2 December 2021

PCS defends safe working in Defence

PCS and defence trade unions act to defend defence advice notice 15 (DAN 15)

We are concerned that the employer is making attempts to undermine the safety precautions laid out in the current and extant DAN 15 that has been agreed with your trade union.

All the civil service unions are challenging and disputing the approach of the MOD in trying to alter DAN 15 as it currently stands. Outputs and work have continued all through the pandemic and hybrid working is here to stay, conveying advantage to employee and employer alike. There is a crucial need to leave DAN 15 in place and strengthen not weaken its message.

The series of DANs and defence instructions and notices (DINs) have provided crucial safety advice throughout the pandemic. The items that cause us particular concern are the removal of the two-metre rules to reduce cross infection between staff and the increasing drive to push more and more people into the workplace. It is well known by all government departments that social distancing and reduced attendance will suppress transmission rates. These control measures stem from risk assessments that are required by law and any employer that removes the control measures without a reduction in risk will be liable.

The advice from PCS is to: 

  • Remain at home working if that is possible. 
  • If you travel to work on public transport, you should request to work from home. 
  • You should use facemasks wherever possible inside and outside of work.
  • Avoid crowded areas in the workplace.
  • Raise legitimate safety concerns as soon as possible.

If you see any issues that breach health and safety in the workplace then you should raise this immediately with your line management team. All health and safety issues must be dealt with as early and locally as possible if they are not then there is an escalation route listed in DAN 15.