Voxpop | How are you welcoming staff back from furlough?

What are museums doing to ease staff back in as the job retention scheme nears its end?
Covid-19 Furlough
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Jonathan Reekie
Director, Somerset House Trust, London

“We’re bringing staff back from furlough very slowly, as the Job Retention Scheme remains a vital income source. While most staff remain furloughed, a few are working part-time, which creates challenges for managing projects across different teams. During lockdown, we instigated daily meetings for working staff, and we will be continuing these to ensure a smooth transition. At the same time, we are trying to capture some of the positives of having been forced to work in different ways over the past few months.”

Kathryn Thomson
Chief executive, National Museums NI

“It has been a challenging time for colleagues working and on furlough. Throughout, we have prioritised maintaining good communication and engagement, from a weekly newsletter to informal team calls. Planning for our reopening has focused on building the confidence of teams coming back on site that our museums are safe to work in and to visit. Training has helped with new ways of working, and additional safety and hygiene measures that have been put in place, while addressing concerns. Staff’s confidence in our new procedures is shining through to our visitors.”

Bill Ferris
Chief executive, Chatham Historic Dockyard, Kent

“Welcoming staff back requires the same planning and communication involved in welcoming visitors back. Reassurance about coronavirus-safe working systems and staff welfare are very important. Engagement in the risk assessment, method statement and operational procedures helped enormously, as did considerable investment in training.”

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