Essential work – Help from the Federation
The Federation of British Chimney Sweeps has been petitioning on behalf of professional Chimney Sweeps. The Guild have been pleased to assist the Federation in this matter.
Release from the Federation – 2nd Nov 2020
Several weeks ago the Federation of British Chimney Sweeps sought official confirmation that sweeps are formally named as essential workers during the covid-19 crisis.
We have written to several government departments and organisations as well as a number of MP’s and prominent civil servants in the Home Office, MCHLG, Fire and Rescue service and Public Health England amongst others. We have highlighted the specific role of the sweeps with regard to public safety. We have noted that individuals working in the ‘energy’ sector are included as essential on government lists, but that those working with solid fuel are not named. We have received confirmation of our letter from The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and are awaiting further clarification.
In the absence of an ‘official’ response, we would like to assure you that chimney sweeps are already essential workers by the Government’s own definitions as part of the energy sector. But we know you would like to see this officially confirmed.
Sweeps are essential workers because:
• Your work is essential to prevent injury to the public from a variety of potential health hazards.
• Your work is essential to the protection of property
• Your work is essential for maintaining primary and secondary domestic and commercial heating system.
• Your work can only be undertaken on site and not from your home.
• Your work prevents incidents which would place additional stress on already stretched emergency and public services.
Through its member associations the Federation now represents over 80% of professional chimney sweeps and is well placed to pursue this issue. Please watch out for updates from the Federation and via your respective trade associations.