Advice on ‘key workers’ from UKWA

March 20, 2020

Further to the government’s announcement that schools will close later today (Friday 20th March), UKWA has been reviewing the guidance with regard to the continued provision of education to children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response, namely those referred to as “key workers”.

Delivery drivers have been given as an example of key workers, and over the last 48 hours UKWA has asked the government for further clarification – making the point on behalf of members that drivers can only deliver what is loaded onto vehicles by warehouse operatives.

This morning the government has published its definition of key workers, which can be found here:

The guidance document lists the critical sectors and, if your business falls into one of those listed, children of employees who are unable to keep their children safe at home may be eligible for continued education provision.

Having reviewed the government’s statement, the following extracts may be relevant to UKWA members :

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).


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. 

UKWA CEO Peter Ward comments, “Given the broad range of sectors in which UKWA members operate, it is impossible for the association to provide definitive guidance for warehouse workers in general; therefore we are obliged to ask members to interpret the government’s directive as relevant to your individual businesses and respond accordingly.”