Covid-19: Scottish boards reminded of 'moral and statutory' duty to protect staff

The Scottish Government has today written to all NHS boards underlining their “moral and statutory duty” to protect employees and urging them to review wellbeing practices as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds.

The letter from Deputy Director of Health Workforce Stephen Lea-Ross singles out a range of areas for attention including the need for adequate staff breaks, rehydration, rest and food facilities and access to hand santiser and hand cream.

Urging boards to be “proactive in protecting employees and supporting them to feel safe and secure”, it adds that they must work closely with trade union representatives to monitor and safeguard staff wellbeing as the crisis continues.

The latest Public Health Scotland guidance and Scottish Government guidance must be followed, it adds.

The letter restates employers’ responsibility to ensure staff do not work excessive hours and that they “get sufficient rest as defined by the Working Time Regulations, relevant terms and conditions of service and other national agreements.”

It also outlines the need for safety induction for redeployed staff, adequate security arrangements, and access to information on psychological and counselling support.

If you have concerns about any of these issues, then please contact

Download the full guidance to NHS Scotland boards (correct as of 14th April).