Information for critical and key workers

There are some council staff who are working in front line and essential roles that means we still need them to physically be in the borough.

This section provides advice for staff working in front line services or in council buildings.

There are some council staff who are working in front line and essential roles that means we still need them to physically be in the borough.

This section provides advice for staff working in front line services or in council buildings.

  • Antibody testing for social care staff

    05 August, 2020

    Antibody testing is now available for all social care staff.

    To book a test, email the following details to link)

    • First name

    • Surname

    • Job title

    • Email address

    • Mobile number (that you are happy to receive the test result on)

    You will then receive an email from COVID-TEST-LONDON to book an appointment for a blood test at one of these locations:

    • The Royal London Hospital, Health and Well Being Centre, Whitechapel, E1 2AH
    • King George Hospital, Goodmayes, Ilford, IG3 8YB
    • Shrewsbury Road Health Centre, Shrewsbury Road, East Ham, E7 8QP
    • Appleby Health Centre, Appleby Road, Canning Town, E16 1LQ
    • Manor Park Health Centre, Church Road, Manor Park, E12 6AQ
    • Barley Court, Goodmayes Hospital, 157 Barley Lane, Ilford, IG3 8XJ
    • Langthorne Health Centre, Langthorne Road, London E11 4HX
    • St James Medical Practice, 47 St James Street, London E17 7NH
    • Silverthorne Health Centre, 2 Friars Close off Larkshall Road, London E4 6UN

    Please print off and take their booking form with them to their appointment, except for St George’s Hospital where they can complete the form when they arrive.

    There is more information in these FAQs.

  • Work hygiene in council buildings

    03 April, 2020

    If the council requires you to come into your normal workplace, you should follow the guidance below to keep yourself and fellow workers safe:

    • if you work in an office or space where workstations are shared remember to use the disinfectant spray and/or wipes provided when you first start at your workstation, and when you leave.
    • keep shared areas, for example kitchen areas and break out spaces clean and tidy. Wash thoroughly any shared plates, cutlery and other utensils or use the dishwasher where one is available.
    • always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
    • wash your hands often with soap and water regularly, especially after using public transport.
    • use a sanitiser gel that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
    • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • Fire safety

    03 April, 2020

    With fewer people working in council buildings, our usual Fire Warden system may not be in place.

    In view of this, please follow the advice below if there is a fire alarm:

    • familiarise yourself with the building you are working in and the escape routes
    • if you may need assistance to evacuate the building, please ensure that your Personal Evacuation Plan (PEP) is up to date.

    If the fire alarm is activated:

    • respond to the alarm in the usual way by leaving the building by the nearest fire exit and go to your usual assembly point
    • managers and staff must check the area they are working in to ensure everyone has left
    • managers must report the situation in their area of the building to the nominated authorised person
    • managers should account for colleagues at the assembly point and report to the nominated authorised person if anyone is missing
    • If you are a Fire Warden working in your own building, please carry out your normal duties
    • do no re-enter the building until instructed it is safe to do so by an authorised person.
  • Falling ill at work

    03 April, 2020

    If you become unwell at work with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, you should inform your manager, then go home and follow the guidance on sickness absence.

    If a colleague has helped you when you became ill, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection.

  • Information for waste crews

    03 April, 2020

    The following guidance has been issued to our waste crews. For more information, please speak to your manager.


    • You should stay at home for 10 days if you have either:
      • a high temperature
      • a new continuous cough.
    • Inform your manager if someone at home has symptoms you must isolate for 14 days – isolation form to be completed and you must call your manager. You can download an isolation note here and send it to your manager (ask them if you need help).
    • If someone at home is being shielded because they are in the most vulnerable group and received a text or letter from the NHS, then tell us and so we can maximise social distancing, i.e. swap roles. This is not the same as the text that every mobile phone user received from the government.
    • Those with one of the underlying conditions should be at home, check with your manager if you are unsure whether this applies to you.
    • To minimise time in cabs, join rounds rather than join at the depot and leave at the end of round to minimise contact at depot.
    • Crews can travel in the same vehicle together when needed but it is not expected to be for excessive periods. Crews should avoid very close contact and touching surfaces without gloves on.
    • Each crew should avoid contact with other crews and remain two metres or more away from colleagues whenever practical.
    • The vehicle cab should be cleaned after use by the driver, and the vehicle will be supplied with hand sanitizer/gel wash, you should use this often.
    • Staff should wear gloves when doing their work and wash them as they can. Gloves protect you and are essential PPE and minimise any risks from the touching the bins or other surfaces/contamination along with other activity risks.
    • Don’t touch your face with your gloves, and don’t eat with your gloves on. Always wash your hands thoroughly and regularly particularly before eating food and after your shift.
    • Crews are advised to wash their hands as soon as they arrive home, and wash work clothing regularly.
    • Round consistency - we strive to maintain the same drivers and loaders on the rounds so that they work predominantly with one another and thus reducing contact with other drivers and loaders.
    • All cabs have been fitted with wash gel dispensers, and cleaning kit.
    • We are also issuing latex gloves to be worn inside of the nitrile one we issue, to better protect if they are required to handle any loose waste.

    If a member of staff develops symptoms they should stay at home and contact their manager.

    Any worries and concerns please do speak to you manager.

  • Exposure to body fluids

    03 April, 2020

    If dealing with bodily fluids as part of your role (for example. supporting service users with personal care or undertaking cleaning tasks), you should continue to follow your team’s risk assessment/infection control procedures.

    Everyone should be reminded to ensure that they maintain good hygiene, including disposing of tissues appropriately. Gloves should be provided, and you could consider using personal hand sanitiser gels that contains at least 60% alcohol. If cleaning is not part of a member of staff’s usual role, managers should not be asking them to carry out cleaning in response to the coronavirus.

  • Information for social care professionals

    03 April, 2020

    The government has published:

  • Children's Social Care

    03 April, 2020

    Here are the critical service operation procedures and guidance for chidren’s social care during the current pandemic.

    We’ve produced a series of guides for children’s social care staff to help them carry out effective virtual visits with families and children. This includes:

    • Good practice for virtual practitioner visits
    • Good practice for virtual direct work for social work and other practitioner visits
    • Guidance on recording virtual visits
    • Good practice – virtual contact and family/friends time
    • Virtual direct work for play therapists
    • Apps and websites for emotional well-being.