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Help requested posted on 11th April 2018:

SCP cover

What could be the legal implications if an employer forces an employee from other duties to cover School Crossing Patroller duties without supplying SCP uniform. Would the employee be protected in the event of an accident?

Martin Will

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Response posted on 11th April 2018 by:
Paul Leatherbarrow

E: paulleatherbarrow@wirral.gov.uk
T: 0151 606 2397

SCP cover

With not being a lawyer I can't answer this as a professional legal bod but for me performing the duties of a School Crossing Patrol without wearing the correct uniform is a huge risk to take of one which could have disastrous consequences for all concerned.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1984/27/section/28/1991-02-01
Please see website above and exert below, therefore you don't have the power to carry out the SCP duties if you're not wearing the uniform.

A school crossing patrol wearing a uniform approved by the Secretary of State shall have power, by exhibiting a prescribed sign, to require the person driving or propelling the vehicle to stop it.

Hope that helps.


Response posted on 11th April 2018 by:
Tina Giles

E: tina.giles@wiltshire.gov.uk
T: 01225 713931 direct or 01225 701970

SCP cover

Suggest you read The School Crossing Patrol Guidelines (Revised September 2016)produced by Road safety GB.
It states 'It is important to stress that an SCP is only legally entitled to stop traffic when the correct uniform is worn and approved sign is displayed'
'Supervisory staff must ensure that SCP's fully understand that, to comply with the law, they must wear their full uniform of coat, hat and use the approved sign'.
'and that the coat is fastened'.

If you email me I'm happy to email the guidelines to you.


Response posted on 11th April 2018 by:
Kate Carpenter

E: kate.carpenter@jacobs.com
T:

SCP cover

I'd worry about their safety if not trained, as much about their uniform (and the latter is about being seen and safe rather than legal side. legal status matters but I'd pick illegal and safe over legal and dangerous!)


Response posted on 11th April 2018 by:
Emily Tester

E: emily.tester@brighton-hove.gov.uk
T:

SCP cover

I'd worry about their safety if not trained, as much about their uniform (and the latter is about being seen and safe rather than legal side. legal status matters but I'd pick illegal and safe over legal and dangerous!)

I would be concerned about their safety if they were not wearing the correct uniform as stated in the guidelines. I would suspect that drivers would not obey the patrol. It would be dangerous and illegal to do.


Response posted on 11th April 2018 by:
Richard Hall

E: richard.hall@northlincs.gov.uk
T: 01724 297346

SCP cover

To have the power to stop traffic a patrol needs to be appointed by the local authority, they must be wearing the prescribed uniform and using the approved sign. Without this they would not be an SCP and wouldn't have the power to stop traffic.
It is also unlikely the person crossing pedestrians would be covered by insurance - third party or personal.
Another concern would be the lack of training, which is likely to result in the person failing to operate on the highway in a safe manner and potentially putting those using the crossing at risk.
This person could, of course, escort groups over the road at times when it is safe to cross, but they would have no power to stop traffic and shouldn't be using the sign.


Response posted on 11th April 2018 by:
Alex Allen

E: alexander.allen@medway.gov.uk
T:

SCP cover

Based purely on your two question on legal;
What could be the legal implications if an employer forces an employee from other duties to cover School Crossing Patroller duties without supplying SCP uniform?
The employee forced to undertake a role they are not trained for without the correct equipment would have legal grounds to take their employer to court based on these facts alone, the employer has broken a few laws here both H&S and employment.

Would the employee be protected in the event of an accident?
If an accident did occur as stated above it is doubtful insurance would cover them, to complicate matters under yet more laws, both the SCP, their employer and the Council could be looking at corporate man slaughter with unlimited fines and unlimited imprisonment sentences. The best scenario of an accident would result in very difficult legal challenges from the parties involved with little to no defense for the untrained SCP, employer and potential the Council depending on the advise that was sort/provided from them and the knowledge of potentially illegal activity.

Worst case examples but anything can happen out there.

Everyone else's response are all spot on as well but not sure the captured the potential severity of you question.


Response posted on 11th April 2018 by:
Derek C Donald

E: d.c.donald@btinternet.com
T: 01463792154

SCP cover

I would refer you to Section 28 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, which deals with Stopping Vehicles at School Crossings. I have been unable to locate a later copy of the Act, so I have to assume that the 1984 Act is still in force.


