2 December 2021

PCS raises concerns with DVLA over omicron variant and rising Covid cases

PCS has written to the DVLA amid growing concerns about Covid cases on site and developments in the pandemic.

In the email to DVLA HR and estates director Louise White and senior HR business partner Helen B Davies, we raise concerns about the prospect of a more infectious and vaccine-resistant strain – omicron - and its impacts on the health of DVLA staff. We have asked them for details of the precautionary measures that the department is taking to secure the safety of DVLA staff.

Cases on site in Swansea have been rising since mid-August, when the DVLA forced 450 staff back to work on the site. Since then, they have increased the number of staff working on site further through recruitment and will continue to do so into the new year.

On Friday, the first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, announced that Wales would be strengthening six existing Covid safety measures to combat the rise in cases and the omicron variant spread. Working from home is now being encouraged by the Welsh Government as part of control measures, as are changes to the isolation procedures following contact with a positive case. We have asked the DVLA to explain what procedures it is changing in light of this announcement.

Home working, and the DVLA’s resistance to allowing some staff to work remotely, has been a thread that has run through the DVLA dispute. There are staff currently being made to work on site, amid rising cases, who can work from home and indeed had been performing their role from home since the beginning of the pandemic.

We are incredibly concerned by the situation at present and are committed to working with the DVLA in the best interests of staff safety.

We will keep DVLA members updated on the response from the DVLA and hope we can work together to find a resolution and keep staff safe.