Workforce blog

March 2024:  We know about the Gender Pay Gap, but what about the Gender Pensions Gap?

To celebrate International Women’s Day this month, Jo Donnelly, Head of Pensions at the LGA, and Secretary to the Local Government Pension Scheme Advisory Board, introduces the ground breaking work being undertaken to understand the Gender Pensions Gap in Local Government – and what employers can do about it.

February 2024: Launching Diverse by Design for Adults Social Care at NCASC

In this blog, Lindsey Martin, Partners in Care and Health Workforce Advisor, takes us to Bournemouth for the launch of their new equality, diversity and inclusion workbook. It’s Friday 1 December, it’s the last day of the National Conference for Adult and Children's Services (NCASC), and it’s been snowing!

December 2023: Reviewing 2023 and looking ahead to 2024

After a few years of dealing with a global pandemic and political upheaval, 2023 was supposed to be the year life got back to normal, but it turns out we were busier than ever in local government, says Naomi Cooke, LGA’s Head of Workforce, as she takes a look at what we’ve been up to this year and thinks ahead to 2024.

November 2023: The use of AI in Islington Council to increase diversity during advertising

Islington Council is exploring how using AI in recruitment can help to meet its aim of being a diverse employer. Jennifer McGee, Islington’s Strategic Resourcing Lead, tells us how the council’s staff and new technologies are working together to develop their recruitment processes.

September 2023: Growing our own and supporting inclusive recruitment

Hammersmith & Fulham Council tell us about their inclusive apprenticeship programme to celebrate National Inclusion Week

July 2023: Disability Confident - Join the Movement

For July’s Disability Pride Month, Grant Neems, Stakeholder Engagement Director at Ingeus, discusses simple steps to being Disability Confident, the free support available to councils, and the new research capturing employers’ attitudes to disability.

July 2023: Work Foundation blog - Disability Pride month

Disabled people face multiple forms of labour market disadvantage. Aman Navani is an Analyst at the Work Foundation where he contributes to the research on insecure work in the UK. To mark Disability Pride Month, he gives us an insight into the research he is doing on the disability employment gap and what we, as employers, can do to change it.

June 2023: Recruitment and retention

David Drewry, Workforce Adviser, gives us some insight into what councils can do to help recruitment and retention of staff.

April 2023: HMRC urges contractors not to get caught out by tax avoidance

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging contractors in a wide range of roles across Local Government not to get caught out by unscrupulous promoters of tax avoidance schemes.

March 2023: Developing self-awareness is key to workforce engagement

Aurora Petrova, National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) trainee, reflects on her experience of using our Emergenetics® profiling tool and how it helped to develop self-awareness and increase her confidence in her first placement in the Workforce Team at the LGA.

February 2023: Supporting early careers in local government

Across our sector we are increasingly seeing challenges with both recruitment and retention of employees, and the competition we face with other sectors. With short-, medium- and long-term challenges, it can feel like a never-ending cycle. However, investing in young people could be an important step in contributing to some of these challenges. 

David Drewry, our lead adviser on early careers in local government, gives us some insight into what councils can do to encourage more young people to work in our sector.

October 2022: How Leicestershire County Council is becoming menopause friendly

Leicestershire County Council tell us what they’ve been doing to become an award-winning menopause friendly employer. The council won the Best Trained Workplace award and was a finalist in the Menopause Friendly Employer of the Year award and Best Trained Workforce. Mandy Baughurst from their Learning and Development Team was the Community Award Winner on the night. We interviewed Mandy to hear about the work she’s been doing since she wrote a blog for us a few years ago.

August 2022: Addressing the workforce capacity crisis in local government

Our Head of Workforce, Naomi Cooke, says that despite being an “amazing” sector to work in, local government has a “recruitment crisis and as night follows day, we have a crisis in capacity”. This is her speech from the LGA annual conference session in July highlighting the issues and her views on what can be done to support workforce capacity in our sector.

July 2022: Disability Pride month

The month-long celebration originated in America and is now celebrated in many countries. It is a way of celebrating diversity and difference among the disabled community and highlighting ways to better understand and support colleagues in our workplaces. Although disability pride can mean different things to different people, for many people this month is a way of shining a spotlight on the barriers and discrimination disabled people face. 

October 2021: Why menopause education is good for business and not just for women of a certain age

Menopause traditionally has been regarded as a taboo subject. Fortunately, this is changing, and Miss Menopause, Sharon MacArthur, is on a mission to help employers to understand the effect it has on women and men in the workplace and what small changes can make a big difference to becoming a better employer and improve the workplace for everyone.

June 2021: Hybrid working will be the new normal . . . sort of

Naomi Cooke, LGA’s Head of Workforce, reflects on the many lessons we can learn from the new ways of remote working that the national lockdowns imposed on us, but wonders if focusing on hybrid working as a simple choice between home v office will mean local government missing out on opportunities to develop attractive workplaces and innovative services?

