The UK governments have now removed most restrictions and indicated a return to more normal working. In light of this some of the guidance developed during the covid pandemic is changing.
In particular NHS terms and conditions guidance developed during the pandemic will now be reviewed. This is set out in the statement below by the Joint Trade Unions.
NHS Terms and Conditions Guidance - Joint Trade Union Statement
Since March 2020 there has been development of specific guidance and advice to support NHS organisations and NHS staff during the pandemic. However, in light of the government now setting out their new phase of managing COVID-19 in England, the DHSC has indicated a wish to review the guidance and advice on COVID-19 for NHS employees (England) in collaboration with Staff Council trade unions and employers.
They have indicated that while some of the material will no longer be relevant in the current context, they recognise that the Staff Council will wish to maintain specific elements of the guidance where it is useful, and also that transitional arrangements may be needed to align with the standard Handbook terms.
The DHSC have also recognised that self-isolation will continue to be necessary for infectious NHS staff and that NHS England and Improvement will set the policy on this matter.
In taking this forward the NHS joint trade unions will:
- Reconvene the COVID-19 terms and conditions group, which includes trade unions, NHS employers and DHSC, to undertake this review.
- Report back to the wider Trade Union group and seek input from trade union Health, Safety and Wellbeing experts as part of the review.
- Prioritise discussions about COVID-19 sick pay terms within the review, seeking to negotiate appropriate transitional arrangements and any additional supporting guidance.
- Influence NHS England and Improvement to ensure their policy in relation to the on-going need for infection control measures maintains the principle of self-isolation periods not being counted towards sickness disciplinary triggers.
- Liaise with joint NHS TU structures in Scotland, Cymru/Wales and Northern Ireland to exchange information and where possible establish common principles for any transitional arrangements.
- Public Health England campaign resource centre
- Covid-19 guidance for NHS workforce leaders - NHS Employers - guidance from NHS Employers for NHS organisations in England. This guidance is particularly relevant for stewards and safety reps as it covers a range of issues from health and safety to specific terms and conditions during the pandemic
- NHS staff council joint statements and papers - the NHS Staff Council has jointly agreed a statement on good partnership working and issues to consider when developing local plans to combat coronavirus
- Scottish government advice and guidance
- Information from the Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee with links to a variety of resources in Scotland
- Guidance for NHS Scotland Workforce Staff and Managers on Coronavirus
- Health Protection Scotland: coronavirus
- Welsh government guidance
- NHS Wales coronavirus FAQs for managers and employers
- Information from Public Health Wales
- Guidance from the NHS Confederation in Wales
- Covid-19 staff health and wellbeing resources from Health Education and Improvement Wales
- Northern Ireland government guidance and support
- Questions and answers for HSC staff
- General public health guidance from HSC in Northern Ireland
- Useful documents from the NI Department of Health
General employment resources
- ACAS coronavirus advice for employers and employees - how employers can protect the health and safety of everyone during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic
- ACAS coronavirus webinars for employers
- Guidance for trade union reps, from the TUC - designed to give you an understanding of the workplace issues in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, and to provide support in being effective at negotiating with employers steps that can be taken to best protect the health and safety of the workforce