PCS has written to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) asking them to revisit their position on the use of air conditioning systems and desk fans in light of emerging scientific evidence.
PCS believes as many workers as possible should be working from home until further notice. At present, although we think this may change, only critical workers should be in the workplace. The designation of civil servants as 'key workers' has created confusion and in many areas, allowed management to try and operate 'business as usual'. Our number one priority is the safety and security of our members.
PCS continues to press the Cabinet Office to issue clear guidance for the civil service, related areas and private contractors, on the implementation of stringent and uniformed health and safety measures in workplaces.
PCS has written a guide for members who are working from home during the current crisis and is primarily aimed at protecting their health, safety and welfare. Some aspects of it may also be of use to workers who are off work and in self-isolation, particularly in relation to mental and physical health and welfare.
We have secured an emergency meeting with the Cabinet Office on 12 March where we will be pressing the need for pay protections for all staff, including in privatised areas, to take the necessary precautions if they are infected, have travelled to one of the affected areas, been affected by school or other office closures or have flu like symptoms, with no detriment. We will also be calling for full union involvement in safety planning and response teams.