Up to 40 Council staff still on furlough
The Council has confirmed that up to 40 of its staff members - mainly those employed in leisure services - are still on furlough.
In response to a query submitted by the Journal, a spokesperson for Derry City & Strabane District Council said the ‘majority’ of its staff have come off the job retention scheme and returned to work as restrictions are lifted, adding that “all services are being phased back into operation”.
The spokesperson added that “up to 40 staff, mainly within the leisure services section, remain on flexible furlough with plans in place to have them all return to work in the coming weeks”.
The spokesperson said that as the Council continues to return to full service provision as restrictions are lifted, “it will consistently review staff resources to ensure it meets service delivery needs and are fully compliant with COVID regulations to keep the staff and public safe”.
As COVID took hold in the Spring of 2020 the Council announced proposals to furlough around 200 staff as many services were closed and Ireland went into lockdown.
By March 2021, a total of 270 staff members with the local authority had been placed on furlough / retention scheme.
Those affected were mainly employed from Leisure Services, Visitor Services (including the Guildhall and Council run museums) and Arts and Culture sector, including the Alley Theatre.
By March 2021 this overall figure had dropped to 143 Council employees as more people came off the Job Retention Scheme and were brought back to work in different departments.
A further 100 Council employees have resumed their duties in the past three months.