must cover the length of the apprenticeship
"I'd advise other managers thinking about apprenticeships for their staff to do what you can to help make it happen for them. It helps to see the programme as something that helps both managers and team members in addressing areas requiring growth, and provides an invaluable resource to motivate, guide and direct the individual."
Team Leader, Revenues & Benefits
New Windows 10 web browser - Edge Chromium
Staff using Windows 10 will get access to a new web browser, Edge Chromium, from Wednesday 21 October.
The new browser has a slightly different look and feel, but works in the same way.
Support for the current version of Microsoft Edge will end in March 2021. Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) will continue to be available.
Your favourites/bookmarks will automatically move across from the old browser to the new version and will be located in a folder called ‘other favourites’.
You'll notice the icon for the browser change from the familiar blue 'e' to a new icon resembling a blue and green wave (pictured).
You won't need to do anything other than wait for the new version of Edge to appear on your device. If your icon has not changed as described above by the end of October or if you have any other issues, please report the problem via MyServiceHub.
If you have any questions about Edge Chromium, please contact email@example.com
To report any problems you're having with the new browser, please contact IT&D via MyServiceHub.
Birthday of the Guru Granth (Sikh) – 20 October
The Guru Granth Sahib is the holy scripture and the final Guru of the Sikhs: Sikhs mark the conferment of this title on 20 October. A ‘guru’ is one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others.
In Sikhism there were a line of ten human Gurus who guided the Sikh community over the period 1469 to 1708. Before his death, the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, nominated the Sikh holy scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib as the final and eternal Guru of Sikhism.
Guru Granth Sahib is a collection of hymns, which describe what God is like and the right way to live. The hymns come from the first five Sikh Gurus, as well as from other saints, including some who were Hindu and Muslim. As a source or guide of prayer it is pivotal in Sikh worship.
Sikhs consider the Guru Granth Sahib to be a spiritual guide for all mankind for all generations to come, and it plays a central role in guiding the Sikhs' way of life.
The collection took five years to complete and was installed in Harmandir Sahib (‘the abode of God’), popularly known as the Golden Temple in Amritsar (India), on 1 September 1604.
The Golden Temple is culturally the most significant place of worship of the Sikhs and one of the oldest Sikh gurdwaras (place of worship). The temple was built with four doors to show that every religion or faith is allowed to go in to meditate or just listen to the prayers for peace.
In every gurdwara around the world, the Guru Granth Sahib is always the focal point, placed in the centre and on a raised platform. The Guru Granth is given the greatest respect and honour. Sikhs cover their heads and remove their shoes while in the presence of Guru Granth. It is normally carried on the head and as a sign of respect not touched with unwashed hands or put on the floor.
Sikhism at a glance
- Sikhism was founded in the 16th century in the Punjab district of what is now India and Pakistan. It was founded by Guru Nanak and is based on his teachings, and those of the 9 Sikh gurus who followed him.
- There are 20 million Sikhs in the world, most of whom live in the Punjab. The 2011 census recorded 432,000 Sikhs in the UK.
- The most important thing in Sikhism is the internal religious state of the individual and doing good actions rather than merely carrying out rituals.
- Sikhism is a monotheistic religion (one god).
- The Sikh place of worship is called a Gurdwara. The Sikh scripture is a book called the Guru Granth Sahib.
Contact: Sarah Tighe-Ford – firstname.lastname@example.org
Emergency First Aid at work - 22 October
Due to some cancellations, we have a few places available on the Emergency First Aid at work course which will take place at the Brighton Centre on Thursday 22 October from 9.30am to 4.30pm.
This course is for you if you are employed by Brighton & Hove City Council or in a city school and you:
- have been designated as an Appointed First Aider for your area of work
- are confident and can remain calm in an emergency situation
- require your three-yearly refresher training.
The course aims to train delegates to be an initial point of contact in taking immediate action to deal with a casualty at work.
Candidates will be provided with the knowledge and skills required to preserve a life until more qualified personnel arrive to take over. If however you're taking a lead in first aid in your workplace, the three-day First Aid at Work course may be more appropriate for you.
If you have any queries about the training, please e-mail email@example.com
New and forthcoming features for Microsoft Teams
Several new features have recently been added to Microsoft Teams to help you work more efficiently, with more being added in the coming months.
This follows the recent introduction of Teams as part of the wider offer of Office 365 tools supporting you to work from anywhere, on any device.
Recently added features
- Multi-window meetings and calling – enabling this option allows new meetings and calls to pop out in separate windows, helping you stay in the flow of work. This is useful if, for example, you want to keep a chat window from one meeting open to refer to after your next meeting has started.
To enable this feature, go to settings. Under Application, tick ‘Turn on new meeting experience.’
- Together mode – this changes your normal view of group meetings so they’ll appear as if seated in rows facing you. Research suggest this helps you feel more connected to your team mates and is closer to the feeling of being together in person.
To enable this feature, when you’re in a meeting, click on the three dots on your meeting task bar (next to the ‘raise hand’ option). You’ll see a drop down box below with the option to turn on ‘Together mode’.
To turn it off, click the three dots again and then select ‘Gallery’ from the drop down list.
- Large gallery view – allows you to view up to 49 video participants in a single screen during a meeting, helping you see more of your colleagues simultaneously.
You don’t need to do anything to enable this feature and should notice more participants visible whenever you’re in a large meeting.
Microsoft plans to release the following features for Teams later this year:
- Live reactions - react during a meeting using emojis that will appear to all participants, allowing you and your colleagues to provide instant feedback without disrupting the flow of the conversation or presentation.
