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trade union relations

4 June 2020

As our schools begin to re-open, school leaders will inevitably face public scrutiny as they seek to keep the risks associated with new, socially distanced teaching methods to a minimum. Indeed, over the last couple of weeks we have received an increase in the number of queries received from clients in relation to risk assessments and to manage increased scrutiny from unions, the Health and Safety Executive and the media.

To help schools and academies comply with their legal obligations and keep both their staff and pupils safe we have provided the answers to the most frequently asked questions below.

 

Trade union relations FAQ

We have brought together a number of FAQs which will be of use to schools in the planning and preparations of re-opening schools:

In relation to Safety Representatives appointed by Trade Unions you do have an obligation to assist them in carrying out their functions, and this does include providing them with risk assessments, allowing them time to provide you with their feedback and taking into account their views before making any changes to working practices which impact upon the health, safety and welfare of employees.

The relevant Trade Union should inform you about who the appointed Safety Representative is and which members/employees they represent. This will allow you to enter into dialogue with the Safety Representative.

Each safety representative has the following functions:

  • To investigate potential hazards at the workplace,
  • To investigate any complaints by any employee s/he represents,
  • To make representations to the employer on general matters affecting the health, safety and welfare at work of the employees

Essentially the function of safety representatives is to represent employees in consultation with employers about health and safety matters.

Every employer must consult safety representatives in good time with regard to:

  • The introduction of any measure in the workplace which may substantially affect the health and safety of employees,
  • Any health and safety information s/he is required to provide to the employees s/he represents e.g. the risks identified from a risk assessment and the protective and preventative measures.

Employers are required to consult health and safety representatives about these matters before telling them what has been decided and before they make changes.

“In good time” is not defined but should allow time for safety representatives to express their views and for employers to take account of any response.

training and events

12Mar

ASCL Annual Conference Online

Come and meet the team at ASCL’s annual conference.

View event

24Mar

Optimus MAT Summit Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, The NEC Birmingham, Pendigo Way, Birmingham, B40 1PP

Come and meet the team at Optimus’ annual conference.

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focus on...

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World Mental Health Day - 10 October 2020

With World Mental Health Day coming up tomorrow, and with the backdrop of COVID-19 dominating most of our thoughts and everyday lives, now is a great opportunity to start thinking about going the extra mile to support the wellbeing of your staff and pupils.

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Effective Board and Members meetings; Covid-19 and beyond

View our on-demand video where Education Partners Nick MacKenzie and Dominic Swift discuss the approach to members and board meetings in the ‘new normal’ considering the benefits of virtual meetings and discuss how in the longer-term, boards might combine virtual and in-person meetings to be more effective.

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Guides

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150th Anniversary of State Education – Lessons Learned: reflections of 12 former Secretaries of State

Our on-demand video was hosted by the BBC’s Education Correspondent Branwen Jefferys with special guests including Baroness Nicky Morgan, Kenneth Clarke QC, Michael Gove, Justine Greening and Lord David Blunkett discussing past successes of education, the unintended consequences of past policy, and to envision what still remains to be done.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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