Emergency Exemption for Covid-19

Our Ref: HSR/1/3
Head Office Circular: NP/263/21
23rd July 2021
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


Following the publication of material by Network Rail* and the Department for Transport on emergency exemptions from self-isolation for certain critical transport workers, your National Executive Committee resolved as follows at its meeting on 22nd July 2021:

That we note the material on file from Network Rail and the Department for Transport on Emergency Exemptions from self-isolation for certain critical transport workers.

Accordingly, the General Secretary is instructed that when proposals are made by companies for this type of exceptional and exempted working inform the companies of the following:

• That all workers have the right to work in a safe system and environment that is properly risk assessed, with proper controls

• The staff in the groups receiving these exempted, alerted and tested staff into the workplace will be subject to an elevated level of risk as the alerted staff would normally be isolating

• Therefore, before any implementation, employers need to produce robust risk assessments that consider and control the enhanced risks to all staff, and they must ensure they are effective and fully enforced

• This type of working practice should be voluntary for the whole group, for all of the staff involved, not just those that have been alerted, tested and exempted

• Rigorous controls and monitoring needs to be in place and the effects of this type of working needs to be reported regularly

• Further, the General Secretary is to advise members that where this type ofworking may be implemented, those members who feel that their health and safety is being compromised or they feel endangered by this method of working they should invoke Worksafe (or similar) procedures and remove themselves to a place of safety away for the environment.

Members to be informed by text and email.

Relevant Branches, Regional Councils and Reps to be advised.

Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

*Despite the reference to Network Rail, wider implications mean that texts and emails will be going to the entire RMT membership.

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
General Secretary