Factsheet for case GB-2020-13/1119 – measures in United Kingdom
|Country||United Kingdom , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 25 March 2020|
|Type||Other initiatives or policies|
Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Well-being of workers
|Author||Claire Evans (Warwick University) and Eurofound|
|Case created||14 September 2020 (updated 04 October 2020)|
The two main teaching unions in the UK - the National Education Union (NEU) and the NASUWT, The Teachers' Union - have been very active in campaigning on school safety, and concomitantly, in the provision of advice and guidance for members, during the coronavirus crisis. This has been deemed necessary due to hub schools being kept open for the children of key workers during lockdown and subsequently, in the face of government insistence that schools re-opened at the beginning of September. The unions have been greatly concerned about staff safety and have campaigned vociferously to government about such issues. The NEU compiled a National Education Recovery Plan and wrote again to the PM on the 11 September, in order to voice concerns as to rising cases and how staff and pupils should be protected.
Moreover, both have established coronavirus hubs, in order to provide a mass of information and advice to teachers on a wide range of salient issues. NASUWT has also established a Coronavirus Help Desk.
Both unions have provided Coronavirus Hubs, which provides a mass of information and guidance to members and union reps on a wide range of issues. From NASUWT, their comprehensive guide include
The NEU, in its dedicated portal, has provided specific guidance to different occupations (from principals to special needs teachers). The NEU, together with other unions, has issued guidance to its workplace representatives, as well as a manual to members, and is negotiating in every school to ensure safety, student numbers, distancing, hygiene and cleaning.
In both cases, the materials are publicly available on the respective unions' websites; thus, the advice is open to all. There is no evaluation data on how many members/teachers have accessed the materials and no data on cost.
No evaluation data available. It would be difficult to measure as activities listed refer to campaigning, lobbying of government and the provision of advice and guidance to members.
Workers in essential services
|Does not apply to businesses||
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative||No involvement|
|Form||Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
The initiatives described are those of two teaching unions; thus, they are solely responsible for the design and implementation of the advice and guidance issued to their members and their workplace representatives. Both unions have also campaigned around staff and pupil safety. They have devised recovery plans and checklists, written to government and highlighted issues in the media. They have influenced government strategy to some extent; however, this has not been done through institutionalised settings with consultation requested by government.
It can be assumed that the teaching unions' initiatives, concerned as they are with staff and pupil safety, would have broad support from other social partner organisations.
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|P - Education||P85 Education|
|Occupation (ISCO level 2)|
|Cleaners and helpers|
Eurofound (2020), Teaching unions' coronavirus online information hubs, case GB-2020-13/1119 (measures in United Kingdom), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.