|All staff|| Amy Rees |
Director General of Probation and Wales HM Prison and Probation Service 102 Petty France London SWIH 9AJ
|23 March 2020|
Dear / Annwyl staff
Guidance for extraordinary payments during COVID-19 response period
I am writing to you today to provide you with guidance as to claims for extraordinary payment/s that are being made available to you during this unprecedented time.
Challenges will present themselves as we face decreased capacity across the country in the probation system but we need to ensure that we are prepared to meet them head on.
I acknowledge the current and future challenges that will be faced by you personally as a valued member of the National Probation Service (NPS) as we move to solidify our workforce response to COVID-19.
To recognise the fact that many of you will go above and beyond your ordinary duties we are providing additional payment/s. You provide an invaluable service to the community as an integral part of the criminal justice system, and even more so in these uncertain times. These measures are available to all staff within the NPS at the relevant grades. Please discuss how they apply in your individual circumstances with your line manager.
We anticipate you may have some further queries on this guidance and the extraordinary payments being made available, which we hope are addressed below and will be further communicated in forthcoming publications on the intranet or in writing to you directly.
I would also like to reinforce the HR guidance about staff with an underlying health condition:
Some employees might have a condition or be taking medication which means that they have a compromised immune system, for example (but not exhaustive), asthma, diabetes, heart disease. They might, therefore, be reluctant to come into contact with people who might have the coronavirus and so not wish to come into work or travel on public transport even if they are not themselves unwell.
If it is possible for these employees to work from home you should permit them to do so. Some employees, however will not be able to do their job from home. If it is not possible for the employee to work from home in these circumstances we would expect paid special leave to be given.
Managers will need to exercise discretion and discuss with an individual their particular needs.
Director General of Probation and Wales
Cyfarwyddwr Cyffredinol y Gwasanaeth Prawf a Chymru, Gwasanaeth Carchardai a Phrawf EM
Who does this relate to?
This guidance is relevant to all staff in the NPS if qualifying for specific NPS extraordinary payments.
Why are the NPS providing these additional payment/s?
As we react to the progress of COVID-19 we face the reality that some staff will need to self-isolate or take time off to deal with illness.
We will experience shortages of available staff to carry out core probation functions across the country and therefore will be asking staff that are willing and able to absorb additional work to protect the functionality and integrity of the system.
In acknowledgement of the additional burden this will place upon many of you we wish to provide additional payment/s in the attempt to ease this burden.
Are these taxed?
Like all bonuses, these extraordinary payments will be taxed in the usual way, and will paid as non-pensionable bonuses.
How do I keep track of how many hours I have worked?
We encourage you to keep track of the hours worked during this period of time. We will provide a template spreadsheet which you should complete and have your manager clear.
Further guidance will be provided in due course via the intranet on how to submit this cleared spreadsheet to SSCL to have your additional payments actioned.
Is this mandatory?
No. It will not be mandatory for you to take on additional work during these times.
But we do hope that if you are willing and able to assist during this unprecedented time that these payment/s are representative of the additional work you take on to ensure the proper functioning of the probation system and the security of those that it seeks to help and protect.
What if I have more questions?
Please direct any further questions you have to the People Group COVID-19 team which has been formed to deal with queries.
The team can be contacted at this address: HR_DOC@justice.gov.uk
You may also wish to speak to your manager for further support and guidance.
Further guidance will be
provided in the coming days on the intranet and in writing if necessary.
Guidance matrix for extraordinary payments