The coronavirus crisis has had a dramatic affect on our way of life in the UK. Our freedom has been severely restricted to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease and limit the death toll. Pubs, restaurants and schools have been forced to close, all sporting activities have been postponed or cancelled and people are being urged to follow new social distancing advice.
Employees across the UK have been encouraged to work from home where possible and while millions have taken up that option, working from home is simply not plausible for those who drive for a living.
Truck Drivers Play An Essential Role
The Government has urged people to stay indoors unless they are food shopping, partaking in one piece of exercise a day, for medical reasons or if they must travel for essential work. Despite being in the second week of a UK lockdown, there is still some confusion about what constitutes essential work, as some bosses have instructed their staff to come in regardless or risk not getting paid, but are truck drivers classed as key workers?
There is no doubt that NHS staff, teachers, binmen and those in the emergency services should be classed as key workers. They perform a critical role in society and without them we would be in serious trouble. They are key workers without a shadow of a doubt, but when it comes to truck drivers, it all depends on what industry you are in.
According to the Government’s official website, www.gov.uk, those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery, as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods, such as hygienic and veterinary medicines, are key workers.
Stay Home & Save Lives
Other transport-related employees are also classed as key workers 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”.
So, in essence, truck drivers who deliver essential goods to hospitals, shops and manufacturers are classed as key workers, and rightly so. Whether they drive flatbeds, box vans or tipper trucks, their role is to supply vital health equipment to hospitals or transport food and drink to shops across the country is equally as important as those keeping us safe.
The nation recently came together to show their appreciation of the brave NHS workers who are putting their own lives at risk to save our loved ones. We think our dedicated truck drivers deserve our utmost respect too.