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BVA releases new ‘Return to work’ toolkit
A BVA survey found that 14 per cent of female vets did not feel supported on their return to work.

The resource will support vets returning to the profession.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has launched a ‘Return to work’ toolkit, in an effort to better support BVA members as they return to veterinary practice.

The resources will not only support veterinary surgeons and nurses as they return to the workplace, but also give employers and managers advice for welcoming ‘returners’.

The kit was produced in response to the BVA’s concerns about the recruitment and retention of veterinary surgeons and nurses. Results from the organisation’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession Autumn 2023 survey revealed that 17 per cent of veterinary surgeons were planning to leave the profession in the next five years.

The survey also showed that 19 per cent of veterinary surgeons were unsure if they were going to remain.

The BVA has said that these statistics indicate the importance of employers considering how they can best support their staff, and encourage potential returners, to improve recruitment, retention and job satisfaction.

A previous survey, conducted in Spring 2023, revealed that parental leave was the most common form of long-term leave taken, with one in three veterinary surgeons taking this type of leave.

Female veterinary surgeons were most likely to take this type of leave. However, when asked how supported they were by their employers during and after this leave, only 24 percent felt ‘very well supported’ – with 14 per cent of female veterinary surgeons not feeling supported at all.

The organisation says that the ‘Return to work’ toolkit, which is part of their Good Veterinary Workplaces initiative, will provide the necessary guidance for veterinary employees, and their employers. It addresses situations such as parental leave, long-term sick leave, a career break and sabbaticals.

It also includes a return to work checklist, case studies, and details about relevant Legal Acts.

Anna Judson, BVA president, said: “We want to build a modern, accessible profession for everyone, with veterinary workplaces offering an inclusive and supportive environment for all members of team vet. I know from experience how daunting it can be to return to veterinary work after stepping away, even for a relatively short time.

“There are simple steps that can be taken by employers and employees to make the transition more positive on both sides. Our new checklists are a great tool to help you work through the process.”

The 'Return to work' toolkit can be accessed here.

Image © Shutterstock

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Reporting service for dead wild birds updated

News Story 1
 The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has updated its online reporting service for dead wild birds.

The new version allows those reporting a dead bird to drop a pin on a map when reporting the location. It also includes a wider range of wild bird species groups to select from when describing the bird.

The online service, which helps APHA to monitor the spread of diseases such as avian influenza, can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
NI chief vet urges bluetongue vigilance

Northern Ireland's chief veterinary officer (CVO) has urged farmers to be vigilant for signs of bluetongue, after the Animal and Plant Health Agency warned there was a very high probability of further cases in Great Britain.

There have been 126 confirmed cases of bluetongue virus serotype 3 in England since November 2023, with no cases reported in Northern Ireland. The movement of live ruminants from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is currently suspended.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the virus is most likely to enter Northern Ireland through infected animals or germplasm (semen or ova) being imported.

Brian Dooher, Northern Ireland's CVO, said: "Surveillance for this disease within Northern Ireland has been increased to assist with detection at the earliest opportunity which will facilitate more effective control measures."

Farmers should report any suspicions of the disease to their private veterinary practitioner, the DAERA Helpline on 0300 200 7840 or their local DAERA Direct Veterinary Office.