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Latest Staff Update - 24/03/2020

Following on from the urgent Update Message 4 circulated last evening, SLT wishes to provide further reminders and new information in respect of the below staffing matters.

1. Staff and Service Provision

i)       As previously advised, if a member of staff is over 70, is pregnant or has an underlying medical condition or is living with a person who is over 70, is pregnant or has an underlying medical condition then they must refrain from work. In respect of this category, many staff will have access to agile devices which would allow them to undertake a form of home-working.

ii)     The Council has also previously provided advice for essential staff who cannot be homeworking enabled, are not pregnant, aged 70 plus or suffer with an underlying medical condition (or living with a person under these categories) but will require child care support to allow them to undertake their key role. The Council continues as a priority to ensure that sufficient childcare can be provided to allow these key workers to attend work.

iii)   With the exception of the two staff category areas above, SLT would remind all other essential staff that they must report for duty as normal as directed by their Headteacher or manger.

iv)  In respect of all other non-essential staff, then as indicated in last night’s update they are to remain at home. Many staff in this category will have access to an agile device which will allow them to undertake a form of home-working. Headteachers and managers may also have made arrangements for staff to undertake agreed tasks at home.

2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

In respect of PPE, advice can change quite rapidly so SLT will keep staff updated as and when guidance changes. Based on current advice then if a client has virus symptoms they should wear enhanced PPE.

These symptoms are:

  • A high temperature
  • A persistent cough

In addition, if other people in the household have these symptoms and the household is (or should be) in ‘self-isolation’,Enhanced PPE should be worn as follows:


Enhanced PPE for Client withsymptoms or a family member in the household with symptoms

PPE for Client without symptoms

Disposable gloves

Plastic aprons

Plastic sleeves


Face mask


Eye Protection/visor


The key message here for staff is that if there are no symptoms then there is no need for enhanced PPE.

Operating Matters (PPE)

i)       New symptoms while on caseload : If the client or a member of their household is developing symptoms while staff are undertaking their duties, staff should advise the person and their household to self-isolate as per government advice. They only need to call a GP or 111 if their condition is deteriorating or symptoms are not resolving after 7 days. The staff member should then withdraw at least 2 metres away from the client or affected householders and don their Enhanced PPE (all staff will be given ‘just in case’ PPE supplies). Ideally, going into a different room or a hallway to don is also better. Staff should then update their manager or supervisor that the person or someone in their house has become symptomatic at the earliest practical time (which can be after their visit if the person is stable).

ii)     Accidental exposure: If you are accidentally exposed (within 2 metres) of a person with viral symptoms, you will continue with your work. Inform your manager/supervisor at the next convenient time and you will remain in work unless at any point you develop viral symptoms. In this case you must speak to your managers about potentially self-isolating as per Government advice.

iii)   Stopping Enhanced PPE use:Clients with symptoms should be cared for with Enhanced PPE until the last person in the house hold has reached day 7 of their symptoms. At this point, if all householders do not have a high temperature then the use of Enhanced PPE can be ceased.

NB - your service area will provide more detailed advice on this matter where appropriate

3. Staff Reporting Covid-19 Symptoms in the Workplace

If a member of staff develops symptoms of Covid-19 they are to leave the workplace immediately. Staff who may have had interaction with the staff member displaying the signs do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell. In terms of the workplace, there is no need for a full deep clean of the whole premises and all that is needed is a clean down of the area that the person has been in, including any door handles.

4. Social Distancing in the Workplace

For those essential staff who have to attend work, wherever possible social distancing of 2 metres should be utilised. However there will be many areas where this is not practical, so following further medical advice, SLT would advise as follows.

For staff who have to work directly with clients/ pupils or share the same vehicle, the key points are:

i)      Where necessary, it is safe for employees to work together or share a vehicle but staff must observe good hygiene practices and wash their hands frequently and thoroughly or use hand sanitiser if soap and hot water are not available,

ii)     If you are taken unwell whilst at work with symptoms of COVID19 (a new persistent cough or high temperature) then you should quickly and directly go home and stay at home,

iii)   If you are working with a colleague/ client/pupil and they are taken unwell with symptoms of COVID19 then they should quickly and directly go home and stay at home,

iv)   If you have helped a colleague / client/ pupil or indeed someone who has been taken unwell with symptoms of COVID19, you do not need to go home unless you are showing symptoms yourself. You should wash your hands as per point (i) above thoroughly for 20 seconds after contact with someone who has displayed the symptoms.

The attached document gives further information to staff on social distancing.

5. Staff who have self-isolated due to Covid-19 Symptoms (living alone or in a household) or if member of household develops symptoms

There has been confusion around this matter so SLT would take this opportunity to clarify as follows:

i)       If you live alone, then you must stay at home for the 7 day period,

ii)     If you live in a household and you are the first person in the household to have symptoms of Covid-19, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. However, if a member of the household is the first to develop Covid-19 symptoms, then staff are required to self-isolate for the full 14-day period.

In respect of both points above, once symptom free then essential staff are to return to duty as directed by their Headteacher or manager.

6. Payments to Staff

There still appears to be a small amount of confusion in respect of payments for staff during this time. SLT would reiterate that ALL staff will continue to receive their normal payment. Again we would take this time to reiterate that for those part time staff that regularly work additional hours, then they will be paid average pay during this period and not their contract hours. In respect of those staff employed on term-time contracts, if you are required to help out at work during the already published school holiday periods, you will receive additional payments to compensate you for working.

Finally, where staff are ‘home-working’ and have to use their personal mobile or personal landline to undertake some of their duties, then if they keep a record of any cost(s) involved, the Council will look to reimburse them through the normal expenses process.

Please can you ensure that this message is shared with all staff, as many will not necessarily have access to emails.