On Monday, NJC trade unions agreed a further joint circular with the employers’ side. The three key points are laid out below: 


Critical workers

Local government staff are likely to be critical to the delivery of the COVID-19 response no matter what their formal role. In schools this includes teaching assistants and other support staff.

When employers categorise workers as critical workers, they should consider the pressure this will have on those working in schools, and use their discretion to determine which employees are reasonably needed to deliver the COVID-19 response.

The government’s information on who might be a critical worker can be found here.

People with health conditions – and people who live with them or care for them

People with health conditions that put them at higher risk of contracting Covid-19 should not be expected to attend the workplace. Employees who live with or care for people at higher risk should also not be expected to attend the workplace. All options for working at home should be considered. Employers will have no option other than to accept that some employees will be staying at home on full pay for the duration of this emergency as they are not able to work from home.

Taking on different roles

If you are asked to take on different roles, volunteers should be sought first and relevant training and risk assessments must be undertaken. Volunteers should not be sought from employees who live with or care for people in vulnerable groups.

If you have no experience supervising large groups of children as part of your usual role you should not be required to do so now without adequate support being provided.

If you agree to take on a different role or working pattern you should continue to be paid at your usual contracted rate and suffer no loss. When taking on roles paid at a higher rate than your usual contracted rate, you should receive the higher rate of pay for the duration of the assignment / redeployment.

Mar 24, 2020