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Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

07 Apr 2020, 18:05

What is the procedure if you are in a high risk group, but not severe enough to receive an NHS letter? (These are seperate groups)

Sounds like it's the old "speak to your manager and hope they're in a good mood" bs.

GPs aren't generally issuing notes for CV, so people aren't going to have medical notes.

Here are the two seperate lists. We seem to be in a situation where people in the first group who can't get a GP letter are *forced* to work, even if they're willing to take unpaid.

www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid ... -high-risk

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

07 Apr 2020, 18:12

I don't know of any procedure, but mistakes have obviously been made when sending the "high risk" letters out:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-52123446

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

07 Apr 2020, 18:16

We have 2 guys in our office who are in the 'high risk' group. (Not 'very high risk'). They are both off for 12 weeks, unpaid as far as I know.

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

07 Apr 2020, 18:31

sindba wrote:What is the procedure if you are in a high risk group, but not severe enough to receive an NHS letter? (These are seperate groups)

Sounds like it's the old "speak to your manager and hope they're in a good mood" bs.

GPs aren't generally issuing notes for CV, so people aren't going to have medical notes.

Here are the two seperate lists. We seem to be in a situation where people in the first group who can't get a GP letter are *forced* to work, even if they're willing to take unpaid.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronaviru ... -high-risk


Surely everyone has the right to take unpaid leave at the moment

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

07 Apr 2020, 19:12

A2B wrote:
sindba wrote:What is the procedure if you are in a high risk group, but not severe enough to receive an NHS letter? (These are seperate groups)

Sounds like it's the old "speak to your manager and hope they're in a good mood" bs.

GPs aren't generally issuing notes for CV, so people aren't going to have medical notes.

Here are the two seperate lists. We seem to be in a situation where people in the first group who can't get a GP letter are *forced* to work, even if they're willing to take unpaid.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronaviru ... -high-risk


Surely everyone has the right to take unpaid leave at the moment


Think the decision is down to our managers, even if we're high risk.

And we all know how caring our managers are about our welfare, don't we.

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

07 Apr 2020, 19:20

sindba wrote:
A2B wrote:
sindba wrote:
Surely everyone has the right to take unpaid leave at the moment


Think the decision is down to our managers, even if we're high risk.

And we all know how caring our managers are about our welfare, don't we.


Don't think that is the case in this situation.

If you feel that by working you are putting your own health or people you are caring for/living with under threat you can take unpaid leave.

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

07 Apr 2020, 19:46

A2B wrote:
sindba wrote:
A2B wrote:
sindba wrote:
Surely everyone has the right to take unpaid leave at the moment


Think the decision is down to our managers, even if we're high risk.

And we all know how caring our managers are about our welfare, don't we.


Don't think that is the case in this situation.

If you feel that by working you are putting your own health or people you are caring for/living with under threat you can take unpaid leave.


You would hope so mate.

But I bet our managers aren't going to let you, unless there's something in black and white that you can whack them round the face with (metphorically)

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

07 Apr 2020, 20:14

Unless things have changed again i think the managers options are...

Annual leave
Special leave
Unpaid leave

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

07 Apr 2020, 20:27

A2B wrote:Unless things have changed again i think the managers options are...

Annual leave
Special leave
Unpaid leave


Or another option - "tell employee they have to work unless they've got a GP note". Which many GPs aren't doing at the moment.

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

07 Apr 2020, 21:19

You don't have to be sick to be off work, you can take annual leave or go unpaid. Obviously if you meet the criteria to get 12 weeks paid get the union involved if you are having difficulty with your manager.

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

07 Apr 2020, 22:33

A2B wrote:You don't have to be sick to be off work, you can take annual leave or go unpaid. Obviously if you meet the criteria to get 12 weeks paid get the union involved if you are having difficulty with your manager.


This is exactly the problem though.

There are people who are defined as high risk by the NHS, but don't meet the 12 week "extremely high" NHS letter criteria

They are at the mercy of managers, and a lot of managers are, frankly, a*** holes who won't even let people go off unpaid.

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

08 Apr 2020, 10:05

sindba wrote:
A2B wrote:You don't have to be sick to be off work, you can take annual leave or go unpaid. Obviously if you meet the criteria to get 12 weeks paid get the union involved if you are having difficulty with your manager.


This is exactly the problem though.

There are people who are defined as high risk by the NHS, but don't meet the 12 week "extremely high" NHS letter criteria

They are at the mercy of managers, and a lot of managers are, frankly, a*** holes who won't even let people go off unpaid.


You can have a look here for the latest guidance to managers. https://www.myroyalmail.com/node/14595

There is a paragraph that reads:

I have an employee who does not want to attend work because they are concerned about a family member at home. They or anyone within their household do not have symptoms of coronavirus.What should I do?

