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GMB UNION MEMBER NOTICE KNOWSLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL HR POLICY HIGH RISK MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Coronavirus – Human Resources Policy Emergency Provisions Knowsley Council Update - Please find below Knowsley Council’s new HR Policy in relation to ‘High-Risk Medical Conditions’ & Other useful Information The policy takes immediate effect. It has been discussed with GMB and the other Single Status unions and is broadly supported. Please take time out to read the policy which is below. If you have already taken time off work to self-isolate, then the declaration will need to be completed retrospectively and review arrangements put in place from next week onwards. HR will shortly be creating an additional HR Resources page on Bertha, specifically containing Coronavirus management resources; policies, procedures, guidance, etc. The link to this page will be circulated early next week Paul Richards has contacted HR and informed them that not everyone has access to BERTHA so they need to get information out to workplaces ETC to keep staff updated. we can inform you this has now been agreed.   Coronavirus – Human Resources Policy Emergency Provisions (2)   All employees are expected to familiarise themselves with the latest Coronavirus information on a regular basis from either Public Health England, the Government or Knowsley Council. This document sets out further emergency provisions in respect of Council policies and procedures and provides additional guidance about dealing with high-risk medical conditions that may prevent an employee from working normally. These emergency provisions only apply in respect of absences or time off relating to Coronavirus. In all other instances, the agreed Council policies will remain in place. This Policy will be made available to employees who do not have access to Bertha. Managers are expected to circulate this information using existing communication methods and particularly for employees working from alternative workplaces (including their home). High-Risk Groups Government advice defines this group as people who are:- • Aged 70 or older (regardless of whether they have medical conditions); • Pregnant; or, • Aged under 70 with any of the underlying health conditions listed below (i.e. anyone who is instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):- o Chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis; o Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure; o Chronic kidney disease; o Chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis; o Chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability, or cerebral palsy; o Diabetes; o Problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed; o A weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy; and/or, o Being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above). There are some clinical conditions, which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from Coronavirus. If you are in this category, NHS England have made arrangements to contact you directly with advice. In any event, you should rigorously follow social distancing advice provided by the Government and PHE. People falling into this group are those at particular risk due to complex health problems, such as:- • People who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication; • People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy; • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow (such as leukaemia) who are at any stage of treatment; • People with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets); and, • People with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis). If you are in a high-risk group you should take a particularly stringent approach to the following “social distancing” measures (steps to reduce social interaction between people):- • Avoiding contact with people displaying symptoms of Coronavirus (high temperature and/or a new and continuous cough); • Avoiding non-essential use of public transport, and varying your travel times to avoid rush hour if possible; • Working from home where possible; • Avoiding large gatherings and avoiding public spaces, such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, and clubs; • Avoiding gatherings with friends and family, and instead keeping in touch through remote technology, such as phone, internet, and social media; • Using telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services; • Everyone should seek to stop non-essential contact with others and unnecessary travel by following the advice above around home working. Employees who live with family members with high-risk medical conditions, where the risk of cross infection is potentially more serious should, where necessary, talk to their line manager about the provisions set out in this procedure. Human Resources, Health and Safety or Public Health advice should be obtained as necessary. Working Arrangements for Employees with High-Risk Medical Conditions Homeworking; Following Government advice, homeworking will be implemented for all those employees who are set up to work from home, including those with high-risk medical conditions, where the threat of Coronavirus infection must be minimised. Employees should contact their line manager to discuss this, ensuring that any required equipment is made available. Homeworking must not be at the detriment of the service or current service business continuity plans. Where it is agreed that an employee can work from home under these provisions, health and safety advice will be provided to ensure that there is adequate working space and electrical safety to enable work to be