Plumbing and heating operatives to be ‘Key Workers’

The government has classified plumbing and heating professionals as ‘Key Workers’ and as such the children of plumbing and heating workers will be prioritised for education provision.

CEO John Thompson says the APCH had been discussing with the government the possibility of assigning Key Worker status to plumbing and heating contractors and fully welcomes this action.

“I’m glad the government recognises the essential frontline work that plumbing and heating professionals carry out and the direct role they play in keeping society healthy, warm and safe,” says John Thompson. “If plumbers and heating engineers weren’t allowed into properties or attend sites to fix breakages, this could have led dangerous heating systems and unsafe drinking-water and sanitation facilities.”

The government’s advice states that parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those in working in utilities which covers the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors, including sewerage.

Official advice stresses that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. However, Key Workers who cannot keep their child safe at home will be prioritised for education provision.

Education provision is also available for vulnerable children including children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

Plumbing and heating employers can inform their employees that their role as a plumbing and heating engineer is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service and therefore are eligible for education provision.

“If your or your employees’ school is closed then you can contact your local authority, who will seek to redirect you to a local school in your area,” adds John.

COVID-19 procedural guidelines

Continuing to work in the current environment means that plumbing and heating engineers may come into contact with people who have the COVID-19 virus. To help mitigate the potential risk of COVID-19, APHC has developed a number of recommended procedures.

“We have worked with our members to devise risk assessments and a number of key procedural working practices to adopt before, during and after each appointment where a household contains people with the COVID-19 virus or where occupants are considered to fall into the government’s vulnerable group.  These actions have been designed to help protect the public and our members from catching and spreading Coronavirus,” says John.

APHC members can access the COVID-19 procedural guides and templates from the members’ area of the APHC website at www.aphc.co.uk/members. APHC members who require specific advice can contact APHC directly on 0121 711 5030.

The government’s ‘Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision’ can be read here.

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