Thursday 28 May, 6pm
Meeting ID: 876 6509 8014
Meeting ID: 876 6509 8014
OK, the big return to work is about to commence –
Do you feel safe?
Has your workplace been Risk Assessed?
Have you had PPE provided?
Do you want to be part of the conversation about returning to work safely with your employer?
WE NEED YOU!
Workplace shop Stewards are the lifeblood of the union
YOU are the experts in your area of work
Help us to help you
Become a UNISON Steward and make the return to work safe for you and your colleagues.
We asked our members (most of whom are working from home) one question.
94% of our School UNISON members felt it was not safe.
85% of our Capita UNISON members felt it was not safe.
79% of our Barnet Council UNISON members felt it was not safe.
79% of our Barnet Homes members felt it was not safe
Barnet UNISON as part of our efforts to ensure all of our members was safe contacted Capita in order that we could take part in the Risk Assessment consultation process.
Our branch has been busy for the last 8 weeks supporting and advising our members working and dealing with the COVID 19 risk in the workplace.
Whilst many staff are able to work from home there are staff who have to go out into the community to deal with the public.
It is important that all employers comply with Health and Safety Legislation in relation to Risk Assessments.
Now more than ever all employers should understand the importance of carrying out Risk Assessments for all of their staff in order they can provide assurances their workplace is safe.
It is important to note but as of Friday 22 May 2020, Barnet UNISON has not been consulted on any Risk Assessment for any job role being carried out by our members on both Capita contracts.
We have seen a Capita generic Risk Assessment which as soon as we challenged it Capita admitted it was out of date.
Barnet UNISON was informed that Capita compliance team issued 3 generic risk assessments (which have seen) which we were told would be a starting point for discussions around role specific Risk Assessments for staff working on the two Barnet contracts.
This was positive news.
Barnet UNISON requested the contact details for the manager responsible for coordinating the Risk Assessments on both Capita contracts in Barnet.
Capita responded stating they will not share or agree all risk assessments as requested as this is not something as an organisation that we do.
The health, safety and welfare of our members working for Capita is a serious matter and as such we have escalated this matter to UNISON National as the following legislation must be followed by the employer.
It is worrying that in this current COVID Pandemic where serious and fatal risks are being faced by workers every day that any employer would refuse to share or agree Risk Assessments with a Trade Union.
Relevant Legislation: Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Regulation 3 – employers must conduct suitable and sufficient risk assessments
Regulation 4 – requires employer to control hazards at source
Regulation 7 – employer must appoint competent persons to conduct RA
Regulation 10 – workers must be given comprehensive and relevant information about risks
Regulation 13 – employers must ensure workers are capable and trained
Regulation 16/19 – RA must take account of women of child-bearing age and young people’s risks.
Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
Regulation 4 states:
Every employer shall ensure that suitable personal protective equipment is provided to his employees who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work except where and to the extent that such risk has been adequately controlled by other means which are equally or more effective.
If you have any concerns please email the branch on email@example.com
Barnet UNISON as part of our Know Your Rights at Work campaign are hosting a
ZOOM meeting with NEU and GMB entitled:
Guest Speaker: Janet Newsham, Chair Hazards Campaign, sitting member of Employment Tribunal for past 25 years.
Meeting ID: 826 4021 4991
Meeting ID: 817 5493 1410
Barnet UNISON has submitted the following report which sets out our list of demands for full Trade Union engagement in the transition from Lockdown.
“It is really important at this time that workers trust that their employer ensures the workplace is safe. COVID 19 has brought risks to our members’ lives in a way many of our members have never faced before. Therefore, it is important not just to say the workplace is safe, BUT to demonstrate that is safe by being transparent and open and ensuring risk assessments for every work place are easily available for the workforce to read. On Tuesday 5 May 2020, we submitted our report to Barnet Council Chief Executive as the first step to work to ensure all our members are safe at work. We will report back on the negotiations over the coming days and weeks.” (John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON)
Some of our proposals set out in the report are:
1. The Council to inform and consult with the Trade Unions in a full and timely manner on the transition from Lockdown. By engaging with the Trade Unions the Council can receive our support in the process, and help build workforce support for changed ways of working such as working from home, social distancing measures and deployment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
2. The Council to ensure that protective measures are in place for workers most vulnerable to Covid-19, pregnant women, new mothers and employees sharing households with people requiring shielding.
