The UK Government issued guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on key workers and key sectors late yesterday. In one way or another, directly or indirectly, this may impact upon businesses when making their contingency plans in relation to Covid-19 and, in particular, their staffing plans.
The primary focus of the guidance is that, if children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. Schools are being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
The guidance defines “Vulnerable children” as including children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care plans.
Key workers (being parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response) include those in the following sectors:
1. Health and social care - This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
2. Education and childcare - This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
3. Key public services - This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
4. Local and national government - This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arm’s length bodies.
5. Food and other necessary goods - This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
6. Public safety and national security - This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
7. Transport - This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
8. Utilities, communication and financial services - This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
You can find a copy of the guidance entitled “Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision” on the Government website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
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If you would like more information about the impact of Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak on businesses or would like to discuss a potential or existing issue, please contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 3126 4520 or +45 38 88 16 00 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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