AFTER appeals from industry bodies including ESA, the Government has granted ‘key worker’ status to the waste sector.
Earlier this week, the Government announced that schools across the UK would be closed from Friday 20 March, for all children, except those of key workers and ‘vulnerable children’.
The decision to class those in the waste industry as ‘key workers’ means children of these workers will be allowed back to school, freeing their parents to continue vital services as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the country.
ESA executive director Jacob Hayler responded to the announcement saying: “We are pleased to see the government acknowledge the essential role of recycling and waste operatives during the COVID-19 pandemic which means that our sector’s workforce will continue to receive educational provision for their children – allowing them to get on with their vital jobs.
“This was ESA members’ most pressing priority, but there are still many other issues around permitting rules, contractual performance and other technical areas unique to our sector, which the ESA is working with Defra and the Environment Agency to resolve, in order to ensure the sector can continue to provide effective recycling and waste services during this crisis.”