We are pleased that the Government has recognised social care staff as key workers who are critical to the response to Coronavirus COVID-19. But what does this actually mean?
What is a key worker?
Key workers are people doing jobs that are critical in how the country is responding to Coronavirus COVID-19.
The vast majority of health and social care roles are covered by this definition. It recognises the crucial role of frontline staff as well as the many others that support them in their roles.
This means that anyone working in our homes and services is a key worker, including care workers, activity coordinators, volunteers, cooks, housekeepers, maintenance staff, administrators and other support staff. They are all essential in keeping the home or service running safely.
What does this mean for schools?
The main benefit of this is that schools remain open to children of key workers where their parents or guardians for their children to be cared for safely at home whilst they are at work.
Only one parent or guardian has to be a keyworker to be eligible for this support. It doesn’t have to be both.
This is good news because members of staff who might otherwise have needed to stay at home to look after children are now able to continue working to support vulnerable and older people in our homes and services.
What have we done?
All our staff that have school-age children have been given a letter proving that they are a key worker. This can be passed onto the school to ensure they can access the support available.
What about shopping for food?
We have also issued all our staff with a letter proving they are a key worker that can be shown to supermarkets and other shops.
They can now take advantage of additional times to buy food and other essential supplies on behalf of our homes and services, and for themselves in the same way as NHS staff and other key workers.
This will help us keep our homes and services open through this difficult time.