COVID 19 Workforce Survey: A Summary Analysis

Covid 19 Update

COVID 19 Workforce Survey: A Summary Analysis

COVID 19 has been one of the most challenging and difficult times our society has faced since the Second World War. We are far from out of the pandemic, and we are less than a year into it affecting our society. Every family, company, organisation, industry and community has been affected by it most profoundly.

The homeless sector is no different, with many organisations having to deal with staff forced to self-isolate due to pre-existing conditions, or having to take two weeks off for displaying symptoms, family members becoming ill, and a whole host of other issues.

In discussion with colleagues across the sector, we recognised that there would be some benefit in surveying the sector on some of the themes that had become apparent through our various discussions with other organisations, and we are happy to now share the outcome and analysis of that survey.
Please note that we are not claiming that this is robustly representative of the whole homeless sector, rather we view it as a snapshot of a specific and challenging moment in time that can form a basis for moving forward in a post-COVID world.

We are confident that we have done everything possible to ensure that no one can be identified within this post. Nevertheless, if you feel that you are identified within this document please contact at the earliest opportunity and we will do all we can to rectify this.

Summary Analysis

We had 90 respondents to the survey after the removal of unintentional duplicates and responses that were obviously submitted in error.

All of our respondents were current practitioners in homelessness or a related service except from one person who was retired.

Respondents from 31 different organisations submitted testimony, with some organisations having multiple respondents. 18 of those who responded did not wish to say who they worked for.
Responses came from people working in over 19 different local authorities. This covered all of the major cities, some island communities and many of the local authorities which are mixed in their demographics. Several respondents worked across various local authorities, which is included in the 19 local authorities cited.

Around half of respondents advised they worked for a local authority, with around the same number saying they worked in the third sector. There was a small number of people who worked for the NHS and some who worked within a social enterprise.

Of the 90 respondents, there was collectively over 740 years of experience with the average number of years’ experience being just over 8 years.

90% of those who responded advised that they had read the guidance released from the Scottish Government about providing care and support in a non-clinical setting. This was, in essence, the government guidance for organisations that work with homeless people. You can find the link to this guidance here.

More than half of our respondents felt that the government guidance on dealing with COVID19 was adequate. However it is worthwhile noting that just under a quarter of respondents felt that there was further advice needed specifically for the homelessness sector with the same figure responding that they were not sure.

60% of our respondents felt that their respective organisations felt safe and secure with their own local and organisational procedures dealing with COVID19 when in work. 20 % stated that they felt safe some of the time, with the rest expressing that they were not feeling safe.

80% of our respondents told us that they felt supported by their organisation throughout this pandemic, with 8% telling us they only sometimes felt supported. The rest either didn’t answer or responded negatively to the question about support while in work.
Our respondents told us overwhelmingly that they felt their organisation had handled COVID19 in a positive and supportive manner. On average our respondents gave their organisations 8/10 in how their employers had handled COVID 19. However, we do feel it is worth noting that there was also a significant minority who felt their organisation had not handled COVID19 well.

Several respondents advised they wanted to be contacted in the future to discuss work and COVID19 in more detail, which we will do in a confidential and non-judgemental way soon. Homeless Action Scotland believes very strongly in collating and sharing evidence about what works and that there is rarely any value in apportioning blame to any one individual organisation or person.

If you would like to talk with us about COVID19 and your workplace then be assured you may do so in a strictly confidential manner by contacting