- Chat bubbles - chats sent during a Teams meeting will surface on the screens of all meeting participants, making the chat more central to the conversation. This means you won’t have to switch between looking at the chat window and gallery view.
- Microsoft Whiteboard updates - Whiteboard in Teams will soon be updated with new features including sticky notes, pen and ink, and drag and drop capabilities. These features enable team members who don’t have access to a touchscreen or Surface Hub to participate in whiteboarding sessions during Teams meetings. This can be really useful for team brainstorming sessions.
- Dynamic view – this feature uses AI to automatically optimise your view of the meeting as it unfolds, showing you the most relevant combination of participants and the content they’re sharing. This is fully customisable to suit your preferences.
- Live captions with speaker attribution - Teams already provides live captions as a way to follow along with what is being said in the meeting, and this now comes with speaker attribution so captions will specify who is speaking.
- Live transcripts with speaker attribution - live transcripts provide another way to follow along with what has been said and who said it. After a meeting, the transcript file is automatically saved in the chat tab for that meeting.
- Large meeting support - hold interactive meetings with more attendees - up to 1,000 people. When attendees exceed this limit, the meeting will scale to accommodate up to 20,000.
- PowerPoint Live presentations to Teams - PowerPoint Live Presentations can help you make your presentation engaging and inclusive. Everyone in the audience can navigate their own view of the slides, provide instant feedback in the form of live reactions, and provide comments and rate the presentation at the end. Live Presentations are generally available on PowerPoint for the web and will soon be integrated with Teams.
- Virtual breakout rooms - break out your meeting into separate rooms to facilitate ideation, learning, and discussions with smaller groups. This is a great feature to use in workshops, where you might hold small team discussions before coming back to the whole group.
Fun autumnal activities for kids this October half term
Looking for some inspiration to get your children active this October half term?
You can now register for Active for Life's virtual 'Soup & Stomp' pack, which includes:
- information on three Halloween themed walks around local parks in the city
- how to make a delicious soup for when you get back from your walk
- an autumnal scavenger hunt you can do anywhere – from a local park to your garden
- the chance to win prizes in our Autumnal Art Challenge!
Managers Network - 6 November
As part of Our People Promise, the Learning and Development Team has worked with managers and leaders across the organisation to provide you with the opportunities to do your best as a manager, including new modules, lunchtime learning, experiential leadership development, and bite size learning.
We’re now offering another approach to assist you manage and lead - our new Managers Network.
This is a two-hour virtual session from 9.30am-11.30am on Friday 6 November, facilitated by your management peers and offering a chance to network, learn, reflect and hear from colleagues and expert guest speakers.
In this second session, we'll be joined by external consultant Becky Hall. Becky is an experienced executive coach, leadership consultant and facilitator who has worked with senior leaders and executive teams across all sectors over twenty years.
Becky will deliver a session on how to maintain morale and continue to lead in a positive way during the ongoingg challenges we face in our ways of working.
Fair and Inclusive staff briefings
The council's Fair & Inclusive Action Plan details how we will deliver Our People Promise commitment to be a fair and inclusive place to work. We are holding a series of mandatory all staff briefings so that we all clearly understand our role in embedding equality and inclusion in everything we do.
Thanks to everyone who has signed up for the Fair and Inclusive virtual staff briefings. So far, 1800 of members of staff have booked a place – if you haven’t done so yet, we have lots of spaces on the following sessions coming up:
- 13 November, 2pm-3:30pm
- 16 November, 2pm-3:30pm
- 17 November, 10am-11:30am
- 17 November, 2pm-3:30pm
- 1 December, 2pm-3:30pm
- 7 December, 10am-11:30am
The sessions run on Microsoft Teams. You don’t have to have the Microsoft Teams app to join the session and can simply join through your web browser. This short video explains how to do this and there’s a lot more support available from IT & Digital.
We are also holding two sessions on Skype:
These 90-minute briefings are an essential step in responding effectively to inequality, and in particular racial inequality and disability discrimination. You'll learn more about what we must do to deliver our commitment to be a fair and inclusive place to work, our pledge to become an anti-racist council and city, concepts frequently used when discussing race, and what responsibilities and action you can take to make a difference.
Please note that registration and attendance is being monitored and reported to the Chief Executive and the Executive Leadership Team on a regular basis. Regular reminders will be communicated to services to ensure maximum take up of these briefings.
By the end of the session you will:
- be clear on how you are expected to behave towards each other, our customers and communities
- understand the council’s anti-racist position and what it means for each and every one of us (regardless of eg role, status, service)
- call time on potential excuses of lack of knowledge or awareness
- know what our individual and organisational responsibilities are.
These briefings are just the start of our Fair and Inclusive learning and development offer – find out what else is available on the Learning Gateway.
We look forward to seeing you at one of the briefings soon.
Remembering Reuben Sibanda
The Black and Minority Ethnic Workers' Forum (BMEWF) are sad to learn of the passing of our colleague and member Reuben Sibanda, who sadly passed away on Thursday 7 October 2020.
Reuben worked in the Revenue and Benefits Service until retiring many years ago at the age of 70, and was was still active after his retirement.
After retiring, Reuben went on to work part time at Boots (Clock Tower) where he could be seen serving customers with his usual cheerfulness and infectious bright smile.
As a member of the BMEWF Reuben attended many forum meetings and events up to the time of his retirement and was always supportive and positive about the work of the BMEWF.
The BMEWF sends our deepest sympathies to his family for their loss.