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Essential and non-essential workers lockdown rules

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Steamer191509/04/2020 13:29:53
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162 forum posts
41 photos

There has been a lot in the media lately about the police taking a heavy handed approach when “enforcing the lockdown rule”.

I was listening to Radio 5 yesterday and there was an interesting call from a self employed tradesman who had been reported by the neighbours of the person whose house he was working at. I gained the impression that he was laying a block paved drive or something similar. He stated that he was observing all the social distancing measures but that the police had stopped by and told him that he had to stop work because he was not an essential worker and if he continued, he would be prosecuted. The chap duly stopped work, made the site safe and returned home. All good so far.

Those of you that know me will be aware that I have a workshop that is about four miles away from my home and that I make dials and other accessories for the model engineering fraternity.
Whilst I would never class myself as a key worker, I have carried on as usual, based on the fact that a) I travel alone in the car and b) I work alone in the workshop.

What is the point of all this? Well, it’s this:-

Another caller on the aforementioned radio programme mentioned that the original advice given at the start of the lockdown (and subsequently emailed to police forces country wide) was soon afterwards edited and is now different to the common (mis) conception about key workers.

Pasted below are the relevant paragraphs from the government website

LINK

6. How can I find out if my work is essential or not?
The government is not saying only people doing “essential” work can go to work. Anyone who cannot work from home can still go to work.

Every worker – whether critical or not – should work from home if they can but may otherwise travel to work.

I’m taking that to say my common sense approach is not breaking any guidelines or laws. I intend to print a copy of the relevant paragraphs and carry them with me in the car.

Please feel free to share this information. It may help someone who is unsure.

Steve.

Edited By Steamer1915 on 09/04/2020 13:31:15

Edited By Steamer1915 on 09/04/2020 13:41:57

Sakura09/04/2020 13:44:58
39 forum posts
1 photos

My brother in law is a self employed builder. Got lots of work on that does not need anybody else or input from property owners. Got a visit from the police, they checked he was working on his own and were perfectly happy. Totally logical. He's not claiming any support.

mgnbuk09/04/2020 14:00:02
748 forum posts
60 photos

My current "furlough" has been ended - I am to return to work on the 15th April.

The letter from the company informing me of my requirement to return will be carried while travelling to & from work, to be shown to anyone who feels they have a right to know.

Nigel B.

SillyOldDuffer09/04/2020 14:38:39
5650 forum posts
1159 photos

What Steve is saying sounds perfectly sensible to me - it's low risk, except perhaps when he has to refuel his car! But all the Guidelines apply and Number 4 says something important. It includes:

Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.

'Every possible step' needs thinking about. Steve could be challenged to list everything he's done to facilitate working from home rather than travelling as normal to his workshop. Best to have a reasonable answer ready, perhaps with examples of what's been done to reduce travel. For example, it might be possible to reduce the number of workshop visits by spending one day a week doing paperwork or any other task that can be done at home.

A friend of my nephew was fined £60 yesterday (£30 if paid within 14 days). On arrival at a supermarket a policeman asked if his visit was essential. "Of course it is" the young man said, "how dare they!" On the way out Jack-the-Lad was stopped again and his purchase inspected. What vital essentials were in his carrier bag? 3 cans of Budweiser and a bag of crisps...

Yes the lock-down is inconvenient, but the tighter the clamp the safer we are.

Dave

Michael Gilligan09/04/2020 15:01:01
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15500 forum posts
670 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 09/04/2020 14:38:39:

What Steve is saying sounds perfectly sensible to me - it's low risk, except perhaps when he has to refuel his car! But all the Guidelines apply and Number 4 says something important. It includes:

Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.

'Every possible step' needs thinking about. […]

.

Those are worrying words indeed, Dave ... and, I think, clear evidence that such statements are being composed ‘on the hoof’ by non-specialists.

I well remember the legal debate about ‘Best Endeavours’ and our insistence that Contracts would only use expressions like “all reasonable endeavours”

The only mercy is that they are using “should” not “shall” !!

MichaelG.

Ian McVickers09/04/2020 15:24:34
174 forum posts
84 photos

Ive been giver a letter from my employer and also told to show my pass as well if I get stopped. But, the company guidance also says that this may not be enough so I have asked what do I do if I get stopped and told to go home? Still waiting on an answer.

Obviously I will be going home if told to but what do you do on the next day you have to go to work? Take the risk of getting stopped again by the same person? I dont think it would go down well.

