21 March 2020
Why RVN’s aren’t considered ‘key workers’
BVNA has made the following release regarding the pandemic and the status of “key worker’s”:
The world is currently facing a pandemic; with challenges facing our daily lives that have not been seen since the last world war. There will be immense challenges facing every aspect of our social norm; facing businesses, services, healthcare and of course the veterinary profession. We are not business as usual.
The government has announced the list of ‘Key worker’s’. Veterinary Nurses not being included has left some feeling frustrated and undervalued. We want to tell you this is not the case. To fully understand the governments decisions, we need to fully understand what a ‘Key Worker’ is.
A ‘Key Worker’ revolves around the basis for that worker to apply for childcare so they can carry out their job. It is not a guarantee of childcare. Even NHS Staff who are key workers are being asked to not apply for childcare. We have been asked to practice social distancing, this is why schools have closed. This is crucial to slow the spread of Covid-19. Being a ‘Key Worker’ is not a job security.
BVA and the RCVS are working with the BVNA and all other organisations to lobby government for the Veterinary industry to be classed as ‘Business-critical’. This means that in the event of a lockdown, veterinary practices will be able to maintain a service that will uphold animal welfare and provide an emergency service for our pets. Being classed as business critical does impact our ability to do our job in the event of a nationwide lockdown. Being a Key worker does not.
The pressures and challenges we face are changing daily. We urge veterinary nurses to play their part with other veterinary professionals to practice social distancing. It is our social responsibility, in line with the government advice. We are all one vet family. We will support each other through these anxious and uncertain times.
We are not business as usual.
BVNA will continue to ensure our valued veterinary nurses voice is heard and support all the nurses working hard during these unprecedented occurrences.
BVNA set up a benevolent fund to help members who are in need, hardship or distress.
For information and advice on COVID-19, vetlife have published information to support the veterinary professions and you can find out more here: https://www.vetlife.org.uk/covid-19-and-support-for-the-veterinary-professions/.