Coronavirus information


Your lone worker badges and Covid-19

With more people working from home and work patterns changing it’s important that everyone makes best use of their lone worker badge.

First, a couple of basic things about the badge

  1. It’s there for your personal protection, not just “lone working” so you can use it when you’re at home, on the way to a visit, whenever you need
  2. It’s monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that if you need it at weekends, in the evening, or whenever, the call centre will be there.
  3. You’ll have heard that we’re replacing the badge currently in use with a new generation of smaller, more modern devices.  This is planned to happen by August this year, and, as you’ll appreciate just how this is done may be affected by the present situation. We’ll be giving full details when we have them.


I don’t have a badge: Do I need one?

Talk to your manager.

If you’re doing anything where you’re in a situation where the risk assessment for the activity says that having a working badge is the only safe way to work, then your manager needs to make sure you’ve got access to one when you need it.

You may not need a badge all to yourself – your team may have “pooled” badges you can take out when you need.

You’ll need to register to use whatever badge it is – your manager can tell you how to do this – and you’ll need to be trained to use it.

I’ve got a badge:  When should I use it?

You should use your badge:

  • Whenever you enter a situation where your team’s risk assessment on what you’re doing says you need to.  That’s probably every time you go out on a home visit, but you should check the risk assessment. It’s essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and you should use it whenever the risk assessment says you should.
  • If you feel at risk at any other time – walking to the car in the dark, taking a route you don’t normally take or out on your own between meetings. Raise an amber alert to let the help desk know where you are or use the big red alert button if you feel threatened.  You can always cancel that when you feel safe.
  • You can use the badge at home to give you extra security.
  • Use the badge to test it and confirm that it’s working OK every day.  Just do an amber alert and say where you are.  This backs up the GPS in the badge by telling the call centre where you are in case you need help. That’s why you need to do an amber alert each time you change location.

I’ve got a badge but it won’t work

  • Tell your manager
  • Ring the Reliance help desk to test it
  • Get it replaced if it won’t work – you need to have a working badge and shouldn’t do anything covered by your team’s lone working risk assessment without one if it says that one is needed

The help desk is on 0800 840 7121 option 1 

There are some common things that go wrong with badges, and that’s why you need to run the daily test at the very least.

  • It won’t stay charged – you need to charge your badge at least over night.  If you don’t have a charger, talk to your manager and they can get one ordered for you.  If you’ve charged it and you can’t raise an amber alert call the help desk and see if they can pick it up as charged, then look at a replacement if it’s not working properly
  • It won’t get a signal.  Some places around town – and inside some buildings – have problems with mobile phone signals, and your badge needs a signal to work. Do an amber alert, and if the badge won’t let you make one, you could have a signal issue 
  • Tell your manager and do a dynamic risk assessment on continuing with what you’re doing.  Without a signal, you don’t have a working badge
  • Test the badge somewhere else – if you can get a signal, fine, if not the badge may be faulty and you need to contact the help desk to get it replaced
  • It’s broken – the case may be cracked, the lanyard may not stay in or there may be something else wrong. 
  • Tell your manager
  • Get it replaced

I’ve lost my badge – what do I do?

You shouldn’t lone work without a working badge.

  • Tell your manager
  • Ring the help desk and get a replacement sent out to you. At the moment this is free of charge. You’ll need the serial number of the one you’ve lost.
  • Make sure whoever keeps records of your team’s badges knows when you get your new one.

Working remotely or from home

You can find information here about how to access your emails, files and phone if you need to work from home or another location.

Virgin Media and connecting by VPN 

We know that some colleagues using Virgin Media as an internet service provider are experiencing intermittent drop outs from the VPN. This doesn’t apply to everyone, but if you are experiencing the drop outs you can amend a setting within your router which may resolve the problem. 

First you will need to connect your laptop or desktop machine to the router via an Ethernet cable; these are often supplied by your internet provider with the router so check the empty box if you aren’t sure where yours is. 

Open Chrome and type in 

It will prompt you to enter some credentials, again if you don’t know this check the routers box or get in touch with Virgin Media. 

