Covid-19 Bulletin 25 - 24-06-2020

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Working with and for our members

In the Member mail outs that we have issued since the start of the C-19 lockdown we have tried to explain the work that Napo has been undertaking to help ensure the safety of our members in these extraordinary times.

We absolutely recognise the pressures and fears that our members (including those who hold management roles) are having to contend with, whether your work involves Face to Face contact or working remotely with Clients or in management or support roles. This why we value the feedback about how you are coping with the many challenges that have emerged during this period. This has reached us at Napo HQ via the Napo Homeworking Survey, and through the inbox, as well as from your contact with Branch activists, NEC reps and  National Officers.

The Government announcement yesterday to ease the Social Distancing measures are designed to allow different sectors of the economy to reopen with certain conditions, and we have been quick to engage with senior leaders in the employers we cover to lay down the benchmarks that we believe you would expect of us in this regard.

The correspondence attached to this mail out makes our position clear on issues that are understandably causing anger and concern and add to the imperative that we cannot afford to see any relaxation of the Social Distancing measures which result in an increased risk to members. They also provide a further example of how we are trying to work in partnership with employers to obtain the best outcomes.

Please keep up contact with Napo through the above channels as we enter a new phase of the C-19 emergency, your views will be considered carefully and acted upon.
NEC take action on NPS Special Payments Scheme

The divisive NPS special payments scheme was the subject of an emergency motion to our NEC last week. As a result we have made final attempts to seek a resolution to the issues as can be seen in the ATTACHED LETTER. The strength of feeling was clear at NEC and we will now prioritise work to address this.

Social distancing and safety

Many members will have understandable concerns in relation to the announcement made by Government yesterday. It is worth examining the text of the statement which has been published.

“Where it is possible to keep 2 metres apart people should. But where it is not, we will advise people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’, meaning they should remain one metre apart, while taking mitigations to reduce the risk of transmission.”

Therefore it remains the Government position that, where possible, the 2 metre social distance should be maintained. In our discussions with HMPPS today we have agreed with the employer that there will be no change to the guidance on social distancing, PPE and hygiene that has already been issued and the plans for recovery will continue to use this guidance as the standard to be met. We expect that all CRC employers will adopt the same approach.

Members who are shielding

The Government also made an announcement on 22 June about those who are shielding. Again the relevant section is worth examining:

“Those who need to work and cannot do so from home will be able to return to work as long as their workplace is COVID secure, adhering to the guidance available.”
In response to this HMPPS are consulting us on guidance that will be issued in the coming days to staff which contains the following principle:

“In the first instance, if the employee can work from home they should. If not, they can return to work from 1st August onwards, providing they can comply with social distancing. Individual risk assessments will need to be completed to help identify what adjustments can be made to support staff with this.”

If you are concerned about your safety in returning to the workplace please contact your local rep in the first instance for help and support.

Napo HQ