undertaken safely, without endangering the health of the home worker or their family. Separate risk-assessment guidance on home working is now available. Redeployment onto Alternative Duties; In the event of the Coronavirus reaching a point where staffing levels are significantly affected or where an employee with a high-risk medical condition cannot have their duties modified in such a way as to eliminate or significantly red In any event, alternative duties will be discussed with the employee first and where possible, adequate notice given. In some instances, homeworking agreements may be terminated in order to allow the Council to redirect staff onto other priority work. In relation to an employee with a high-risk medical condition, it will be necessary for the manager to assess how health protection and social distancing measures can be applied. Health protection measures include an initial assessment to ensure the employee’s high-risk medical condition is not likely to be adversely affected by the alternative duties, any additional training that might be necessary and any required personal, protective equipment. Any manager considering alternative duties for an employee with a high-risk medical condition should consult Human Resources and Health and Safety Managers for advice. HR will assist the manager in determining whether Occupational Health advice should be obtained. Approved Absence from Work Where, following an assessment of individual circumstances, it is determined that home working is not available and suitable alternative duties cannot be identified, the manager must consider removing the high-risk employee from the workplace. In these circumstances, the employees may be sent home until further notice. If this happens, the employee must be contactable during their normal hours of work and may be required to discuss their circumstances during a review with their manager. Such a review would normally be undertake over the telephone, unless alternative facilities are available, i.e. video conferencing. The review will take into account any change in medical advice that may affect the approved absence and any change in working arrangements that might allow home working or alternative duties to commence. The approved absence will be terminated as soon as reasonably practicable. An approved absence will not be treated as a sickness absence (see later *note) and the employee will continue to receive their normal, full pay during the approved absence from work. In the event that the current emergency arrangements do not allow average full pay to be calculated and applied immediately, the Council will make arrangements for the employee’s pay to be made up at the earliest opportunity. In these circumstances, the pay during the initial stages of the approved absence will be no less than the employee’s basic contractual salary. Certifying the High-Risk Medical Condition If an employee requests to be sent home under the arrangements set out in this procedure or this decision is taken by the manager in consultation with the employee, the document at the appendix to this procedure (‘Certifying an Employee as Unable to Work due to a High-Risk Medical Condition’) must be completed and signed. Once completed and signed the document should be retained by the manager but also emailed to Employee.RelationsTeamDCR@knowsley.gov.uk. The document should also be used to record any consideration given by the manager to home working, alternative duties or health protection measures. The Council considers that it is reasonable to require high-risk employees to provide evidence of relevant medical conditions. If evidence is not immediately available (e.g. letter, appointment card, or NHS high-risk medical status communication) and given the pressures on the NHS, the Council may allow medical evidence to be produced at a later date, for example when the approved absence is reviewed. The Council will cover the cost of any required medical evidence. If necessary, the manager should seek advice from Human Resources or Occupational Health about the employee’s medical condition and working arrangements. *Where the employee is unable to provide sufficient medical evidence about the high-risk medical condition, but the employee is unable to work as a result of this condition, the Council reserves the right to treat the absence as sickness absence, in which case the Council’s normal sickness absence management policy will apply. Additional Advice For further advice on the application of these provisions, including other employment categories such as Agency and Casual Workers, managers should contact the Employee Relations team at Employee.RelationsTeamDCR@knowsley.gov.uk. The emergency provisions set out in this document have been shared with the Single Status trade unions (Unison, GMB and Unite the Union) and will be reviewed regularly based on the prevailing circumstances. Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council March 2020 Paul Richards- Branch Secretary- 07810053154 /0151 477 8983 Email: paul.richards@gmbactivist.org.uk Danny Burns-Branch-President & YOS-07770 703577 Email: danny.burns@knowsley.gov.uk Mike Bowden-Street Scene-07769 820396 / 0151 477 8985 Email: M.Bowden@outlook.com Karen Hardwick-Schools-0151 477 8710 / 0151 477 8984 Email: k.hardwick@kirkbyhighschool.net Jackie Weller-Family First-0151 443 2882 Email: Jackie.Weller@knowsley.gov.uk Gemma McGreevy- Family First-0151 443 5054 Email: gemma.mcgreevy@knowsley.gov.uk Danny Crew-Parks & cemeteries-07851 074229 Email: gmbdanc@gmail.com Mike Newcomb- Waste Services- 07776451585  Email: mikenew909@gmail.com Branch AddressGMB, Tower Hill Primary Care CentreEbony Way, Kirkby, Liverpool L33 1XTMerseyside-L33 7XB...
