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Guidance published by Welsh Ministers on identifying children of critical workers.

First published:
14 December 2020
Last updated:

Critical workers

Local authorities must have regard to the following list when deciding who is a critical worker for the purpose of making arrangements for a child of a critical worker to have for education provision on the third school day and each subsequent school day the child’s school premises are closed due to COVID-19. In deciding who are critical workers, local authorities will also want to reflect on types of employment and associated impacts in their area.

For the avoidance of any doubt, the law only requires one parent to be a critical worker for the obligation to make arrangements to apply.

Health and social care workers

All NHS and social care staff, including:

  • doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other health and social care workers including volunteers organisations involved with patient discharge, transport and hospital transfers
  • the administration, support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector including those third sector workers in an NHS or care setting
  • those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines, and medical and personal protective equipment
  • NHS Blood and Transplant frontline staff (blood donation staff, specialist nurses for organ donation, staff running therapeutic apheresis services in NHS hospitals)
  • those providing ancillary support to NHS workers (such as hotel accommodation for NHS staff)

Public safety (emergency workers) and national security workers

  • British Transport Police and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
  • Fire and Rescue Service employees (including support staff)
  • Ministry of Defence civilians, contractors and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of critical defence and national security outputs and critical to the response to the coronavirus pandemic), including defence medical staff
  • National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas
  • police and support staff
  • staff of organisations required in the national security aspects of water in Wales

Education and childcare workers

  • all workers in childcare settings (to include day nurseries, creches, childminders, play groups, Cylch Meithrin, after school clubs and holidays clubs)
  • Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) lecturers
  • social workers
  • specialist education professionals,
  • support staff on site at schools, FE and HE settings such as catering, cleaners, caretakers, maintenance staff all those involved in schools/FE/HE institutions to operate
  • teaching staff
  • learning support staff
  • Work Based Learning trainers and assessors
  • Youth workers

Food and other necessary goods workers

Critical personnel in the production and distribution of food, drink and essential goods, including but not limited to:

  • those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery such as, but not limited to:
    • abattoir workers
    • fishers (crewed vessels)
    • farmers
    • milk processors
    • food retailers, manufacturers, distributors
    • storage (inc. cold & hub)
    • food animal vets
  • individuals that support the production, testing and front facing services of the food industry such as engineering or maintenance roles, quality control, food testing and customer relations
  • those critical to the provision of other essential goods, such as medical supply chain and distribution workers, including community pharmacy and testing, and veterinary medicine in food producing and public health roles
  • workers critical to the continuity of essential movement and storage of goods such as collection and delivery drivers, agricultural merchants and haulers
  • essential agriculture services i.e. sheep shearers, foot trimmers, sheep dippers, supply chains

Transport workers

Those who keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus response and those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass for example:

  • bus operators
  • Cardiff Airport Staff (Air Traffic Controllers, Firemen, Security, Ground Crew etc)
  • highway agents, consultants and contractors
  • Highway Patrol Officers
  • port operational staff and haulage operators (to capture both drivers and maintenance/loading etc
  • Ports Workers
  • seafarers
  • Taxi/PHV
  • Traffic Wales Control Room Officers
  • Train/Network Rail staff  - train/station operator or rail infrastructure manager
  • Transport for Wales workers
  • workers involved in Road Haulage, including drivers, but roles key to continued operations
  • workers involved in Warehousing, distribution and supply

Utilities, communication and financial services workers

  • certified personnel needed for works on gaseous pipework (including medical gases)
  • employees undertaking technical or diagnostic activities at other third party sites
  • energy generation control room/asset repair/maintenance staff, and key supply chain contractors
  • essential staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, steel, telecommunications (such as  network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 essential services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors
  • information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the coronavirus response
  • journalists and broadcasters covering coronavirus or providing public service broadcasting, to include companies working for or on behalf of public service broadcasters
  • oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage)
  • staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure)

Key public service workers

Essential public services staff, such as:

  • front line Local Authority workers, council workers, third sector workers and umbrella organisations working with vulnerable children and adults, victims of domestic abuse, and the homeless and rough sleepers (and hotel staff supporting these groups)
  • services providing front line substance misuse treatment
  • Animal and Plant Health Agency – vets, technical and plant health staff
  • charities and workers delivering critical frontline services
  • EIA enforcement officers
  • FSA Inspectors
  • Meat Hygiene Inspectors
  • NRW Incident Responders and Field Staff
  • Prisons, probation, courts and tribunals staff, judiciary
  • public health and environmental staff, such as specialist community public health nursing
  • religious staff
  • RSPCA inspectors and other animal welfare workers
  • Rural Charity staff (frontline)
  • staff involved in coal tip safety work
  • staff involved in emergency planning and response
  • those responsible for the management of the deceased i.e mortuary and funeral home workers
  • those responsible for the construction or maintenance of public service buildings,
  • veterinary technicians and support staff
  • vets – to include farm animal, companion animal and equine