Response posted on 12th April 2018 by:
Saul Jeavons

E: saul.jeavons@transafenetwork.com
T:

SCP cover

The staff member would have no legal status to stop traffic, and so in attempting to do so would have little legal protection, as well as putting themself in a dangerous situation.

An employer forcing an employee to act in such a manner would be breaking the law.

Might I ask what set of circumstances have caused this question to be asked?


Response posted on 12th April 2018 by:
Martin Will

E: mrtn_will@yahoo.co.uk
T:

SCP cover

My employers have decided that they need a procedure to cover SCP’s points in the event of a sudden absence i.e. 10/15mins before the cover time. The employer is asking that other staff cover the point for the first 20mins as emergency cover until other arrangements can be made to allow children to get across the road.
As SCP uniform will not be available they have suggested that the staff member could guide the children across the road in the capacity of a “responsible citizen”. They would not be expected to stop traffic but make sure that the children crossed when there was an appropriate break in the traffic.
My concern is what would happen if there was an accident and either the member of staff or a child was hit whilst crossing, particular as the employer is expecting you to be a “responsible citizen” and carry this out as part of your official duties.


Response posted on 12th April 2018 by:
Darren Dowd

E: darren.dowd@eastsussex.gov.uk
T:

SCP cover

As others have stated, and as described, i do not think the employee would be covered in the event of an incident, same for the employer.
I understand the thinking behind using people as responsible citizens, but if they were officially working, I'm not sure if this could be argued successfully. Is the authority acting as a responsible employer?
When we have sudden absences, patrols will notify schools and then us. Most schools now have the facility to text parents en masse, and can let them know if a patrol is going to be absent.


Response posted on 12th April 2018 by:
Syd Henry

E: Sydney.henry@psni.pnn.police.uk
T:

SCP cover

Here in Northern Ireland some schools have had a member of staff trained so that they could step in at short notice with the appropriate PPE clothing. That’s a responsible attitude to take to deal with such a resilience issue. Or why not ask if a local neighbourhood police officer can call round if available to cover?


Response posted on 16th April 2018 by:
Rae Callander

E: rae.callander@falkirk.gov.uk
T: 01324 504793

SCP cover

The School Crossing Patrol Guidelines (Revised September 2016) produced by Road safety GB.
states

Page 5 - 1.3

The law gives an SCP, appointed by an appropriate Authority and wearing a uniform approved by the Secretary of State the power, by displaying a prescribed sign, to require drivers to stop. SCP's operating outside these conditions have no legal power to stop traffic'.

In answer to your question, anyone without uniform and the Stop sign, is not legal to cross children as a SCP.


Page 11 - Best Practice
'Supervisory staff must ensure that SCP's always wear their full uniform, including hat when on duty and that the coat is fastened.

'Supervisory staff must ensure that SCP's fully understand that, to comply with the law, they must wear their full uniform of coat, hat and use the approved sign'.


Response posted on 17th April 2018 by:
ged gilmartin

E: gilmartin074@btinternet.com
T:

SCP cover

Martin it may have been worth mentioning that the employees you refer to who are being asked to assit in emergency cover situatuions are the SCP's line managers who are responsible for recruiting, training, and quality monitoring of the SCP service


Response posted on 19th April 2018 by:
Allan Robins

E: allan.robins@hullcc.gov.uk
T: 01482 614882

SCP cover

I think that you have a consensus that it were unwise, I would like to give you another perspective, with me wearing my other Trade Union Steward & Health & Safety hat on.
If anything were to happen a TU (or a no win no fee solicitor) would make mincemeat out of you and the organisation. Now that there is a digital record that you have been advised against, you need to keep evidence if you are instructed to ignore this advice as if all goes wrong you would need that to avoid being in the dock by yourself.
Quite simply, it’s not worth it


Response posted on 19th April 2018 by:
Allan Robins

E: allan.robins@hullcc.gov.uk
T: 01482 614882

SCP cover

I think that you have a consensus that it were unwise, I would like to give you another perspective, with me wearing my other Trade Union Steward & Health & Safety hat on.
If anything were to happen a TU (or a no win no fee solicitor) would make mincemeat out of you and the organisation. Now that there is a digital record that you have been advised against, you need to keep evidence if you are instructed to ignore this advice as if all goes wrong you would need that to avoid being in the dock by yourself.
Quite simply, it’s not worth it


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