For our members who work for Dudley Council, please see the below message sent out by the Chief Executive:

The Council recognise as your employer that the emerging Public Health evidence has identified a higher risk related to COVID for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees.  We appreciate that our BAME employees may be feeling an increased anxiety in relation to returning to the workplace.  As part of our commitment to ensuring we have robust arrangements in place which address the range of implications for BAME employees arising from emerging evidence, we want to fully engage with you to aid our understanding of the concerns and issues from your perspective that can be used to contribute to and shape plans going forward.

Whilst we recognise that Covid has created a number of anxieties for staff in other vulnerable groups, measures have been taken to protect the workforce, particularly staff with health and age concerns and are covered under previous risk assessment processes.  In addition, the focussed nature of the conversations during the sessions will address specific needs of our BAME colleagues and therefore for non-BAME colleagues the focus of the meeting will not be relevant.  Should you have any concerns regarding your own position in relation to Covid that you feel have not already been addressed, please speak to your line manager who will discuss these with you and arrange if necessary for an individual risk assessment to be undertaken.

There will be daily two hour sessions, that will be facilitated by an external advisor, starting from Wednesday 17th June until Tuesday 30th June for up to 10 staff per session.  The full list of dates and times are as follows:

  • 17th June – 10am-12noon
  • 18th June – 2-4pm
  • 19th June – 3-5pm
  • 22nd June – 11am-1pm
  • 23rd June – 10am-12noon
  • 24th June – 2-4pm
  • 25th June – 3-5pm
  • 26th June – 11am-1pm
  • 29th June – 10am-12noon
  • 30th June – 2-4pm

To register your attendance at a session please can you book using MyHR.  You can do this by going to the career / development tab.  Search for BAME and choose which session would like to book onto and press “book onto course”.  You will then be sent a link to join the MS Teams session that you have registered to attend.

A number of one-to-one meetings are available for BAME employees who may wish your feedback to remain confidential or may not wish to be involved in the larger engagement sessions, please email for availability of these slots. 

Once all of the sessions or one-to-one discussions have been held our external advisor will collate the information, which will be used to identify key concerns and develop findings, these will inform a report with identified recommendations to be received and considered week commencing 13th July.  A range of short, medium and long term actions which can deliver tangible race equality outcomes will then be agreed.  

I very much hope that you can join one of the sessions that will provide safe space and time to explore your thoughts and feelings about the situation and that you share your experience of working for the council during this time with suggestions of what we can do to improve and plan for your return to work. 

Kind Regards.

Kevin O’Keefe
Chief Executive

Jun 18, 2020