Covid-19 Level 1 guidance on Education and Childcare (FOI)
Covid-19 Level 1 guidance on Education and Childcare (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 07 October 2020.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please would you say:
By or under what legal power or authority the recently published 'Level 1 Guidance on Education and Childcare' was made.
Whether this guidance is enforceable in the court, and;
Whether any officers (and, if so, which) have the power or authority under a particular piece of legislation to enter premises with a view to seeking to 'enforce' the guidance in question.
The Level 1 Guidance on Education and Childcare was not made under any specific legislation; hence it is guidance.
However, under the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989, employers have a legal obligation to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of employees, and non-employees who may be affected by the way they run their business, including students and others looked after within education and childcare settings. The Level 1 Guidance on Education and Childcare is in line with the well-established ways that employers can demonstrate that they have taken adequate consideration of the risks from COVID-19 and have put mitigation measures in place to comply with their general duties under the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989.
No, although it may be referred to as illustrating the standards of best practice, and that which was considered reasonably practicable to achieve to meet the general obligations imposed by the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989, if a prosecution was pursued for a breach of that Law.
Refer to response A.
Should there be a suspicion or report that any Government of Jersey schools are non-compliant with the guidance, a full investigation would be undertaken by the Head of Governance and Resource Management or nominated officers and they would enter the premises to do so.
Under the Covid-19 (Schools and Day Care of Children) (Jersey) Regulations 2020, (as amended by the Covid-19 (Amendments – Extension, Suspension and Repeal) (Jersey) Regulations 2020) the Minister for Education can make a closure notice to require the closure of school premises or day care premises to prevent the spread of Covid-19:
• with the agreement of the Minister for Health and Social Services;
• after consultation with the Council of Ministers; and
• only if it is deemed necessary and proportionate following advice from the Medical Officer for Health.
Therefore, if the Minister for Education felt that a school was not doing enough to stop the spread of COVID-19 she could trigger this legislation to close the school.
Health and Safety Inspectors, appointed under the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989 have the power to enter any workplace, including any school, college or childcare provider at any reasonable time, to review compliance with the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989.