PCS met with the Cabinet Office today to raise concerns about the impact the coronavirus outbreak is having on PCS members.
Many members have contacted us to raise their concerns about major operational issues, differences of practice between departments, basic hygiene and protection from infection.
We raised these issues with the Cabinet Office today, arguing that there should be consistency of practice across the civil service, and they agreed to discuss updating the civil service-wide HR policy guidance as the situation develops.
We have pressed for the following improvements:
- that the highest standards of hygiene and personal protection are guaranteed
- that guidance is issued centrally and is not at the discretion of local managers
- that the numbers of staff who are required to be in public-facing roles are minimised
- that the numbers of staff required to attend work at the peak infection period are minimised
- that there is consistency in the application of sickness policies, to avoid detriment to those self-isolating or in an at-risk health category
- that there is consistency of treatment between civil servants and contractors.
We are due to meet Cabinet office officials again on 19 March.
We will be issuing regular updates about the coronavirus online, via email and through our social media channels and a briefing will be issued to PCS reps tomorrow (18). We will also be sending out a survey to all members to find out the effects on you and your jobs.