VUNERABLE MEMBERS AT ASDA OPTION TO WORK REDUCED HOURS ANNOUNCED BY ANTHONY
Vulnerable colleagues who want to work reduced hours We know that many colleagues who fall into the vulnerable category would like to continue working, but on reduced hours. We’re happy for them to explore this option, but it must be approved by their GSM/SM and their SMP, who will make sure the new working arrangement is recorded accurately. Please make sure colleagues understand that they will need to commit to a specific number of hours per week. Unfortunately hours cannot be flexed on a week by week basis; this is to make sure colleagues get paid correctly. It’s also worth exploring if a colleague is particularly worried, whether they can move into a role where they’ll come into contact with less people, or if they can work during less busy times. If at any point a colleague feels uncomfortable, they can stop working and remain at home where they will continue to be paid their contracted hours for the remainder of the 12 week period, which started on Monday 23rdMarch. We’ve updated our line manger guidance and Q&As on WalmartOne with more information. Paying our colleagues correctly As a build on the new hires update I sent yesterday, we need to make sure we are capturing all worked shifts for colleagues using the manual badge register. When your new colleagues are live on the system, a wage adjustment request will need to be submitted to HRSS no later than Friday 17thApril to make sure these colleagues are paid correctly. It’s also important to make sure all new colleagues have their bank details accurately submitted on the system, also before Friday 17thApril. There’s more information covering the process to follow in the coronavirus update today. Colleague abuse As you may have seen in recent news and some of you may have even experienced in your store, there have been multiple incidents of abusive behaviour towards our colleagues where verbal threats referring to coronavirus, coughing and sadly at times spitting at colleagues has occurred. I want to reassure you that all of these cases are being followed up by our teams and sent to the authorities to make sure consistent and appropriate action is being taken based on the power police now have to deal with such incidents. Gloves and sanitiser All stores will receive a further allocation of hand gel and gloves which will be delivered in to store by FedEx by Friday. There is the equivalent of two weeks supply of gloves within this allocation, which are to be distributed to checkout, click and collect, personal delivery drivers and City colleagues. Product limiting Our position on availability has improved and we have decided to remove the product limits which are currently in place across ambient, with the exception of hand sanitiser, toilet roll and baby milk. Please remove product limiting POS from across the store, except from the three commodities specified. We will update the printable POS and attach to tomorrow evening's coronavirus update, in the meantime keep the existing POS up within those areas. Please make sure this message is shared with all colleagues in store. GM replenishment switch on Due to sales performance we have started to switch back on some areas of GM replenishment. The areas that have been prioritised for replenishment are Easter, Promotion, Stationery, Crafting, Ink, Gardening, Music, Video, Games and Books. We will be continuing to review GM volumes and sales and will start to flow more stock into stores within the next week. Fly tipping due to car park clothing bank closures We're aware that a number of stores are starting to see instances of fly tipping in some of our car parks. We're reviewing the best way to deal with this and will give further clarity to you in the coming days. However in the meantime if you are seeing this happen please contact the Waste & Recycling team to arrange a collection. Details will be shared in tonight’s coronavirus update. Social distancing guidance We've been working hard to create the best possible guidance for our stores in many areas of the operation around social distancing for our colleagues. We've been focusing on areas where social distancing is difficult to achieve for colleagues in store. We will be ready to share this guidance with you tomorrow and please look out for the update in tomorrow evening's coronavirus update....
