COVID 19 BULLETIN 8 – 03-04-2020

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Feedback from daily meetings with HMPPS


Following on from our representations this week HMPPS has taken pro-active steps on the issue of PPE for all workplaces that are client facing. This includes not only APs but also field offices, prisons, and anywhere else where members are working. Previous guidance was mainly aimed at APs but this has now been updated. It is now being reviewed by Public Health England (PHE) to ensure it is in line with their best practice. Members should note that PPE is not to be used in place of measures such as social distancing but in busy workplaces which, due to their nature, have multiple locked doors and gates and where there are additional challenges not present in many workplaces that PPE might help with. We cannot say how quickly the guidance will be available as PHE have a huge task on their hands right now but we expect it early next week.

Working at home

Divisions are being asked to check on staff working at home to see if their capacity is limited in any way, for example those caring for someone else in the home might not be able to take on a full workload during this time and this needs to be factored in. This seems to be a genuine recognition that some working at home may not be able to take on 100% of the work they ordinarily do, and we encourage members to be honest if asked by their manager about any limitations they face during such an extraordinary time.

We have, on behalf of members, sought clarification from employers about compensation for those incurring additional costs relating to working at home. We will share any information about this as soon as we have it.

EDM compliance

Exceptional delivery plans (EDPs) should be in place for every area of work and these should follow the Exceptional Delivery Model (EDM) that has been issued by HMPPS. We have been made aware by members of a number of issues in implementing these, especially in prisons. Where local reps have tried to resolve the issues by reference to Divisional Directors but have not received positive responses, these issues can be escalated to senior HMPPS leaders. Following our representations about some issues in prisons, all “Silver Commands” (usually Divisional Directors) must confirm compliance in the prisons within their divisions (or an action plan to comply) today. There will also be regular calls with the “Silver Commands” to monitor and review the compliance in other areas of work.

A time to reflect

At the end of week two since the Social Distancing policy was announced by Government, Napo members can be proud of the vital contribution they have made to maintaining vital public services across all of the 23 employers where we are represented.

The nature of the C19 Pandemic means that the death in service of employees in any of these areas will understandably cause consternation amongst their immediate colleagues, along with the profound sense of loss that will be shared by all our members. The announcement of three such deaths in just over 7 days, albeit not all of them known to be definitely related to C19, brings the scale of the threat that we are all facing into very sharp focus.

Our families and our communities must (and will) pull together in the campaign to defeat this brutal foe. The foregoing shows that Napo is committed to doing all that we can to help ensure that our members are afforded the necessary protections, equipment and support from your employers that you rightly demand. As we go to press, this joint statement from the HSE, CBI and TUC amplifies this imperative.

In times of crisis, practical and effective solutions are of course absolutely vital. But so is good leadership; and we will not allow any employer to allow complacency or inertia to become additional unwelcome enemies.

Cafcass update

We are writing to let you know that we continue to have frequent communications with Senior Management and Human Resources in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic and the implications for CAFCASS, the wider Family Justice system and members' new working practices. Our Section Executive Committee (SEC) also met virtually this week to discuss the ongoing situation and to discuss members' concerns. READ MORE

Also just published

Today the TUC have issued a call on government to protect the health and jobs of pregnant workers and ensure employers follow the law.

They’ve  produced an accompanying blog that sets out the 4 steps employers must legally follow to ensure the health and safety of pregnant workers and breastfeeding mothers, and the 4 actions reps can take to ensure employers don’t flout the law.

And coming up

Here is the latest update from TUC Education.

Webinar: Health and Safety in the Home - Tuesday 07 April 2020 - 14:00 to 15:00