Amanda sent an email to staff saying rostering wouldn't be back-filling any vacant shifts due to last-minute calls when staff phone in sick.
We wrote to tell her it would be concerning if it became normal for shifts not to be back-filled, particularly if resident numbers increase in the future, as this could result in compromised resident care when workload gets too great for workers on shift when short a staff member.
Amanda responded with:
“Not back filling of shifts was and is in place temporarily as we have 12 empty rooms at present. This is due to not taking admissions during Covid outbreak. This was a temporary measure at this time and as beds are filled we will resume as normal and will go back to back of vacant shifts. This was necessary at this time. As a way of keeping staff employed we were able to relocate shifts to other areas of need within the facility such as resident liaison persons and Rapid Response team for residents in isolation. As of next week we will begin admissions again into the RAC.”
We also told Amanda it’s HACSU’s view that all permanent rostered lines or shifts need to be filled to avoid foreseeable workload issues that may arise because of short staffing.
If back-filling doesn't occur after resident numbers start to rise, Members should call us to talk about this further.