Prisons: Staff

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 15th January 2021.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what policies are in place to ensure that individual risk assessments for prison staff members are conducted on the basis of input from the individuals concerned.

Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what policies are in place to ensure that risk assessments for prison staff with extremely vulnerable family members are regularly updated in line with levels of risk of covid-19 infection (a) in their workplace and (b) during travel between their workplace and home.

Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what policies are in place to ensure that prison staff members with extremely vulnerable family members are offered paid leave if they need to shield during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The safety of our staff and those in our care remains our top priority.

We are clear that staff who live with people who are clinically extremely vulnerable people should work from home wherever possible. If they are unable to work from home, staff will have an individual risk assessment completed by their line manager, over the phone or electronically if necessary, to ensure that appropriate health and safety measures and any reasonable adjustments are in place to protect them in the workplace. Social distancing and basic hygiene are effective controls to reduce transmission and we continue to provide access to the right cleaning and hygiene products in prisons as we move into recovery. We have also worked closely with suppliers to ensure adequate supply of soap, cleaning materials, and personal protective equipment for staff.

Guidance for staff and managers is clear that these risk assessments should be reviewed every 4 weeks, and in a range of situations. These include changes in personal circumstances, management, control measures where they work, the level of risk (such as an outbreak), or a change in published Gov.uk guidance.

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