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Issue date
  • New polling finds that over a third of those who have already gone back to work haven’t seen employers’ safety plans.
  • TUC launches new web platform to monitor publication of Covid-Secure risk assessments.
  • TUC names big employers who’ve failed to publish risk assessments including Boohoo, Amazon and The Range.

Many businesses are ignoring government guidance to keep their workers safe from Covid-19, the TUC is warning today (Saturday) ahead of the further reopening of the economy from Monday.

All employers with more than five staff are required to produce written risk assessments, in consultation with recognised unions. And the government’s “Covid-Secure” guidance says that employers with over 50 staff are expected to publish their risk assessments on their own websites.

These detailed safety plans are an essential part of keeping workers safe as the economy reopens.

Companies ignoring guidance

But the TUC is today naming eight large employers who, despite having staff already working onsite, have failed to publish risk assessments on their websites as the government has asked.

These are: Boohoo, Amazon, The Range, Lidl, JD Sports, Laing O’Rourke plc, Bowmer & Kirkland Construction and Pets at Home.

While these companies may be taking steps to comply with government guidance to keep workers and customers safe, not publishing their risk assessments is a worrying sign. It means workers and their unions can’t easily access the documents to check the actions being taken.

The TUC believes that these nine businesses are representative of a widespread problem. New polling published today reveals that:

  • More than 2 in 5 (43%) of those who have worked outside the home throughout the coronavirus crisis say they haven’t seen their employers’ risk assessments.
  • Over a third (34%) of those who were at home but have now returned to work say they haven’t seen their employers’ risk assessments.
  • Nearly three in five (58%) of all those who normally work outside the home say they haven’t seen their employers risk assessments.

Given this evidence of widespread non-compliance, the TUC believes the government should take a tougher approach and introduce a legal requirement that employers publish their risk assessments on a central government portal.

This is in line with the gender pay gap reporting requirements, and would allow workers, customers and the wider community to check that employers are operating safely.

In the absence of a government portal, the TUC has today launched its own online platform to collect risk assessments in one place and identify employers who have failed to publish them. will be used to monitor good and bad safety practice across different sectors as the economy reopens, and to put pressure on government and employers to keep their workers safe. The TUC is inviting all workers to use the site to check if their employer has published their risk assessment, and to find out more about safety at work.

The site has been set up by Sam Jeffers, the creator of Who Targets Me, the tool to track political spending on social media, and Richard Pope, who was one of the original team behind the Government Digital Service.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“As Boris Johnson announces further measures to reopen the economy, too many employers are playing fast and loose with workers’ safety.

"All employers are required to carry out risk assessments in consultation with unions and their workforces. And ministers have instructed all employers of more than 50 staff to publish their risk assessment. That’s how workers, customers and local communities can be sure employers are following the Covid-Secure guidelines to keep us all safe.

“Lots of good employers are doing the right thing and following government guidance. So there’s no excuse for big companies like Boohoo and Amazon cutting corners.

“Voluntary publication isn’t enough. The government must change the law to require bigger employers to publish their risk assessments.  And employers who fail to keep their workers safe must be fined – and if necessary, shut down. 

“Getting this right is in the national interest. If rogue employers flout safety guidance it puts us all at risk of a second spike in infections.”  

Richard Pope said:

“This crisis has shown the huge value in being able to spin up digital services at speed, such the furlough application process, and of the use of data to make decisions.

“It's great to see the TUC have taken up the challenge of creating a digital service to fill what is an important data and transparency gap in the country's Covid response.”

Sam Jeffers said:

"Workers need to feel confident their employers are taking the necessary measures to keep them safe during the pandemic.

“Companies should be transparent and publish the steps they’re taking, learn better practices from each other, and listen and respond to the concerns of their staff. There’s no excuse for not sharing this information publicly.

“There should be no hiding from the fact that safer workplaces will help reduce infection – and save lives."

Notes to editors:

- Details of named companies



Approx. number of workers

Date of risk assessment search




8 June




8 June

The Range



8 June




8 June

JD Sports


1,000+ workers at distribution site

8 June

Laing O’Rourke Plc



9 June

Bowmer & Kirkland Construction



8 June

Pets at Home

Retail and veterinary


8 June

These companies were identified via union networks. TUC researchers then manually searched company websites for published risk assessments. The TUC wrote to all the companies named here 24 hours before this press release was sent out in order to give them the opportunity to publish their risk assessment.

- Workers and unions have previously expressed concerns about some of these companies’ health and safety practices. For example:

- The TUC is also aware of many companies who have taken appropriate steps to protect their workers and published their risk assessments, including Bentley and Stiller Warehousing.

- The government’s guidance on working safely during coronavirus, including on risk assessments, is available here:

- The government has also produced sector-specific safety guidance for some sectors. For example, the construction and other outdoor working guidance – clarifying that ministers expect employers with more than 50 workers  to publish risk assessments – is available here:

- On 2 June, BEIS minister Paul Scully told parliament:

“Existing health and safety legislation requires risk assessments. The safer working guidance does not change this. Employers have a duty to consult their employees, and unions where applicable, as part of their risk assessment. Involving workers in this will help build trust and confidence that all reasonably practicable steps are being taken to reduce risks of Covid-19, so that people can return to work safely. All businesses should share the results of their risk assessment with their employees. The Government is asking employers to publish the results of these assessments on their websites wherever possible. The Government expects larger organisations – those with over 50 workers – to publish the results of their risk assessments.

- All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2089 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th - 11th June 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.

Editors note
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