After calls from industry leaders to clarify where logistics workers stand under national lockdown restrictions implemented in early January, the government has confirmed in a letter to the industry.
The United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) asked the Department for Transport (DfT) to clarify whether transport logistics workers were considered ‘essential workers’ and could travel to work and whether their children could attend school with other key workers.
The DfT responded in a letter to UKWA CEO Peter Ward and other industry leaders that logistics workers were ‘critical workers’ and specifically listed warehouse staff, haulage drivers, managers and other logistics professions that ensure supply chains can keep moving.
It also clarified that all supply chains are included here, not just those providing medical supplies and food.
Under lockdown restrictions that were brought in early January, people can only leave work if they cannot reasonably do their job from home, and the advice was previously unclear about which industries would qualify as essential, as logistics was not directly mentioned in official guidance.
The rules allow for people working in construction, manufacturing, education/childcare, essential public services and “critical national infrastructure” to continue to travel to their workplace, and the DfT clarified that this latter category includes logistics workers.
Outside of this, people are only allowed to leave their homes to shop for necessities, exercise, meet a support bubble, seek medical assistance or avoid harm, or attend education or childcare if a child of a key worker.