Education leaders have told companies not to put profit over people, claiming attempts to stop the spread of coronavirus could fail if too many parents try to keep their children in school. Only children of key workers – including medics, police and food distribution staff – are eligible for places from Monday.Paul Whiteman, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said, “My appeal to companies and other employers: please do not interpret the key workers lists liberally for your own ends. Do not put profit over people.”
The National Education Union joint general secretary, Dr Mary Bousted, said teachers were on the frontline. “They can only do this vital work if everyone plays fair.”
Pets at Home argued that its workers were eligible under the criteria of providing key goods.
The document, signed by the company’s group legal director, states its workers qualify under the provision of hygienic and veterinary medicines. It says that its Vets4Pets business and other specialist veterinary staff are on the essential workers list. But it also claims that those working at its “Groom Room”, where a bath, brush and blow-dry for a dog starts at £20, are eligible, as well as store staff, customer services workers and other office support functions.