Once the page has loaded click on ‘Advanced Settings’. 

Ensure that the option to “Block fragmented IP Packets” is unticked (This is sometimes listed as let IPSec, PPTP, and Multicast pass through Firewall in which case that option needs to be ticked).  

If you experience any issues with the above instructions your Internet Service Provider should be your first port of call. 

Using your laptop

To have access as if you were in the office

To be able to access everything on your laptop in the same way as you do in the office you need a Mobile Pass.  If you are already set up to work from home you don’t need to do anything. There are limits to the number of staff who can use a Mobile Pass at any one time and you may be asked to log in differently.  If you need to access files on your shared drive or software which is loaded onto your laptop or the network (such as Mosaic) you will need to log in using a Mobile Pass.If you think you need to be set up with a Mobile Pass please speak to your manager.

To log in using your Mobile Pass see pdf icon Cisco AnyConnect and MobilePASS VPN – User Guide [742kb]Opens new window.

If you only need access to email and basic editing tools in Microsoft products such as Word and Excel

You do not need a Mobile Pass to be able to access your emails or edit documents that you have saved in Teams, Sharepoint or One Drive but you need to have been migrated to the Cloud.

How to tell if your mailbox has migrated to the Cloud

You can tell if you have been migrated to the Cloud by looking at the size of your mailbox.  In Outlook right click on your name on the left hand side, e.g., click on Account Properties, if Mailbox Settings in the right hand screen shows 99GB then you have been migrated to the Cloud.

To access your emails you log in through the web app with your full Brighter Futures for Children email address and network password: new window


You can use Teams to message and work with colleagues, as well as hold meetings.

Here’s quick a guide to what you can do:

pdf icon Teams QS [887kb]Opens new window


WhatsApp  is available on work phones. Go to the Play store in APPS and scroll down to find the application.

Click on it to install and follow the prompts, ensure you sign on using the work mobile number.

One Drive

If you are due to collect your Windows 10 laptop please ask the engineer to show you how to save files to your One Drive and move essential files across to this area from your H drive.  One Drive is an ideal place to store personal work files as they are accessible from the Cloud.  Files used in team shared areas should not be moved to One Drive.

Here’s quick a guide to what you can do:

pdf icon OneDrive QS [661kb]Opens new window

Other helpful Office 365 guides:

pdf icon Excel QS [573kb]Opens new window

pdf icon OneNote QS [497kb]Opens new window

pdf icon Outlook QS [512kb]Opens new window

pdf icon PowerPoint QS [741kb]Opens new window

pdf icon SPO QS [780kb]Opens new window

pdf icon Word QS [642kb]Opens new window

pdf icon Yammer QS [322kb]Opens new window

You may not need to log in at all

If you use internet-based software (where you go to a website and then sign in) such as iTrent you do not need to be signed into the network, although you won’t be able to access emails or files in your shared drive.  Please still use council equipment and not your own personal laptops or phones.

And don’t forget you can read and answer emails on your work mobile phone.

Forwarding your desk phone

You can forward calls from your Mitel desk phone (landline) to your mobile or another number.  You need to be logged into the Mitel desk phone to be able to do this.

The choices are:

  • ALWAYS: this directs the call straight to an extension or mobile without your phone ringing
  • BUSY: this directs the call straight to an extension or mobile when the handset is in use: i.e. the caller will not hear the engaged tone.
  • NO ANSWER: this directs the call to an extension or mobile when the phone has not been answered after 5 rings (Approx. 15 seconds)

To forward your phone appropriately, key the options into the handset:

  • To forward your phone ALWAYS: *8 [number to forward to]
  • To forward your phone on busy for internal callers only: *61 [number to forward to]
  • To forward your phone on busy for external callers only: *62 [number to forward to]
  • To forward your phone on no answer (after 5 rings) for internal callers: *65 [number to forward to]
  • To forward your phone on no answer (after 5 rings) for external callers: *66 [number to forward to]
  • To cancel all forwarding: #6