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School Closures

Date: 20 March 2020 Many of our members will be concerned about school closures which are taking effect from Monday.
I am pleased to inform you that, following strong representations from Usdaw, the Government has confirmed that the following categories are included in the list of key workers:
 
 
  • 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).
  • Those responsible for the management of the deceased.
  • Those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
 
Usdaw believes that these definitions will cover our members in grocery retail, including supply chain workers, funeral workers and pharmaceutical workers. If you work in these industries, and have children of school age, you should confirm with your employer that your specific role is necessary for the continuation of an essential public service.
 
You should contact your child’s/children’s school as soon as possible to advise that your child/children should be prioritised for education provision.
 
Due to the nature of the current virus, it is not suitable for those in vulnerable groups, i.e. grandparents over the age of 70 or those with underlying medical conditions, to look after children.
 
The key overall advice continues to be that, if at all possible, children should remain at home. We are therefore asking employers to be flexible to support our members’ individual needs wherever possible, while maintaining this essential service.
 
For any members who are not covered by the list of key workers, we are also asking employers to make flexible arrangements to support you.
 
If you need any advice on this matter, please contact your Usdaw rep or local official.
 
We will continue to raise issues with employers and government on your behalf as the situation develops. In compiling this list, the Government has recognised what we at Usdaw have always said – that retail and supply chain workers are absolutely essential. Thank you, once again, for everything that you are doing to keep the country going at this time of crisis.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Paddy Lillis
General Secretary

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