2021-07-20 13:22

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TUC Urgent Plea To Government To Make Face Coverings Mandatory

Commenting ahead of Monday’s lifting of Covid restrictions, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“The government cannot watch from the sidelines as Covid runs riot. Ministers must urgently make wearing a mask a legal requirement on public transport and in shops.
And they must toughen their vague and inadequate back-to-work guidance so workers have confidence their workplaces are safe.

The chaos and confusion of the last few days will only grow without clear and consistent rules.
It is reckless to gamble the safety of key workers, from bus drivers to supermarket staff, on individuals’ sense of personal responsibility.”

On the need to help workers self-isolate, Frances added:

“If we want to stop Covid ripping through workplaces, people must be supported to self-isolate.
That means providing decent sick pay to the level of the real Living Wage and making sure everyone can get it.
With hundreds of thousands of workers being pinged every week this is more urgent than ever.”

The TUC wrote to ministers earlier this month after unions and employers were denied meaningful consultation on the government’s back-to-work guidance.

The TUC says the new workplace safety plans have been presented as a “fait accompli” to worker and business groups.
The TUC highlighted the rules on face coverings which will be changed despite clear evidence that they reduce the spread of Covid-19 in enclosed and crowded spaces.

The union body says removing - without consultation - the legal obligation to wear a face covering in work settings such as supermarkets and on public transport has undermined confidence that the government is serious about making workplaces Covid-Secure.

The TUC said it was particularly concerned about workers who may be immune-suppressed, pregnant, or not yet double-vaccinated, who will be put at risk of infection unless there is clear government guidance that applies to all workplaces in their sector.

Source: TUC

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