GMB WELCOMES AMEY CHANGE OF HEART ON CORONAVIRUS SICK PAY
GMB has welcomed the change of heart by Amey senior management after the CEO of the infrastructure support service provider, Amanda Fisher, wrote to staff to inform them that following GMB raising the matter with the company they had reviewed their policy and would now pay any staff affected by the Covid-19 virus full pay if they are ill or self-isolated. GMB Reps, including Paul Thompson in the water industry, lobbied hard on behalf of our members to bring about this result when the company had previously informed staff they would only receive SSP. Amanda Fisher wrote: “… We are grateful that the GMB has brought the issue around statutory sick pay for those affected by Covid-19 to our attention. We take pride in our employees being the driving force behind our business and we realise that on this occasion we got it wrong, for which we apologise… This will also apply retrospectively to those that have taken time off due to the virus in the past few weeks”....
GMB UNION MEMBER TERM TIME ONLY – COLLECTIVE GRIEVANCE AT ST HELENS COUNCIL UPDATE
Covid-19 virus is taking priority at the moment We just wanted to reassure all our members involved in the claim, that the GMB negotiations with the Council are still ongoing. We will keep you all updated of any developments. As you are all aware, the Covid-19 virus is taking priority at the moment, but we will be keeping you in the loop with any updates. Please stay safe and take care You can contact me or Maria Almond, GMB Regional Organiser, on 0151 203 0189; who will be happy to support at this challenging time. Regards Louise Convey GMB Convenor/Branch Secretary St Helens MBC Branch Hardshaw Brook Depot Parr Street St Helens WA9 1JR Tel: 01744 67 6973 Email: Louise.Convey@gmbactivist.org.uk  ...
GMB TRADE UNION WELCOMES AGREEMENT TO INCREASE THE PAY OF STAFF ON THEIR NORTHERN RAIL CONTRACT
GMB TRADE UNION WELCOMES AGREEMENT WITH CARLISLE SUPPORT SERVICES TO INCREASE THE PAY OF STAFF ON THEIR NORTHERN RAIL CONTRACT IN LINE WITH THE FOUNDATION LIVING WAGE. GMB has been in discussion with Carlisle Support Services to agree a pay increase for Revenue Collectors on the company’s Northern Rail Contract that will see minimum rates increase in line with the Foundation Living Wage. This increase will be effective from Wednesday 1 April 2020, and will mean the minimum rate of pay on the contract will be £9.30 per hour, with other grades also being increased accordingly above this rate. Welcoming the agreement GMB Organiser Bernie Cleary said: “This agreement is great news for our members and not only recognises their hard work and dedication, but also helps trade unions and better employers to help end the scandal of low pay in the services sector.   The real Living Wage rates are independently calculated and ensure employees earn a wage that meets the costs of living, not just the government minimum and GMB will continue to press for this minimum rate everywhere”.  ...
ASDA MESSAGE FROM ANTHONY, UPDATE ON COVID-19
self-isolating? anyone shopping on your behalf can use your colleague discount card After what has been another fast moving week as we continue to react to the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak, I wanted to thank you all once again for you and your teams’ incredible support and hard work. At the moment, we are reacting to new situations every day, but you have risen to this challenge brilliantly. Reflecting on the week and going into the weekend, there are a few things I wanted to share with you. Firstly, we know what a worrying time this is for our colleagues and it’s important that they know we are absolutely committed to protecting both their health and the health of our customers. I keep saying this but please time take to reassure them that we are doing everything we can to keep them safe. Listen to individual concerns and respond to these pragmatically where you can, whether that’s allowing more time for colleagues to wash their hands or increasing the frequency of tannoys, it will show them that we are listening, We have sent supplies of hand sanitiser and gloves to the vast majority of stores and there are now only a handful of shops who haven’t received a delivery. Going forward, this will be much easier to track as we’ll use ToYou. In the meantime, if you haven’t managed to find your allocation please make it a priority to locate it. If you can’t, feed this back through your SD. Screens for our checkouts are also now rolling out and feedback has been great. The plan is to complete this rollout over the next 10 days and I hope this will provide some added reassurance for our colleagues on checkouts. My next point is on grocery home shopping. We are expecting to have more information very shortly from the government about how we can support our elderly and vulnerable customers who are self-isolating. The central team have been staying very close to government on this, so we can make sure we are doing all we can. At the same time, as we continue to see unprecedented demand for delivery and click and collect spots, we are also working hard to increase our overall home shopping capacity so we can support as many people as possible. Finally, looking forward as we head towards April and settle into our new way of operating, we will need to understand the impact on our daily sales pattern, what this could mean for trading hours and how we get ready for Easter trade. I don’t have to tell you that this will, of course, look very different this year. Thank you for all you are doing, stay safe and here are some other updates from today…. Social distancing Thank you to everyone who has worked so quickly to deliver and comply to the social distancing measures we put into stores this week. These measures are keeping our colleagues and customers as safe as possible. We must make sure that we continue to comply with all the social distancing guidance exactly as communicated in the Coronavirus Update and in Newsflash.  