The UK Government has published guidance requesting that schools and other educational institutions provide limited care for children whose parents have roles that are critical to the COVID-19 response. This includes parents working in certain financial services roles, including in the insurance sector, that are essential to the functioning of the economy (referred to as “key financial workers” or “KFWs“).
- A KFW is any individual who fulfils a role which is necessary for the firm to continue to provide (i) essential daily financial services to consumers, or (ii) ensure the continued functioning of markets. The guidance provides a list of example KFWs (PRA) (FCA).
- KFWs could work for any categorisation of financial institution, including insurance companies and intermediaries
- Firms are best placed to identify their KFWs; they should start by identifying the firm’s activities, services or operations which are essential to services in the real economy or financial stability and then identify the individuals essential to support those functions.
- In the insurance sector, KFWs are likely to include individuals essential to the processing of claims and renewal of insurance policies.
- When considering KFWs, firms should also identify any critical outsource partners that are essential to the continued provision of services, even if these are not financial services firms.
- The PRA/FCA recommend that the individual designated as Chief Executive Officer under the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMF1) (or, if not applicable, an equivalent senior member of the management team) should be accountable for ensuring an adequate process so that only roles meeting the KFW definition are designated.
- Firms should consider issuing letters to all individuals identified as KFWs as evidence of their status.
Our general briefing on COVID-19 – Key Issues for Employers is available here.