UNION

Govt COVID-19 guidance won't protect people and many may refuse to work

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04 May 2020
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GMB, which has more than 600,000 members working across all sectors of the economy, says the Government’s latest guidance on returning to work won’t protect people from Covid-19. 

John Phillips, Acting GMB General Secretary,  said: 

“We desperately need to get the economy going and nobody is keener than GMB to get people back to work - but this guidance was thrown together in a hurry and it shows. 

“Giving unions and employers just 12 hours to responds is not good enough and means crucial changes will not be made. We cannot endorse crucial guidance if it is incomplete. 

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"The guidance has to be clear on how safe working practice is to be enforced, As it stands, there is nothing on PPE, nothing on enforcement to ensure workplaces are safe and nothing giving workers the assurances they need to get back to their jobs  

“In its current form, this guidance does not adequately protect workers from Covid-19 exposure and as a result many may refuse to work to avoid putting themselves and their families at risk. 

“For weeks the Government has warned people this virus is dangerous and they must maintain social distancing and abide by the lockdown.   

In its current form, this guidance does not adequately protect workers from Covid-19 exposure and as a result many may refuse to work to avoid putting themselves and their families at risk. 

“They cannot just flick a switch, say it’s safe to work within two metres of other people without PPE and expect them to head merrily off to work. 

“If a second wave of this pandemic is to be avoided, then at every stage of this phased return we need full risk assessments agreed with the workforce, adequate PPE for everyone who needs it and equality impact assessments to ensure that all workers are fully protected.” 

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