Please continue to speak to your colleagues in store, explaining that these measures will help maintain their health and well-being. As we work to open more booking slots and train more Drivers, it is essential that we are all ready to support our Grocery Home Shop teams and focus on serving online deliveries to our vulnerable customers Sunday exclusive NHS worker hour Last night we communicated that we would be opening our stores in England and Wales at 9am-10am, regardless of your usual store opening time, to exclusively serve NHS workers. There has been some further legal guidance and the above direction has changed. You must now open your store one hour before your usual Sunday opening time, exclusively for NHS workers, for browsing only. You must not serve anyone through your checkouts until your usual opening time. You are no longer required to plan additional checkout cover for this hour. We have created a printable A4 poster and attached it to the Coronavirus Update for you to help communicate this to your customers. Additional security cover If you are already receiving additional security cover, we have arranged for this cover to be extended until next Friday (3rd).  Always have one Asda colleague preferably a Section Leader supporting on the Front Door process. British summertime begins On Saturday 28th March, the clocks will go forward by one hour. Ensure your colleagues swipe correctly for all shifts on Saturday 28th March and Sunday 29th March. Colleagues can still swipe on either clock like any normal night. The Workbrain clocks will automatically go forward one hour at 1:00am to 2:00 am on Sunday 29th March morning. City will ensure the main store and car park lighting is adjusted accordingly but all car park and store lighting will be adjusted automatically. Easter egg reduction We have taken price action to reduce 10 lines on Saturday 28th March on selected chocolate Easter eggs and we will be relaxing the buy 3 limit. There is a store printable barker and a full list of affected lines attached to the Coronavirus Update. Colleague discount card If you fall into the group of individuals who have been identified as being ‘extremely vulnerable’ or live with someone in this group, or you're a vulnerable colleague or currently self-isolating then we'd like to reassure you that anyone shopping on your behalf can use your colleague discount card. Just make sure they're only buying what you need and that they're fully up-to-speed on the social distancing steps they need to take while shopping.   ...
GMB UNION ASDA JOINT COVID-19 COMMUNICATION
We are in our second week of national calls to discuss business updates and member’s feedback and questions in relation to the Coronavirus. These sessions are invaluable for both the GMB Union and Asda. We will have two calls each week for the foreseeable future so that we can maintain key lines of communication. Items we have discussed include: How we are adapting and changing as the government advice changes to make sure that Asda is aligned. Protecting colleagues is the number one priority. Extremely vulnerable colleagues, vulnerable colleagues and those who live with extremely vulnerable people as classified by the government guidelines will all be treated in the same way and will continue to be paid for 12 weeks. Social distancing and the application in both stores and depots. Home Shopping and how we can make our offer safe for our colleagues, member and customers. Recognition for our colleagues who are supporting customers and communities during this unprecedented time. We are actively encouraging all colleagues to keep up to date with the latest information on coronavirus on WalmartOne, which includes links to Government and NHS guidelines. GMB continues to raise feedback on behalf of members with the company. Local GMB reps should ensure that feedback is raised first with the site/store management team, for the swiftest response, and then escalated to the national group if required. Leadership teams are encouraged to engage and work with local GMB reps. We are also finalising a joint guidance document for local representatives which we will share as soon as complete. Thank you again for everything you are all doing during this unprecedented time. Alison Long                                                                      Gary Carter Senior Director – Labour Relations          and                  Change National Officer Asda GMB...
