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Cleaning Services: Staff

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 21st April 2020.

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Photo of Anneliese Dodds Anneliese Dodds Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will make an assessment of the potential merits of classifying cleaning staff as key workers.

Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Labour, Brent Central

To ask the Minister of State for the Cabinet Office, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect on the spread of covid-19 in public spaces of listing cleaners as key workers.

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt Paymaster General

Our message to the British public is clear: stay at home, in order to protect the NHS and save lives. The position remains, as outlined on gov.uk, that everyone who can work from home should do so.

Where that is not possible, people should go into work where it is safe and they are not symptomatic, isolating or shielding. Relevant guidance including from Public Health England should be followed.

In terms of the provision of education for certain workers, it is already the case that cleaners working in, for example, hospitals and social care could be eligible as long as "their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service". This is set out here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision.

The Government has placed restrictions on the operations of certain businesses as part of the strategy to ensure people stay at home and away from others. Separate guidance has been published on this and is also available on gov.uk. Scientific evidence supporting the government’s response is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response.

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