Written evidence submitted by A Williams (Teacher at Hampshire County Council)
Evidence of exclusion for Government support during the Coronavirus Crisis
My local authority employer, Hampshire County Council, decided to exclude me from financial support during the 12 week lockdown leaving me with no income when I was clearly eligible. They said that the Government guidance was ‘guidance only and not the law’. They were not ‘legally obligated’ to pay me because my contract says I am a ‘casual teacher’. Government guidance (DfE, Cabinet Office and the Local Government Association) stated that local authorities were ‘trusted’ and ‘expected’ to pay their casual teachers 80% of their wage during lockdown if they could not work due to the restrictions. I could not work as I work one to one with pupils in their homes. I stopped working on March 23rd to follow the Government advice. I could not be furloughed as public funding was still provided for my role, but Hampshire County Council could have followed the guidance to pay me as a contingent worker with long term assignments. Hampshire County Council chose to exclude me from this much needed support. I was locked out from Government support. Directly employed as a teacher with Hampshire County Council, I have worked continuously for 4 years on PAYE on long term cases with vulnerable SEN pupils. Why has Hampshire County Council been allowed to not follow the guidance when the Government guidance clearly states that local authorities are ‘trusted and expected’ to pay employees on casual contracts? How many other local authorities have not followed the guidance to support its teachers and how many local authorities have followed the guidance and paid their eligible contingent workers on casual contracts? I would be grateful if the Committee could please consider the situations where local authorities have excluded their own employees from support where they were clearly eligible (using Covid guidance legality as a reason) and compensate teachers such as myself for the 12 weeks of the lockdown where it was impossible to work. On 15th June I returned to the same assignments working for Hampshire County Council with the same pupils in their homes.