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UK Border Force

Government | Work Force Planning – Covid19

Growth Needs Assessment

The Heathrow Border Force employs c.400 staff on flexible working patterns, but during the Covid-19 pandemic only half of this number are available at any one time due to infections and isolation rules.

To ensure that the Border Force was able to meet its commitments and keep immigration desks open at the airport, Border Force wanted to move to fixed rosters in the short-term to enable teams to work in ‘bubbles’, thus limiting the potential spread of infection and the impact on service provision when people are required to isolate.

The Home Office appointed the Harmonic consortium, which Journey4 were part of through a management consultancy framework run by The Cabinet Office. Journey4 were asked to lead the project to develop a workforce plan and communications strategy that engaged employees and Trade Unions in the proposed changes to working patterns to ensure the team were able to successfully and quickly implement this change. 

Our Approach

Our People, Engagement and Change team initially completed a ‘Discovery’ phase to fully understand the current employee contracts, terms and rosters and the culture of the organisation in terms of its appetite for change and how engaged the employees and Trade Unions were.  We then assessed the proposed changes to working practices and completed a quick impact analysis. 

Alongside the ‘Discovery’ phase, we reviewed the proposed roster to ensure it is workable and identified other variables and/or scenarios that need to be considered.

We then developed an implementation plan including the key tasks required over the consultation and implementation period. As part of the implementation plan, we designed a communication plan to engage the key stakeholders and ensure everyone impacted is aware of the proposed changes, why they are needed, what it means for them and the importance the leadership team places on them being supportive of the change. 

Impact of our work

We worked with the Home Office team who were leading the consultation process and negotiations with Trade Unions to ensure they were fully equipped to deliver a successful outcome. 

At the conclusion of our involvement in supporting this activity, we summarised the process and lessons learnt from it to share with the Home Office team.