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Frequently asked questions | Re-opening of council offices | Birmingham City Council

Frequently asked questions

As you’ll be aware, due to increasing COVID cases, the government has announced a second national lockdown from Thursday, 5 November.

Regrettably, we must once again – from 5pm on Wednesday 4 November – close both Woodcock Street and the Council House. Those of you who have chosen to meet or work in those locations are now asked to work from home instead, using virtual Teams Meetings wherever possible. At this stage, we anticipate both buildings will be closed until the New Year. We will, however, continue to operate our emergency response services from Lancaster Circus – as we did during the previous lockdown (so there is no change for those of you who have been working from there). Further updates will follow in due course.

Previous guidance (not currently applicable)

Can I just turn up?
No, You should only attend the building if you have a desk or meeting room booking or have been allocated a fixed desk.

Do I have to wear a face mask?
The main control measure within the building is to maintain 2m social distancing. There is not a requirement to wear a face mask.

Where can I park?
Normal BCC parking policy applies. Blue Badge holders can book a space via security 303 7371. Local street parking and public car parks are available within short walking distance.

Will there be fire marshals and first aiders on site?
Yes, Employees from the Building Management and Security teams will act as fire marshals and Customer Service Officers are first aid trained and will act as first aiders.

Will I have to bring in my own stationery supplies?
Yes, Please bring all stationary required and remove it at the end of the day.

How will I know where the fire exit and muster points are?
Please refer to the emergency evacuation process before coming to the building.

I need an adjustable chair; will I be able to access specialist equipment?
If you have been allocated a fixed desk and require specialist equipment you should contact your line manager and suitable arrangements can be made with the BM team. It will not be possible to arrange specialist equipment for standard desk bookings.

Can I leave the building at lunch time?
Yes, as long as you sign in and out

Can I still take my smoking break?
Smoking policy and procedure apply as normal but it will be necessary to sign out and back in to leave the building.

What’s a hybrid meeting?
A meeting where some attendees are there in person and others joins remotely.

Where can I eat my lunch?
At your desk or you may wish to go outside. The canteen will not be open.

What’s happened to my personal belongings that I left on my desk?
They have been boxed up and if not already collected they will be under your desk or the closest one to it if it has been allocated as a ‘hot desk’.

Can I bring visitors to the building?
Currently members of the public and visitors are not permitted access without exceptional circumstances, prior arrangement, authorisation and additional control measures in place.

Will I need to time my toilet breaks so only 1 person at a time can go in?
There are toilets at each end of the building and on each floor, just ensure that the vacant/engaged sign shows vacant.

Can I collect my belongings from my pedestal and locker and take them home?
Yes, with prior agreement from your manager and BM.

Can I move my pedestal to where I am sitting on the day?
It will not be possible to move pedestals. If there are critical items within a pedestal it may be possible to arrange access to it with prior agreement from your manager and BM.

Can I block book 5 days a week?
If you have been allocated a fixed desk you will not have to book. If not, you will need to make an individual booking for each day you want to attend.

Will the building be open 7am until 7pm?
Access is available from 7:30am to 6:30pm The available hours are reduced slightly from normal circumstances due to the additional cleaning requirements in the current environment.

Can I book a space on the underground car park as part of this booking process?
Normal BCC parking policy applies. Blue Badge holders can book a space via security 303 7371. Local street parking and public car parks are available within short walking distance.

I require wheelchair access and have specialist equipment in WCS, will I still be able to book this desk and will all my equipment still be there?
To access specialist equipment, it will be necessary to request and be allocated a fixed desk. In the first instance you should discuss this with your manager who should be in agreement and should also assist in carrying out a PEEP.

If I observe someone not following the guidelines who do I report this to?
Please report this to the Building Management team.

If I have booked a desk but then decide or are unable to come in who do I tell?
Please cancel it on the system. This means that someone else can book and use the desk or meeting room.

As there will be fewer desks are we going to ensure that each workstation has a monitor, keyboard, mouse and all appropriate wiring?
Keyboards and mice have been removed (as sharing IT equipment is not advised). here is process in place to collect a keyboard and mouse and these should be brought to the building if needed. Most if not all desks have monitors and these can be used if needed. Please ensure you bring your own laptop and any other equipment you may have.

Will I be expected to use borer to record when I am in and out of the building?
Speak with your manager, this is at their discretion.

Will the door handles and lift buttons be constantly wiped down or sanitation tables provided?
Cleaners have details of all desks and rooms used and make regular cleaning inspections. All regular touch points are cleaned regularly throughout the day. Sanitiser stations are in place around the building on all floors.

What if I have to leave before my time slot is up?
This is not a problem. Please ensure you sign out on your way out.

What should I do if I am late for my time slot?
As long as you leave at the appropriate time this is not a problem

Why are meeting rooms booked for a full morning but only used for 1 hour?
This is to allow the cleaning regime to take place. Sufficient time is needed to ensure the space is cleaned and ready for the next booking

Will I be able to use the smaller kitchens on each floor?
Yes, access to kitchen is allowed but only one person at a time. Ensure the area is left clean and take all belongings with you.

Can I move desks if others are unoccupied?
No, You must stay at your allocated desk. This desk has specifically been assigned to you.