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TfL abandons plan to sanction Covid absences after July 19 UK News

Tube bosses withdrew from controversial plans to discipline staff absent due to Covid-19 after the lockdown was eased on July 19.

Train drivers union ASLEF revealed last week that TfL was planning changes to its absence policy that could have left subway drivers subject to disciplinary action if they had to take time off work due to Covid-19 after the lockdown restrictions were lifted later this month.

The plans were set in a meeting between London Underground management and union representatives in which it was also suggested that staff turn off the NHS test and tracing app while they work.

But TfL has since abandoned the plans following further discussions with union representatives, who said it was “a clear attempt to push staff to ignore the self-isolation law” and ” a risk to the safety of ASLEF members and others “.

A spokesperson for TfL said: “The safety, health and well-being of staff and customers continue to be our top priority during the pandemic and we are committed to doing everything possible to run a safe and secure service. reliable to keep London moving.

“Last week we presented unions with a proposal to revert to managing sick leave in accordance with our standstill policy, which was in place before the pandemic. We have given thought to their comments and have decided not to proceed with our proposal at this time, but will keep this matter under review, closely monitoring changes in the circumstances of the current pandemic. We will continue to work closely with our unions as we move forward and restrictions continue to ease. ”

TfL also stressed that staff are advised to deactivate the NHS test and tracing application only in specific circumstances where they are not at risk of exposure, such as when working behind protective screens, and that subway drivers are prohibited from turning on their phones. in the train cabin for safety reasons.

Under TfL’s absence from work procedure, staff are subject to disciplinary action if they are absent for eight or more working days in a 26 week period, ranging from ‘informal orientation’ to first to written warnings and possibly to dismissal in the following cases. .

Currently, anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 and anyone they live with must self-isolate for at least 10 days, while anyone who comes in contact with a positive case will be contacted by the test and the race of the NHS and asked to self-isolate.

But Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs yesterday that starting August 16, anyone who has received a double blow will not be required to self-isolate if close contact is positive.

This follows Boris Johnson’s announcement that all remaining Covid-19 restrictions would be lifted on July 19, including the legal application of the wearing of masks in indoor locations and on public transport.

While the prime minister said wearing a mask would be a “personal choice,” Sadiq Khan called for face coverings to remain mandatory on public transport, stressing that they help reduce the spread of the virus and give people trust to travel, which he said is “vital” to the economy.

The mayor of London said further discussions are planned between TfL and the Department for Transport on the guidance to be given on face coverings from July 19.

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This notice was published: 2021-07-09 15:09:34

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