3. Covid-19 Risk Assessments to be in place relating to specific worksites and work tasks. The Council should consult and obtain agreement with the Trade Unions on these Risk Assessments. No worksites or tasks to be engaged until such Risk Assessments are in place following agreement with the Trade Unions. Risk Assessments to be accessible to all Council employees.
4. Increased stringency and frequency of cleaning of workplaces and equipment during the transition from Lockdown.
5. Social distancing to be in place at work sites, with clear guidance given to workers. Buildings should not be open to the public without strict and enforceable social distancing measures in place, following consultation and agreement with the Trade Unions.
6. To reduce the risk of infection the Council should consider and implement changes to the layout of workplaces, adjusting working patterns, alternating sections of the workforce on sites, and staggering travelling times. The Trade Unions to be consulted with on any such changes.
7. In line with Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 the Council will not submit any worker refusing to work in an unsafe workplace to Disciplinary or other punitive measures. It recognises workers have the right to withdraw from and refuse to return to an unsafe workplace, and that they have legal protection from dismissal, disciplinary or any other detriment for raising a health and safety issue.
8. PPE must be provided where necessary, and no-one should be asked to re-use PPE inappropriately.
9. Employees to receive instruction on the safe use, maintenance and cleaning of PPE as necessary.
10. Equalities Impact Assessments to be in place for the transition from Lockdown. Across the UK Black and Ethnic Minority workers have suffered disproportionate harm from the impact of the virus. The Council must seek to prevent this disproportionate impact and comply with its public sector equality duty.
11. The Council to inform workers about the availability and criteria of Covid-19 testing and to support workers in obtaining such testing when criteria are met.
Click on link below to read the UNISON report.
How to download Zoom: Zoom can be accessed by computer, tablet, or smart phone.
To access Zoom via smartphone or tablet, open the AppStore (Apple) or the Play Store (Android), search “Zoom Cloud Meetings”, select and install.
To access Zoom via computer, follow the link below and download the “Zoom Client for meetings” https://zoom.us/download#client_4meeting
How to join a meeting:
Open Zoom using your chosen electronic device. You should be given three options – join a meeting, sign up, or sign in.
You may wish to sign up, but you do not have to sign up to join the meeting.
Select “Join a meeting”, enter the “Meeting ID”. This should have already been provided to you. Alternatively, if you have been provided with a link, select this link and you should be automatically directed to the meeting.
If the meeting requires a password you should have been provided with this already.
How to change your name: We would like you to display your name so we can identify people properly.
On a phone, tap the screen, select “Participants”, select yourself (at the top of the list), select rename.
On a computer, hover over the main video/audio display area, select “Participants”, hover over yourself (at the top of the screen), select rename.
If you want to speak: You will need to raise your virtual hand. I will then select people in turn to speak. When it is your turn, I will unmute you.
On a phone, please tap your screen, select “More”, and select “Raise Hand”
On a computer, hover over the main display area, select “Participants”, at the bottom of the participants list there should be a “Raise Hand” button, select this button.
If you are hosting the meeting, ask people to practice putting their hands up here. Pause the meeting to ensure everybody knows how to use this feature.
Using the chatroom: Members can type messages to each other during the meeting using the “Chat” feature. You may wish to use this to ask questions.
On a phone, tap your screen, select “Participants”, select “Chats” in bottom left hand corner.
On a computer, hover over the main display area, select “Chats”.
Making decisions: If we need to take votes on decisions during the meeting, you will be asked to vote by raising your virtual hand. Votes will be taken by simple majority. See above “If you want to speak” for how to raise your virtual hand.
Barnet UNISON Branch ZOOM meeting “COVID19: Your Health and Safety Rights at Work”
After five weeks of lockdown and ongoing media speculation about when lockdown will end Barnet UNISON has secured Simon Hester former Health and Safety Executive Inspector as our Guest Speaker for our first ZOOM Branch Meeting on Wednesday 6 May at 6pm.
To join the Barnet UNISON Zoom meeting click on the link below.
Meeting ID: 880 6399 1632