THROUGHOUT the coronavirus pandemic, critical workers across various industries have been keeping the country running.
So who are our critical workers that we continue to appreciate and support? And what's the difference between a critical worker and a key worker?
Who are critical workers?
It may sound obvious, but those whose work is considered critical to the coronavirus response are considered critical workers.
This means their roles cannot be performed from home or their line of work is not deemed essential in the country's response efforts.
Health and social care
This includes, but is not limited to, doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers
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Education and child care
- support and teaching staff
- social workers
- specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach
Key public services
- those essential to the running of the justice system
- religious staff
- charities and workers delivering key frontline services
- those responsible for the management of the deceased
- journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting
Local and national government
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of:
- the COVID-19 response
- essential public services, such as the payment of benefits including in government agencies and arms length bodies
Food and other necessary goods
This includes those involved in food:
- sale and delivery
- as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines)
Public safety and national security
- police and support staff
- Ministry of Defence civilians
- contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic)
- fire and rescue service employees (including support staff)
- National Crime Agency staff
- those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services
- staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure)
- the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage)
- information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response
- key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services)
- postal services and delivery
- payments providers
- waste disposal sectors
What is the difference between a critical worker and a key worker?
The terms critical worker and key worker are often used interchangeably.
They describe an employee who works in the public or private sector who are considered to provide an "essential service".
Such roles cannot be done remotely.
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