THE Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has announced that staff have been given the option of reducing their working hours by 30% with no financial penalty during the coronavirus outbreak.
In an email to employees, RTPI chief executive Victoria Hills said she was introducing the measures to safeguard the mental health of all staff in ‘these exceptional times’.
The situation will be reviewed after the Easter break.
Ms Hills said, “Many of our staff have caring responsibilities or may be volunteering to help others during the government lockdown period and we want to support them as much as we can. Given the extraordinary demands many of us find ourselves in during the government lockdown period, some of our valued colleagues are finding the working conditions at home quite challenging.
“It is vital that we can collectively emerge from this period fit and well both emotionally and physically, which is why we have decided to allow staff to reduce their working hours by up to 30% without changing their terms and conditions of employment in any way. Looking after the wellbeing of my team during these challenging times is a key priority and by doing so we will ensure that they remain fit and well to serve our members.”
Ms Hills added that work to support members would continue. The APC, Planning Awards for Excellence, Planning Aid England and CPD are some of the services the RTPI is providing virtually during the lockdown period.
The RTPI moved to a virtual operation overnight in response to calls for greater social distancing. The institute’s offices in Cardiff, Edinburgh and London have all been closed.
The RTPI has teamed up with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to offer its help to the government in this time of national emergency.
In a letter to PM Boris Johnson, the organisations said their members have access to buildings that could be used by the NHS or other key workers and are keen to meet with senior officials to discuss how they could make a difference.