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Council will redeploy staff affected by latest Covid-19 restrictions

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council will seek to redeploy staff impacted by the latest Covid-19 regulations.

The latest restrictions, announced by the Northern Ireland Executive on Thursday, November 19 will run from November 27 until December 11.

As a result, all of the council’s leisure centres and associated sporting venues will close and all tourism, arts and culture venues will remain closed.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, a spokesperson said the council is intending to redeploy staff who will impacted by these restrictions.

“Council has no current decision in relation the furloughing of staff,” said a spokesperson.

“All civic buildings will remain open, with members of the public asked to attend only where essential and sporting facilities will remain available for elite sports only, in line with guidelines.

“Registration services will remain open in line with public health and GRO guidance. Community centres will remain open for childcare purposes only and all public parks and outdoor play areas will remain open.”

It has also been confirmed that council meetings will continue to take place remotely, as they have done since meetings resumed in May.

In June, a spokesperson confirmed the local authority had furloughed more than 200 full and part time staff during the first lockdown.

“Over 200 full and part time staff have been furloughed,” said a council spokesperson.

“This is in addition to casual workers that were furloughed earlier in the process. All staff have been furloughed on 100 per cent pay and the financial implications are under continual review.”

Meanwhile, Mid Ulster District Council said if redeployment was not feasible, the use of the furlough scheme will be considered.

“Work is now underway to identify redeployment opportunities for staff who are impacted by the latest closures,” said a council spokesperson.

“Where staff cannot be redeployed, the council will consider use of the furlough scheme.”

The spokesperson also confirmed the new restrictions will have no impact on meetings of Mid Ulster District Council.

“Council and committee meetings will continue to follow the hybrid model – online and restricted numbers in physical attendance,” confirmed the spokesperson.

In May, the local authority Council confirmed it had furloughed 365 of its staff.

Speaking at the time a spokesperson said: “The council has now furloughed 365 employees from a total of 1,092 (including casual and seasonal staff).

“As a result and assuming there are no issues with the application, this means that in April the council’s losses of approximately £620,000 per month will be offset by £200,200.”

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