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NFU UK calls for poultry producers to submit evidence on potential quarantine arrangements for seasonal poultry workers

The UK’s National Farmers Union is seeking evidence to inform alternative quarantine arrangements for seasonal poultry workers ahead of the Christmas rush.

12 October 2020, at 9:39am

In a statement on the NFU website, the organisation says that it understands that union members who produce seasonal poultry for the Christmas market will be facing challenges if skilled workers who return to them year after year are required to quarantine for 14 days before they can commence work on farms. In many cases, these workers are from other EU countries.

The NFU is hoping to enact alternative arrangements for these seasonal workers and is in conversation with Defra. They are currently seeking further information from affected members to demonstrate why a bespoke policy is needed.

The NFU needs to know

  • Location of your business
  • Whether you are a farmer processing on farm or you have purpose-built processing facilities
  • Species and numbers of birds that you will be slaughtering this year
  • Number of European workers you require this year to enter and leave the UK for the Christmas seasonal work period
  • Number of these workers who are returnees to your business who enter and leave the UK for the Christmas seasonal work period
  • Number of returnees who will not come if they must quarantine – broken down by task ie catching, slaughter, evisceration or packing
  • Arrival date of the workers you require from Europe
  • Departure date of the workers you require from Europe
  • Which country/countries are workers are coming from
  • Is the recruitment managed by yourself directly or an agency
  • A brief description of which tasks workers will be required to carry out, for example catching, slaughter, evisceration or packing including how many workers do each task
  • How many of the workers hold the relevant qualifications such as a certificate of competence for the work they are carrying out
  • Is the accommodation used for migrant seasonal labour on site?
  • If not on site, can accommodation and transport to and from site be managed to ensure it is COVID-19 secure?
  • Any issues or the impact on your business that you anticipate if the European workers you are expecting to come cannot come
  • Any issues or the impact on bird welfare that you anticipate if the European workers you are expecting to come cannot come
  • Any measures you have taken or plan to take to try and address the potential shortage of labour
  • Would it be economically viable for you to pay workers to quarantine for two weeks without working, if not please can you briefly explain why not?
  • Your evidence and views on viability of recruiting resident workers to replace returnee migrants (taking into account higher unemployment rates in the UK at present)
  • Any additional information you wish to provide

The NFU tells potential participants that the collected information will be anonymised and will be used to help support a case for alternative quarantine arrangements for seasonal poultry workers.

Read more about this on the NFU website.