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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what new health and safety measures have been put in place since the start of the covid-19 outbreak to protect cleaners employed by Interserve in her Department’s premises who (a) are classed as vulnerable and (b) look after extremely vulnerable dependants.
The Department wrote to all its suppliers, including Interserve, reaffirming that they should follow the guidance issued via Public Health England on Gov.uk and has been working closely with them since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure appropriate measures are put in place.
Where reasonable adjustments can be made to allow the colleague to attend work, then Interserve is implementing those adjustments. These adjustments can include shorter hours, flexible start/finish times to avoid busy commutes, and social distancing in the workplace. Where reasonable adjustments cannot be made to support a safe working environment for colleagues who identify as vulnerable then arrangements are made for the colleague to remain at home on full pay. Additionally, appropriate PPE in the form of protective gloves is being provided to all cleaning staff.
Interserve colleagues who may be caring for vulnerable dependants who require “shielding” are being advised to raise this with their line manager so that reasonable adjustments such as those above can be explored.