Hopefully the police will take the view that the covering letter is enough to justify me going to work.

Steviegtr09/04/2020 19:41:17
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1166 forum posts
99 photos

The building site at the rear of our house is very quiet. It looks like they are taking it in turns. No Brickies all week. But roofers & joiners are on site. It's a large site but only seems like 10 or so workers. My son in law owns a car repair & painting garage. He is at work all the time on his own. The other workers are on the furlough. He does not have to travel though as they live on the premises.

Steve.

vintage engineer10/04/2020 10:40:28
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249 forum posts
1 photos

There is NO restrictions on who can work and the Police are ignorant of the guidelines if they think only essential workers are allowed to work.

The guidelines clearly state:- work from home if possible. If this is not possible you may travel to work but must observe the two metre rule.

I am still working as I am a lone worker, I have my own workshops and no one else is near me.

If the Police try to stop me from working I will be seeing them in court seeking compensation as I am not entitled to any help from the government!

 

Edited By vintage engineer on 10/04/2020 10:42:49

Samsaranda10/04/2020 11:04:06
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909 forum posts
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Yesterday received our letter from Boris with the UK government leaflet about Coronavirus, in which it clearly states “if you cannot work from home then you can still travel to work” as long as you can observe social separation, it couldn’t be clearer and absolutely no mention of work having to be essential. If anyone has a confrontation with police over this issue then they have a cast iron reason to work as directed by the government leaflet. Any fines levied should be quashed on appeal. It is not easy with a whole raft of legislation descending on the police so I sympathise with them but it appears that some Chief Constables are reading into the legislation issues that are not there.
Dave W

Dave Halford10/04/2020 11:28:17
705 forum posts
6 photos

And some want extra powers apparently. Things seem to get a bit 'Gene Hunt' quite quickly.

Ian Skeldon 210/04/2020 11:32:23
478 forum posts
30 photos
Posted by vintage engineer on 10/04/2020 10:40:28:

There is NO restrictions on who can work and the Police are ignorant of the guidelines if they think only essential workers are allowed to work.

The guidelines clearly state:- work from home if possible. If this is not possible you may travel to work but must observe the two metre rule.

I am still working as I am a lone worker, I have my own workshops and no one else is near me.

If the Police try to stop me from working I will be seeing them in court seeking compensation as I am not entitled to any help from the government!

Edited By vintage engineer on 10/04/2020 10:42:49

I doubt very much that the police would try to stop you from working, what they are trying to do is stop idiots from going out for a drive around. I haven't heard of anyone in my area being stopped from working, one or two from driving with mates in the car have been stopped.

pgk pgk10/04/2020 11:43:45
1731 forum posts
287 photos

There is always an element of folk trying to push their powers too far. If gov wanted limited essential items only to be sold then they would instruct supermarkets accordingly. Off-licences can trade as 'essential' so anyone stopping a fellow for buying a few cans of beer is overstepping.


One persons essential is another persons trivia as well as the moral, ethical, religeous and medical variations in dietary requirements. This lockdown should be a measured response not a need to go grubbing around in the hedgerows although the wild garlic leaves are good at the moment.

pgk

Nigel Graham 211/04/2020 00:48:25
589 forum posts

It was explained on today's News after comments by the Police in one town about empty "non-essential" goods shelves, that Downing Street has clarified that if a shop is allowed to trade, it can sell its normal lines.

There was a similar remark not long ago from the retail-trade association.

That would make sense because if you are in a certain shop for bread and milk, you are in that shop whether you stop at the bread and milk or also buy a bag of bird-seed and tin of paint there. As you long as you stick to the distance rules and markers. It's also helping the shop and its suppliers.

The Police have been put in an awful situation, given weak guidance in administering what by our normal standards are draconian powers; facing physical as well as verbal abuse; having to deal with idiots who think themselves immortals above the law .

[The weather outlines on the radio have just mentioned ' isolated showers '.....]

Hopper11/04/2020 03:53:42
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4423 forum posts
94 photos

Sounds similar to the situation here in Oz. Poorly worded rushed legislation. Then contradictory daily statements by the state political leaders. Then police told to use their discretion. Which appears to range from blatant indifference through overzealous jobsworthery to outright jackbootery.

That's the problem with living in a police state. Which we have become. Overnight. Because there is a particularly nasty flu going around.

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