Ask Voice

Voice answers questions in TES on Guidance for vulnerable staff in September and Parent teachers' rights

By Richard Fraser, Editor

What is the guidance for vulnerable staff in September?

'Vulnerable and extremely vulnerable members of staff have mostly been working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. How will the new guidance for September change things?' asked TES (7 July 2020):

'Since March, teachers who are vulnerable, extremely vulnerable or share households with those who are vulnerable, have been protected by the shielding guidelines.  But with the new guidance released on Thursday, it is clear that this will change when all students return in September. So, what do you need to know?'


What should vulnerable school staff do if they are delegated tasks that put them at risk?

'If you are classed as vulnerable or extremely vulnerable, and you are asked to work in a way you consider goes against the guidelines, or delegated to do a task you feel puts you at risk, then what are your rights?

'A representative from Voice: The Union for Education Professionals suggests affected staff should ask for their individual needs to be taken into account.

"Employers may need to undertake individual risk assessments in addition to those covering the site more generally," Voice says.

"Where staff feel vulnerable, or where they have concerns for those they live with, we would expect the employers to be sensitive. 

 "It remains a legal requirement for all employers to assess the risk in the workplace. Voice is aware of the concerning evidence emerging about the unequal impact Covid-19 is having on BAME workers. We would expect employers to support their BAME and other vulnerable staff and seek to identify any existing underlying health conditions that may increase the risks to them when working with children."
'Voice adds that if a member of school staff feels their workplace is not taking care of them, members should contact their union for advice about their individual situation.'

Further information

Voice comments on Autumn term plans (July 2020)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page


COVID-19 - Staying safe at work  (June 2020)

Webinar: Safety at Work: How Unions Can Help  (June 2020)


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