Highland Council workers on non-teaching casual contracts will learn today if they are to be compensated for pay missing during the lockdown period.
Councillors at today’s full council meeting will vote on whether the workers should receive compensation if they have received less than normal payments over a three month period due to Covid.
Almost all workers affected are schools-based, including early years practitioners, pupil support assistants, social care workers, early years support workers and escorts.
The proposal is to bring their payments up to the average of the previous three pay periods, for a three month period only.
The council says the financial cost of this is around £136,000.
It covers all employment costs including the 3% pay increase applied from April 2020.
The decision would be in line with national guidance from Cosla, and is intended to compensate casual workers if, due to COVID-19, they have not been offered work because of service disruption; been offered and accepted work but less work than normal; could not accept work because of being symptomatic or ill, or they are self-isolation in line with medical guidelines including ‘shielding’.
Local authorities are free to decide how, or whether to apply the compensation in consultation with trade union partners, but Cosla warns there could be legal challenges if casual workers have accrued rights though demonstrating a regular work pattern.