Minister of State defines key worker status directly to Fire Industry Association
16 April 2020
JAMES BROKENSHIRE, the Minister of State for Security at the Home Office, has written to Derek Gotts (chairman) and Ian Moore (CEO) of the Fire Industry Association (FIA) detailing his support for the fire safety industry through the challenges created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, repeating the message that: “The Government is grateful for the sector’s continuing efforts at this challenging time.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the FIA has been in touch with Government seeking clarity and offering information on how the emergency response is impacting specifically upon the fire sector and its cohort of dedicated professionals.
The detailed correspondence from the Home Office contains important information for those practitioners providing vital and essential support (ie products and services) to the fire and security industry and those helping to relieve pressure on the Emergency Services, the basis of which is to provide essential safety to people as they go about their daily lives.
In the letter (which can be read in full on the FIA's website), Brokenshire stated: “Many roles within the fire and security industry provide vital support to critical services as well as relieving pressure on the Emergency Services. I recognise that the businesses and organisations encompassed by the FIA provide products and services which provide essential safety to people as they go about their daily lives. The Government is grateful for the sector’s continuing efforts at this challenging time.”
The Minister of State continued: “Such employees engaged in this critical task will need to continue to perform their work. However, equally important in the fight against COVID-19 is that as many people as possible remain at home and that those who do go to work follow Public Health England guidelines.”
Following on from that last point, Brokenshire observed: “I ask, therefore, that your industry considers carefully which of its employees absolutely must continue travelling into work to enable companies to continue providing their vital services, and what possible steps can be taken to facilitate staff working from home. For those workers who cannot work from home, the guidance is clear that they are allowed to travel and attend work if it is safe to do so and they, and other members of their household, are not symptomatic.”
For their part, Gotts and Moore are keen to thank colleagues at the National Fire Chiefs Council and, indeed, the Home Office for their support in receiving this “important and clear message” from the Minister of State.