COVID-19 - Update (2)
We have received a number of calls and emails from members wanting to know more about what they can do to help during the national crisis that has been caused by the Coronavirus.
Your health and wellbeing must at all times be the priority of your Fire Service employer, as it is ours. That said, we would expect Fire and Rescue Services to be playing its part in providing the necessary support to our emergency service partners across the UK in their efforts to protect members of the public who are in need of care.
Our view is that we cannot expect members of the public to volunteer in their hundreds of thousands to support the NHS, while highly trained, experienced and skilful firefighters are stopped from being utilised due to arguments over whether it is appropriate to work outside of ‘normal’ terms and conditions.
These are unprecedented times which require an unprecedented response from all sectors in an effort to minimise the spread of a virus that has already claimed too many lives.
With this in mind, local branches of the FRSA will be liaising with their respective Service Leaders to assist in providing workable solutions to maintain appliance availability with crew numbers that provide safe systems of work but also minimise cross-contamination and the spread of the virus.
We will also be identifying what assistance can be provided outside of normal contractual expectations while maintaining core services and the safety and wellbeing of firefighters.
As a member-led organisation, agreements will be made locally and dependent on the willingness of members to participate. FRSA Head Office will provide the necessary legal advice and protection to members who participate in these hybrid arrangements.
If you are not currently a member of the FRSA now is the time to join.
Primary Employment (On-Call Firefighters)
We’ve received a number of calls from members who have been sent home by their primary employer and questions have been raised as to whether they are eligible for furlough payments (under the government scheme) due to their fire service employment.
Our view is that they are eligible for the Furlough payment as these are two separate contracts with two separate employers. However, we are seeking clarification from HMRC via the Home Office. When we have a definitive answer, we will write to members via our e-bulletin/website.