COVID-19: Managing your MAT’s staff during widespread illness

Untitled design 58 | COVID-19: Managing your MAT’s staff during widespread illness
By Toby Lester | 26th March 2020 | 8 min read

We’re currently living through difficult times, and multi-academy trusts will have to make some tough decisions about staffing.

It’s more important than ever to have a good hold on your HR and staff management – and the benefits stand to outlast the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Filling in the gaps

With so many staff away from your trust due to self-isolation, it can be difficult to fill in the gaps. Schools need to stay open to provide childcare and education for the children of key workers, but without teaching, catering and groundskeeping staff to maintain this, it’ll be difficult to continue as normal.

Over the coming weeks, more and more people will be forced to self-isolate, which will make the situation harder to manage. That’s why it’s important to have a trust-wide overview so you can view gaps in the workforce and redeploy staff where they’re needed the most.

A robust, made-for-trusts software package such as PS People can help you to manage this by providing a complete overview of your available staff and any vacant positions that will need to be filled, making this flexibility possible for your MAT. If you’d like to discuss this further, don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’re here to help

Differentiating between illnesses and self-isolation

If you want to keep your staff levels high, it’s important to distinguish between those who are infected and will need to self-isolate and those who have chronic or low-level illnesses, such as back pain. Across a busy trust where staff numbers can run into hundreds, logging either through self-service or manually is a critical piece of administration.

Some HR systems aren’t able to distinguish between levels of illness and don’t provide a way to state the reasons for absence. Make sure your HR software can manage this, else you might avoid calling on a staff member during a time of crisis.

Roll out your pandemic policy

It’s important to send a consistent message to all your trust academies. Upload your policies to a centralised location, like PS People’s policy management functionality, and make it easy for every employee across every school to access this critical documentation.

This also makes it easy to update on the fly. Rather than correcting your pandemic policies at every location individually, just replace the file and change it for everybody.

PS People makes it easy for trusts to manage absence monitoring and record-keeping. Get rid of your spreadsheets and documents and manage everything through one streamlined software package that tackles your HR and payroll requirements.

We’re here to help you no matter what happens in the coming weeks. Contact us today to see how we can help you during this difficult time.

Editor update: This blog mentions PS People which is a product we no longer offer. If you are interested in PS People we welcome you to take a look at Every HR, our new HR software for schools and trusts.