Find out the employees concerns and reaffirm the processes that we have in place to ensure the protection of our employees. If the employee continues to have concerns and wants to stay away from the office work with them to agree how they can take time away from work. There are a range of options which can be considered including annual holiday, flexible working and Special Leave. If any time is provided as unpaid special leave, the manager should record this through “Other time Off – Special Leave unpaid”. When entering the absence, the manager should select ‘Special Leave unpaid’ and then choose ‘Personal Commitments’.


I imagine if you can take unpaid time if you have concerns for someone at home, you can do the same if you have concerns for yourself.

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

08 Apr 2020, 19:37

Hi, I am diabetic (vulnerable at risk group), and have been self isolating for 3 weeks now. I have it from my DOM, HR, and my CWU rep that if I can get a letter or certificate from the doctor just to confirm I am diabetic then I will be paid. It will count as an absence and come off your allowance of 6 months full sick pay over a rolling 4 year period. The problem is getting hold of my doctor. I am on a list for him to call me tomorrow morning so will update once I have spoken to him. Royal Mail managers have been instructed to give a bit more time to have contact with doctor and for us to get that letter into work. I have been paid up to date so far.

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

08 Apr 2020, 21:39

be careful in trusting that info as I'm in same boat I spoke with my GP and he will not give you a letter or note as we are only in vulnerable group which is ADVISED to self isolate be even harder when you tell him your a key worker !! union told me all would be fine but RM no hols unpaid or special leave . The sad thing about this now you don't know who's telling the truth out of RM ,dom,union

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

08 Apr 2020, 22:21

wolves4767 wrote:be careful in trusting that info as I'm in same boat I spoke with my GP and he will not give you a letter or note as we are only in vulnerable group which is ADVISED to self isolate be even harder when you tell him your a key worker !! union told me all would be fine but RM no hols unpaid or special leave . The sad thing about this now you don't know who's telling the truth out of RM ,dom,union


Yeah that's the worry.

If you're "only" high risk so haven't got a letter / GP note, the b*stards are gonna make you work coz there's nothing stopping them.

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

09 Apr 2020, 07:39

mikep wrote:Hi, I am diabetic (vulnerable at risk group), and have been self isolating for 3 weeks now. I have it from my DOM, HR, and my CWU rep that if I can get a letter or certificate from the doctor just to confirm I am diabetic then I will be paid. It will count as an absence and come off your allowance of 6 months full sick pay over a rolling 4 year period. The problem is getting hold of my doctor. I am on a list for him to call me tomorrow morning so will update once I have spoken to him. Royal Mail managers have been instructed to give a bit more time to have contact with doctor and for us to get that letter into work. I have been paid up to date so far.

My wife is diabetic (type 2) and she got a text from her doctors last weeks telling her too self isolate for 12 weeks and she will receive a letter in the post. Hopefully you will get one also.

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

09 Apr 2020, 18:48

I got my note today, but only after much persuasion. Clearly states Type 2 Diabetic, vulnerable to Covid-19. HOWEVER...doctor was furious with RM for directing us in their direction at this time, and rightly so in my opinion. Current government directive is that the vulnerable group if key workers should be in work if they cannot work from home, and that is the directive the doctors have to work off. Doctor basically said if RM are allowing us off with pay then that is their business and don't bother them for paper work. Good luck with your doctors everybody!!!!

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

09 Apr 2020, 19:38

Good for you,what type of note he give you interested to hear how he's worded it

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

09 Apr 2020, 19:51

mikep wrote:I got my note today, but only after much persuasion. Clearly states Type 2 Diabetic, vulnerable to Covid-19. HOWEVER...doctor was furious with RM for directing us in their direction at this time, and rightly so in my opinion. Current government directive is that the vulnerable group if key workers should be in work if they cannot work from home, and that is the directive the doctors have to work off. Doctor basically said if RM are allowing us off with pay then that is their business and don't bother them for paper work. Good luck with your doctors everybody!!!!


EXACTLY. It's a disgrace.

It should be enough for RM that they have proof of your condition (which is easy to get, we all have access to our medical records).

Don't they know GPs are bloody busy? Or is it just an extra layer of paperwork to try and force as many people into work, even if they're high risk?

The CWU have a blind spot here too, they should be putting pressure on over this.

Urgent clarity needed on vulnerable person grey area

10 Apr 2020, 09:48

Its a "statement of fitness for work" note. Wording is as follows....because of the following condition , Type 2 diabetes mellitus.....I advise you that you are not fit to work....Reason, vulnerable individual for covid 19.

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