Coronavirus Update for Inverclyde Council Members

Dear Colleague

Annual Leave During Covid-19

The council has issued new guidance in respect of annual leave during the covid-19 lockdown. This was discussed with UNISON over the last few days before being issued to all council employees. The guidance covers an issue which many members have raised with us over the past couple of weeks which is the position of cancelling already booked annual leave. It also covers the issue of booking annual leave during the covid-19 lockdown. We would encourage all members, regardless of your current circumstances, to book annual leave over the next few months. Taking time away from work in the current climate is important for both your physical and mental health.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

I have attached below a joint statement from the Trade Unions, CoSLA and Scottish Government which was issued on Thursday and which provides the most up to date guidance on the use of PPE.

The Scottish Government with COSLA and the SJC Unions have agreed today that the guidance jointly published by the Department of Health and Social Care, Health Protection Scotland (HPS), Public Health Wales, Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England on 2 April 2020 is the official and fully comprehensive guidance on the matter of the use of PPE in the context of COVID19.

That guidance makes clear that social and home care workers can wear a fluid resistant face mask along with other appropriate PPE where the person they are visiting or otherwise attending to is neither confirmed nor suspected of having COVID19, if they consider doing so necessary to their own and the individual’s safety – they are professionals and we trust their professional judgement.

The guidance had input from Royal Colleges and is endorsed by expert scientific groups, as well as the Chief Medical Officers and Chief Nursing Officers in the UK.

COSLA and the SJC Trade Unions are clear that this joint statement is necessary to ensure our social and home care workforce has the confidence to carry out its role. The Scottish Government has given assurances that it will take all possible steps to ensure all appropriate supplies will be made available to the workforce. We recognise that this will also assure those who are receiving vital services and who are already shielding.

We wish to emphasise that all social and home care staff have our utmost thanks and support for the essential work they are carrying out during this pandemic.

Robin Taggart
Branch Secretary
Unison (Inverclyde Branch)
Old Library
30 Bawhirley Road,
PA15 2BH