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Employers have a statutory duty to risk assess for COVID-19, as it is a ‘substance hazardous to health’, and to put in place a safe system of work.

We appreciate that Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement yesterday caused some confusion. We still do not regard grass cutting and gardening as essential work for the council during this time of crisis, and the Scottish Government guidance issued today supports that.

For Gravediggers: We have asked for an agreement around jobs and finishing, and see no reason why this can’t be done. Go home once your duties are finished.
For Gardeners: Our earlier message stands. Unless your work is essential, you should not be at work until it is essential. By having people who are at work who should not be, your employer is going against government advice and putting both you and the public at risk.
Be in vans together
Be in buckies in close proximity to one another and must observe a 2 metre distance from one another.
Members of the public should not be coming into close contact with you at graves or anywhere else.
Be an up to date risk assessment for covid-19. If it is not in place, you can refuse to put yourself in danger and should remain home until that can be carried out under the Health and Safety Act 1974.
Managers must robustly enforce any risk assessment. If there is any variation, then it must be in agreement with health and safety reps.
If you feel you are being put at risk, take photographs and send them to us as we are trying to build a picture of what you are dealing with across workplaces.
GMB will not compromise on your health and safety. We encourage members to: Question everything. Agree to nothing unless it has been risk assessed and can be done safely.


Join GMB Scotland online

You can click here to join GMB Scotland online and leave the rest to GMB.

Full time – Grade 1 = £14.14 per month

Part time – Grade 2 = £8.18 per month, GMB members working part-time for 20 hours or less and GMB members under 18 years. If you work in a school please check the current GMB rate with GMB Scotland 0141 332 8641.

Sick and unemployed members = 5p per week.

Retired life members = If a GMB member retires on or after 1 July 2015, they can apply for free retired life membership within three months of no longer paying contributions in line with rules 45 or 46. To qualify, they have to be permanently retired from paid work, be members for at least 5 years and apply in writing to become retired life members of the union.

Apprentices = £2 per month

Non-working Students = £1 per month, Students who are in employment will continue to pay the rate applicable to their employment and hours of work.

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Posted: 25th March 2020

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