For those working remotely, either from home or in isolated locations, we will be using this area to post useful and relevant content to help individuals, line managers and healthcare professionals.
COVID-19 FLEXIBLE WORKING
Fit for work and Working from Home. Should an individual be required to change working practices (working from home), in order to support care of family members or self-isolate, MoD supports the use of new values (reasons) for requesting Flexible Working as follows:
- (1) Covid-19 - Ordered to work from home – not symptomatic just precautionary or self-isolation but fit for work, in accordance with Business Continuity Plans.
- (2) Covid-19 - Working from home to support caring responsibilities – school closure, no-one to care for children.
Flexible Working (Working from Home) should be recorded on JPA. The remote working location is to be entered in the free text box entitled ‘justification’.
 In JSP 750 Part 1 Chapter 1 the new term of ‘Alternative Working Arrangements’ is used in lieu of ‘Flexible Working’. Similarly, in the JSP, ‘Remote Working’ is the new term for Working from Home. However, JPA has yet to be updated to reflect this new terminology hence, the JPA self Service link to ‘Flexible Working’ is still to be found. Via this link, personnel will need to select ‘Working from Home’ and then choose one of the 2 new ‘Reason for the Request’ types as required. DBS will publish a JPA Ops Bulletin and display key messages on the splash screen to provide greater clarity.
COVID-19 ABSENCE RECORDING FOR SERVICE PERSONNEL
Should an individual SP be required to self-isolate and is unable to work then MoD supports the following direction:
- a. JPA Move and Track Temp Location. In order to provide greater fidelity within JPA Management Information for those SP who may be required to self-isolate (precautionary, 7-days) or self-isolate (signs and symptoms, 14-days) the recently introduced JPA Move and Track reason ‘Temp - Isolation’, is to be used for Regular personnel in UK and overseas (including those deployed under CJO’s OPCOM) who have been directed to isolate or self-isolate, Mobilised Reservists, Reservists on Full Time Reserve Service Commitment (FTRS) and Additional Duties Commitment (ADC) terms of service as follows:
- (1) Self-isolation – showing symptoms or fit into one of the categories directed to self-isolate by the Gov.
- (2) Self-isolation – because a family member shows virus related signs.
In addition to being Move and Tracked into ‘Temp-Isolation’ the individual must record the location through ‘Authorised Absence’. Further details will be covered within a complimentary DBS JPA Ops Bulletin.
- b. Compassionate Leave. Allows SP an authorised period of absence (and therefore not working) to enable them to attend to an immediate domestic crisis that does not count against an individual’s annual leave entitlement. Whilst the authorisation and duration of Compassionate Leave rests with the individual’s CO/Head of Establishment, where SP are granted a period of absence as a result of Government direction related to COVID-19, this should be recorded as Compassionate Leave in the first instance. This leave will support the SP to organise longer term arrangements for caring responsibilities without compromising the Individual Leave Entitlement. In extremis the CoC and Heads or Establishments may extend this period without seeking approval. Before granting compassionate leave, COs/Heads of Establishments in deployed/overseas locations must consider the effect on Operational Capability if the SP is required to self-isolate according to direction in that country.
COMPASSIONATE TRAVEL AT PUBLIC EXPENSE
Due to rapidly changing international travel restrictions and the wider effects of COVID-19 on operations and overseas locations it may not be impossible to grant Compassionate Leave or arrange compassionate travel. Such cases pose a risk to the mental health and wellbeing of the individual (and family). Single Service processes and procedures for recording instances where this is unavoidable must be adhered to.
Overseas Compassionate Travel. There is no intention to change Compassionate Leave policy. JCCC will continue to assess compassionate cases against the set policy criteria for eligibility to undertake overseas travel at public expense, although a temporary amendment needs to be imposed until normal routines are re-established as follows:
- a. Comp A. Flights will be authorised for spouse, children and parents/parents-in-law only.
- b.Comp B. Flights will be authorised for the following:
- (1) Spouse, children (SI/III only).
- (2) Approved welfare cases.
- (3) Deaths of parents and parents-in-law and siblings.
- c. Comp 12 (Commanding Officers discretion). JCCC has experienced an increased volume of requests for Comp 12 cases. It is assumed that this is caused, at least in part, around concerns with Covid-19. Set against the rapidly changing international travel restrictions and availability of commercial airlines (that may not support a return journey) this is creating significant financial, operational and reputational risks, Including the risk of leaving SP stranded in third-countries, further exacerbated by the limited Military AT. To mitigate these risks, in these exceptional circumstances, Comp 12 category (Commanding Officers’ discretion) will temporarily require JCCC approval (to be reviewed on 1 Jun 20). In the unlikely event that the CO wishes to challenge the JCCC decision it should be elevated through the COs chain-of-command in the normal manner.
- d.Confirmed Covid-19 Cases. Confirmed Covid-19 cases that are categorised as Seriously Injured/Very Seriously Injured by hospital/medical staff will be considered as a potential overseas compassionate case. All other COVID-19 cases below this category cannot be classed as compassionate cases but are to be managed as per World Health Organisation/Public Health England directives.
Dangerously Ill Forwarding of Relatives (DILFOR). All overseas DILFOR cases will continue to be assessed by JCCC. As with overseas compassionate leave travel, managing individual expectations to undertake DILFOR travel need to be tempered to consider more countries going into ‘lockdown’, the reduced availability of international flights and access to patients.