May 2021: We must keep the focus on mental health in the workplace

To support May’s Mental Health Awareness Week, Simon Blake, Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid England, reflects on how the last year has made us focus on mental health and wellbeing and suggests ways that employers can learn from this as we start to reshape our work and workplaces.

April 2021: Supporting your public health heroes

With the importance of public health practitioners being thrown into the spotlight by COVID-19, UK Public Health Register CEO Marcial Boo explores how employers can take a more active role in supporting the development of their own practitioner workforce.

March 2021: The best health check so far

As we all face our own challenges of the new year, Senior Workforce Advisor Suzanne Hudson reports on the importance of the Social Work Health check, which is all about understanding the challenges facing social workers, particularly in these difficult times.

February 2021: Apprenticeships are increasingly vital to local government… and the LGA can help you improve your offer

'Build the Future' is the theme of the 14th annual National Apprenticeship Week taking place this month. Jamie Saddler, Apprenticeships Adviser at the LGA, reflects on the importance of apprenticeships to councils, how they can 'Build the Future' of local government, and how the LGA can help with that.

January 2021: Looking for a staffing solution to the world of 2021?

Helen Reeves, Programme Manager for Leadership at the LGA, reflects on the surge of graduate talent available to local government this year through the National Graduate Development Programme, and the role it can play as a catalyst for change in your organisation.

December 2020: Are recent criticisms of the Fire Service negotiating machinery fair?

In our December blog Cllr Nick Chard asks whether the traditional collective bargaining mechanisms of the National Joint Council can help to deliver a modern fire and rescue service.

November 2020: How Surrey Heath’s virtual internships became a ‘bright spot’ of 2020

Surrey Heath Borough Council’s summer internship programme had been going from strength-to-strength since its inception in 2017, delivering real benefits for the council and the students taking part. But COVID-19 meant there were real doubts whether it could happen this year in a meaningful way…

October 2020: Black History Month is a time for celebration and reflection

Charmaine Murray, who works at LGA and is a member of our BAME staff network, tells us why Black History Month is important to her. 

September 2020: Help your staff avoid tax avoidance

In our guest blog, the HMRC explains what employers can do to be more aware of tax avoidance schemes and explains how this new approach will help individuals caught up in these schemes to better understand the risks they face.

August 2020: Building on the employee experience of lockdown – how was it for you?

Success in recovery will be in our ability to evidence-base our approach to the experience, one in which the learning is insightful, timely and inclusive.

COVID-19 “React, Respond, Renew” – what does this mean for the local government workforce?

Councils worked at breakneck speed and pulled out all the stops to protect communities and support the most vulnerable in response to the global pandemic. Our workforce was at the heart of helping us through this national emergency. Our Workforce Principal Adviser, Sarah Ward, reflects on how this changed work for all of us and what will be different in our workplaces as we move forward into the renew stage of this new world.

April 2020: Resilience and Leadership During COVID19

Jim McManus OCDS, Director of Public Health at Herts County Council and Vice President of the Association of Directors of Public Health talks to us about Resilience and Leadership During COVID19.

February 2020: Do you have a “Martini” approach to smart working?

Naomi Cooke, Head of Workforce, explores what is needed for local government to truly get the benefits from smart working.

January blog: Return to Social Work programme

The LGA has teamed up with the Government Equalities Office to reignite the Return to Social Work programme following its success in 2017.

November blog: NGDP diversity

Helen Reeves, Programme Manager for the LGA’s National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP), gives us an insight into how they ensure the programme to recruit our future local government leaders is as diverse as possible.

October blog: Supporting mental health at work in the public sector - on World Mental Health Day and beyond

Mental health problems affect one in six British workers each year. Faye McGuinness, Head of Workplace Wellbeing Programmes at Mind, examines how local authorities are starting to look more closely at how they can support the wellbeing of their people on an ongoing basis.

September blog: Managing the menopause

Mandy Baughurst from the Learning and Development team at Leicestershire County Council tells us about attending a menopause event and introducing guidance on it into their organisation.

August: Smarter working

Naomi Cooke, Head of Workforce, talks about smarter working - challenging what we think we know about work and how it gets done in our organisations.

June: The numbers game

Jon Sutcliffe writes about the importance of data in workforce development and LGA plans for the future.

May: The new local government pay spine

Last month saw the new local government pay spine introduced, to meet the challenge to pay arrangements in the sector resulting from the introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW). The new pay spine was part of a two-year pay agreement reached in the National Joint Council for Local Government Services (NJC).

March: The gender pay gap isn’t really about pay

A bit of a contentious statement? Yes, of course it’s about pay in the sense that it measures the difference in pay between male and female employees, but actually it’s really a measure, or sign, of wider gender inequalities in the workplace.

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