Schools & Academies in England, Member Update – 5th January 2021
Advice to all Local Authority and Schools is expected imminently from the NJC which will provide clarity for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and Clinically Vulnerable Employees. The advice below will be updated as soon as this is received but in the interim, the following should be followed.
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Members (CEV)
CEV members will once again be receiving a shielding letter and should not be attending school. We do not yet know exactly when schools will reopen but it may be after the February half term if the vaccination programme has fulfilled the criteria set by Government. Vaccinations will be prioritised for those who are CEV to Covid-19 so any return to school should be after vaccination but nonetheless, a risk assessment, with input from Occupational Health, will still be needed.
Clinically Vulnerable Members (CV)
At present, there is no blanket protection for CV employees. Therefore, if you are Clinically Vulnerable it is important an individual risk assessment, with input from Occupational Health, if necessary, is completed. This needs to be a new risk assessment that considers and reflects Covid-19 Variant B117, its increased infectivity and your medical condition. You may wish to consider requesting working from home until this process is completed and a template letter HERE is for you to send to your Head Teacher should you so wish.
Members living with someone who is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (Shielding)
Until new advice is received on this matter, GMB London advises that you request that a new individual risk assessment is completed which focusses on the increased transmission and infectivity of Covid- 19 Variant B117. Your Employer has a Duty of Care which extends to ensuring all reasonable and practicable measures are taken to reduce the risk of you taking the virus home to someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable. The new risk assessment must show that new measures are in place to address the increased infectivity and transmission.
DfE Guidance is that schools should follow the advice of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists which states women in their third trimester (from 28 weeks) should not be in school and should be working from home if possible. If it is not possible to carry out your role from home you should be suspended on full pay.
If you have any questions, please contact your workplace rep, local Branch, Regional Organiser or firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.
Take care and stay safe.
With best wishes,
Lisa Bangs, GMB London Region Organiser — Schools and Academies
Keith Williams, GMB London Region Senior Organiser
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