SOCIAL DISTANCING WHAT IS ASDA DOING?
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GOOD NEWS SAYS GMB, ASDA ANNOUNCE 12 WEEKS PAY FOR ALL THOSE IN VUNERABLE CATEGORY
ASDA has agreed to pay 12 weeks pay to all those in the vulnerable category and those caring for extremely vulnerable people from today. This is good news and GMB pressure has paid off. Thanks for all your hard work.  ASDA message from Anthony. As you know, over the weekend the Government changed its guidelines around vulnerable workers. Previously they had said that both ‘extremely vulnerable’ and ‘vulnerable’ workers should self-isolate, but on Saturday they changed this to say that colleagues who fall into the ‘vulnerable’ group no longer needed to self-isolate. Instead they were advised to stringently adhere to the social distancing guidelines they had set out. This vulnerable group includes pregnant women, colleagues who are over 70 and colleagues who live with extremely vulnerable family or friends. We are aware that adhering to social distancing guidelines was going to be quite challenging for our colleagues in stores and depots and as a result, we asked our vulnerable colleagues to stay at home for two weeks, at which point we said we would review our position. Since then we have introduced far reaching measures that we are very confident will protect both our customers and colleagues, including restricting the number of customers in our stores but despite this, we know that some of our vulnerable colleagues still have some concerns about returning to work. We have always said that protecting our colleagues and our customers is our number one priority and so, from today can you please contact those vulnerable colleagues in your teams, including colleagues who live with extremely vulnerable people and confirm that we will treat them in the same way as our extremely vulnerable colleagues, and will continue to pay them for 12 weeks. We also know that some colleagues who fall into this category do still want to come to work because they know they do not need to self-isolate and we are putting a process in place for you to manage this. The questions and answers documents and flow charts will all be updated on WalmartOne later today. Thank you for all your support with this. I know that you will agree that it’s critical that we do the right thing for our colleagues in these worrying times.   ASDA message from Mark. Firstly, thank you for your patience as we react to a rapidly evolving situation. I want you to personally hear it from me that our priority first and foremost is the safety and well-being of our colleagues. As you know, over the weekend the Government changed its guidelines around vulnerable workers. Previously they had said that both ‘extremely vulnerable’ and ‘vulnerable’ workers should self-isolate, but on Saturday they changed this to say that colleagues who fall into the ‘vulnerable’ group no longer needed to self-isolate. Instead they were advised to stringently adhere to the social distancing guidelines they had set out. This vulnerable group includes pregnant women, those with serious conditions, colleagues who are over 70 and colleagues who live with extremely vulnerable family or friends. Yesterday we communicated that we would like you to send our ‘vulnerable’ colleagues home while we put measures in place to ensure that social distancing could be achieved in our sites. I know you have all been working incredibly hard to ensure that your site was ready to welcome them back in the coming days. However, even with the measures you have now put in place, we know that some of our vulnerable colleagues will still have some concerns about returning to work. We have always said that protecting our colleagues is our number one priority and so, from today can you please contact those vulnerable colleagues in your teams, including colleagues who live with extremely vulnerable people and confirm that we will treat them in the same way as our extremely vulnerable colleagues, and will continue to pay them for 12 weeks. We also know that some colleagues who fall into this category do still want to come to work because they know they do not need to self-isolate and we are putting a process in place for you to manage this. This has to be a colleague led decision, and I know you will all be supportive in those discussions. The questions and answers documents and flow charts will all be updated on WalmartOne later today. Thank you for all your support with this. I know that you will agree that it’s critical that we do the right thing for our colleagues in these worrying times....