DEFRA confirm pest management as an essential sector during the Covid-19 pandemic

14 April 2020

Pest management has been confirmed as an essential sector during the Covid-19 pandemic by George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

According to Defra, pest management is covered in the key worker list under the "food and necessary goods" section, specifically concerning hygiene.

This confirmation means that pest management professionals in England can continue to send their children to school during the pandemic. The Northern Ireland government has already confirmed pest management is an essential service.

This also likely means that if the UK was to go into further lockdown measures, pest management companies would be able to continue to protect the nation.

While BPCA has already confirmed that pest management workers could continue to provide essential services (see: Pest professionals: continue to go to work if it's safe, says Gove to BPCA) – this is the first time that a government official explicitly acknowledges pest management to be on the list of key workers.

The news comes after the sector has lobbied for confirmation that pest management appears on the list – including BPCA and CEPA.

Henry Mott, president of CEPA, received confirmation from his member of parliament, Alicia Kearns MP for Rutland and Melton, that she has had approval from Secretary of State, George Eustice MP.

BPCA is pursuing confirmation directly from Defra to support the letter Henry has had from Alicia Kearns MP.

We want to thank everyone that has taken the time to write to their MPs on the subject. It's taken a substantial collaborative effort for our relatively small sector to get the ear of the UK government.

Resources for members

As a BPCA member, you have access to:

  • BPCA letter of endorsement template for member employees during Covid-19
  • Client letter of endorsement template for member employees during Covid-19
  • Coronavirus (Covid-19) risk assessment template
  • Client communication Covid 19 policy.

You can access these documents and more in the Member Document Area (login required).

Remember to stay safe

Although we have been confirmed as key workers, we still have a duty to our staff and clients to conduct our work safely.

Have a look at our guidance on Should I keep trading/go out on a job? for suggestions on mitigating the risks of spreading Covid-19.

Make sure you're following the government's Social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus (Covid-19) guidance.

BPCA advises that only work that is critical to maintaining public health should be carried out.

Key worker status gives us the recognition our sector deserves. However, our status comes with a responsibility to maintain the highest professional standards.

Stay safe.

 

Kind regards –

Ian Andrew
Chief Executive
British Pest Control Association

 

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