UDiTE COVID-19 Forum

In February 2021, UDITE conducted a survey of its national associations to better understand the emerging preoccupations of Chief Executives in local authorities throughout Europe. At the heart of the survey were two key questions. The first, sought to identify the top 5 needs that local leaders needed support with during the COVID-19 crisis and the second, to identify the top 5 risks that have been experienced during the pandemic by professionals in the sector.


Based upon 139 responses from 9 countries to the first question, our survey indicated that agile and effective communications and transparency protocols were vital at the earliest stage to build confidence amongst employees of the local authority and more broadly citizens. The second most important priority focused upon the rapidly evolving human resources dimension during the pandemic from the perspective of developing new ways of working, support for remote workers and monitoring the mental health of employees working from home  to ensure a sustainable work life balance despite the major changes in working patterns that have occurred in such a short period of time. 

 

In the second question, UDITE sought to better understand the dimension of risk management during the pandemic of local authorities and their managers.  Responses indicated a major preoccupation with the risk of regular business processes being destabilised by the pandemic.  The second concern focused upon the longer term impact on local authority financing as a legacy from the pandemic.  Concerns focused around the rapid lifting of furloughs and government support for SMEs and their employees that if done too quickly would have a knock on with increasing business failures and eventually a fall in local tax revenues for local authorities.

 

The UDITE Conference takes place on 15th-16th October, 2021 and will discuss further these aspects and will hear from University and experts and a representative from the OECD who will look at the broader impacts of the pandemic.  Register now to join the discussion in Metz or online.

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